Lead vs. lede: Does it even matter?
Journalism isn’t always this trivial—or shouldn’t be—but renewed debate among editors and writers on which spelling of the word is correct is a reminder of what’s most important.
Credit the great Romenesko (via Bleacher Report) for rehashing this age-old debate on whether to refer to the first sentence of an article as the “lead” or, harkening back to the days of linotype, “lede.”
“Some years ago, researching the evolution of ‘objective journalism,’ I cracked open many of these old books, and something struck me — in none of these old books did any author spell the word ‘lede.’ They all spell it ‘lead.’
“It was then I realized, there is no historic basis for the spelling of a lead as ‘lede.’ ‘Lede’ is an invention of linotype romanticists, not something used in newsrooms of the linotype era.
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