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Vandal scratches Poe phrase into car at dealership

Language nerds will appreciate this news story about a Latin vandal. The scratching on one of the cars spelled out “Nemo me inpune lacessit.” The phrase means “No one attacks me with impunity.” The quotation, in fact, comes from Edgar Allan Poes classic horror story “The Cask of Amontillado.” It is the family crest of Fortunato, the unfortunate victim of revenge by his neighbor, Montressor. The narrator lures the drunken…

Third French Officer Killed As Terror Suspects Reportedly Spotted

This breaking news story confuses “honing” and “homing.” I make mistakes too, and would certainly make even more if I were writing up breaking news on a story that is deeply personal to everyone in the world who values the freedom of speech. The manhunt for two men suspected in the massacre at a satirical newspaper’s Paris headquarters appeared to be honing in on its targets northeast of the French capital…

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Terms of Service

Fascinating example of new media journalism: a graphic novel investigative report. The content is noteworthy, too: our lives have already changed now that we regularly give away our privacy in return for various benefits (lower prices, connection to friends). The corporations who use our data benefit more than we do, and many of us now feel we have no choice. Al Jazeera America.

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The Article is Dead. Long Live the Article

Take the background paragraph. It ill-serves everyone. If you know nothing about an ongoing story, it gives you too little history and explanation — how can you possibly hope to catch up on, say, the war in Syria in five lines of type? If you know a story well, this paragraph merely wastes your time and the paper’s space; readers have had to train themselves to skip over it and find the…