Let’s talk about three unforgivable ledes, and why you would be justified to find the perpetrator of such a lede and strangle him or her as a service to the reading world at large.
I put these ledes in no particular order, because they’re all so irritating, trite, and silly that I can’t decide which is the worst.
The “Have you ever wondered” lede.
This one usually goes something like, “Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of Company X’s blah-blah department?” There are scores of variations.
“Oh, yes!” the reader is supposed to think. “Just the other day I was standing in line at the grocery store pondering that very thing! I didn’t know it until now, but I’ve actually been desperate to know just what goes on in that mysterious blah-blah department. How did I exist without knowing? Now I get to find out! O joyous day!”
I can safely say that with all the “have you ever wondered” ledes I’ve seen, I have never actually wondered about whatever it is the story wants me to wonder about. The only thing I wonder is how fast I can find a garbage can in which to puke after having to read this lede yet again.
The recipe lede.