Cidu Bill on Jul 8th 2017


On one hand, I’m not following what he’s getting at. On the other hand, bonus points for spelling “lede” correctly.

A few weeks ago, I was following some online discussion — I don’t recollect what it was about — and somebody claimed he knew what he was talking about because he’d been a reporter for over 30 years. Then he used the expression “burying the lead.”

Busted, dude.

Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, Non Sequitur, Wiley Miller, comic strips, comics, humor | 22 responses so far

22 Responses to “Unknown”

  1. larK Jul 8th 2017 at 02:04 pm 1

    What’s to get? They buried the lede.

  2. James Pollock Jul 8th 2017 at 02:15 pm 2

    The tomb of the unknown soldier is dedicated to all the persons who have died in service, but who cannot be buried properly because of the ravages of war. (Your airplane went out on a sortie, and didn’t return. We didn’t find any debris floating in the ocean. Your ship was sunk. You were in the ammunition storage when the enemy’s artillery hit it. We’re pretty sure you’re dead, but there’s nothing to bury.) They’re buried symbolically, but not actually buried.

    Therefore, at the tomb of the unknown reporter, the lede is buried symbolically, but not actually.

  3. JerrytheMacGuy Jul 8th 2017 at 02:27 pm 3

    That is the first time I’ve seen the term spelled as “Lede”. As a journalism student in the 60s, I always used “Lead”. According to Merrimack-Webster, the alternate spelling came into vogue in the 70s. By that time, I became a typesetter for a printing company, where “Lead” is pronounced “Led” and refers to the spacing between lines of type.


  4. mitch4 Jul 8th 2017 at 02:44 pm 4

    CIDU Bill, is it in fact your birthday? Then I should leave it up to Jerry The Mac and refrain from arguing with you about your affection for this bit of occupational jargon.

  5. Mona Jul 8th 2017 at 02:49 pm 5

    mitch4, sshhh, it’s a secret! (I’m surprised it made it to post.) This year I finally figured out the 24 hour project is on the same day as…..

  6. Danny Boy (London Derrière) Jul 8th 2017 at 02:55 pm 6

    I red the article that Jerry linked to, and tend to side with those who would use the standard-language spelling. But it doesn’t matter much, or not as much as when someone writes ‘lead’ for the verb in a context you think would call for the past tense. Do they think that is how to spell past-tense ‘led’ (since *sometimes* ‘lead’ is pronounced ‘led’ — as a noun)? Or are they managing to construe the context to allow the present tense, which would indede be spelled ‘lead’, though pronounced ‘lede’?

  7. JerrytheMacGuy Jul 8th 2017 at 03:08 pm 7

    As you artfully point out Danny Boy, English is not a language for the English-speaking. And Lord help those who who are learning how to read and speak English.

    BTW, I chuckled at how IOS Autocorrect changed “Merriam” to “Merrimack” in my original post - and it tried to do it here again.

    English is hard enough. Autocorrect, you are not helping.

  8. B.A. Jul 8th 2017 at 03:19 pm 8

    What does burying the lede, lead, led or anything else hsve to do with the Unknown Reporter?

  9. Cidu Bill Jul 8th 2017 at 03:41 pm 9

    It would be a poor excuse for a secret, especially since many of you are connected to me on Facebook, the world’s greatest public repository of birthdays.

  10. Mona Jul 8th 2017 at 03:47 pm 10

    I was naive enough to believe that my birthday would not be public knowledge when I finally signed up on FB. I told FB it should be private, but it did not pay attention to me. Have tried to fix it several times, no luck.

  11. Cidu Bill Jul 8th 2017 at 03:51 pm 11

    FB doesn’t acknowledge anything is private.

  12. Jeff Lichtman Jul 8th 2017 at 04:06 pm 12

    It would make more sense for it to be the Tomb of the Unknown News Story.

  13. James Pollock Jul 8th 2017 at 05:06 pm 13

    “FB doesn’t acknowledge anything is private.”

    What do you mean? FB treats EVERYTHING as private… unless FB thinks that FB can make some money from it. But other than that, totally private.

  14. Boise Ed Jul 8th 2017 at 06:57 pm 14

    Bill: Happy bird day 2 ewe!

    Like JerrytheMacGuy, I learned it as “lead” in the 60s in J-school, but I did encounter and adopt the new spelling later.

    As for the comic, I thought it was a cute inside joke. For nonjournalists, though, I would expect it to be a big CIDU.

  15. Kilby Jul 8th 2017 at 07:58 pm 15

    @ Mona (5) - Which also explains why Bill turned a deaf ear toward the idea of moving his 24-Hour Project to the nearest Saturday. Not that the coincidence helped me this year: we were out all afternoon.

  16. larK Jul 8th 2017 at 08:06 pm 16

    I dunno, Saturday seems less jumping than the weekday (Thursday?) it was last year. I guess I’m glad for the variation, I’d hate for it to be always the same day of the week.

  17. Kilby Jul 8th 2017 at 08:21 pm 17

    When I first read “Lord of the Rings”, I thought Tolkien’s “Shire Reform” was an intriguing idea (moving one day per year - and leap days - to be “off week”, thus producing a calendar that always had the same day of the week for every date in the calendar). However, I (now) agree with larK @16: it would be a royal pain to always have one’s birthday on the same day of the week every year.

  18. Joseph K. Jul 9th 2017 at 04:49 pm 18

    A tombstone is a lede for the dead reporter’s grave

  19. Brian in STL Jul 10th 2017 at 01:19 pm 19

    “The tomb of the unknown soldier is dedicated to all the persons who have died in service, but who cannot be buried properly because of the ravages of war.”

    I thought it had to do with bodies recovered but not identified.

  20. Meryl A Jul 11th 2017 at 02:29 am 20

    Happy belated Birthday Bill!

  21. Meryl A Jul 11th 2017 at 02:32 am 21

    Mona - I never gave FB my birthday - or where I went to school, am from, etc. Then again, my page is so private even I am not allowed to see it. Actually I only got an FB page to vote for husband’s photos some years ago in a competition from Colonial Williamsburg to have a photo included in a calendar - and yes one of his photos was picked that year. We got a gift card for $100 as payment and used it towards our admissions that year.

  22. James Pollock Jul 11th 2017 at 02:41 am 22

    “I thought it had to do with bodies recovered but not identified.”

    “Bodies recovered but not identified” is one of the subsets of “people who have died in service, but who cannot be buried properly”. But so are “KIA for whom no remnant has been or can be recovered” and “people who died in service, but on missions which must remain secret (and therefore publicly unacknowledged”. There’s probably a couple of other categories that I’m drawing a blank on right at the moment..

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