Romps, Tots and Boffins: The Strange Language of News (Hardcover)

Romps, Tots and Boffins: The Strange Language of News By Robert Hutton Cover Image

Romps, Tots and Boffins: The Strange Language of News (Hardcover)


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A funny and irreverent annotated collection of "journalese"—words, phrases, clichés, and sacred cows beloved by newspapers but never used by anyone else. This "bumper crop" of examples is sure to "fuel controversy."


Anyone who has picked up a paper has read journalese—words and phrases that are only found in newspapers. Without them, how would intrepid journalists be able to describe a world in which late-night revelers go on booze-fueled rampages, or where troubled stars lash out in foul-mouthed tirades? When Rob Hutton began collecting examples of journalese online, he provoked a "Twitter storm," and was "left reeling" by the "bumper crop" of examples that "flooded in." He realized that phrases which started as shorthand to help readers have become a dialect which is often meaningless or vacuous to non-journalese speakers. In a courageous attempt both to wean journalists off their journalese habit, and provide elucidation for the rest of us, this book catalogs the highs and lows of this strange language, celebrating the best examples ("test-tube baby," "mad cow disease"), and condemning the worst ("rant," "snub," "sirs"). It will be a "must-read" "page-turner" that may "cause a stir" or even "spark" "tough new rules" in newsrooms.

Robert Hutton has been the UK political correspondent for Bloomberg since 2004; previously, he worked at Financial Times and the Mirror.

Product Details ISBN: 9781909653436
ISBN-10: 1909653438
Publisher: Elliott & Thompson
Publication Date: November 1st, 2013
Pages: 144
Language: English
"Hilarious, wonderful, and very true—a mini classic."  —Guardian

"Robert Hutton . . . has set himself up as the Dr Johnson of this strange, widely read, hardly spoken, language."  —Financial Times

"I'm loving a little book just out by my fellow political journalist Rob Hutton. It's . . . so much more than a hilarious compendium of the ghastly cliché to which our trade is prone. "  —Times