"Question of the year" unveiling delayed until tomorrow: In this morning's New York Times, this letter proposes a "word of the year" for 2017.
For us, that word would be "anthropology." Explanation below!
Meanwhile, excitement grows concerning our unveiling of the "question of the year" for the annum just past. That unveiling has been pushed back until tomorrow.
For now, what "words of the year" would we recommend dropping from the journalistic lexicon? Several come to mind:
For starters, journalists should stop describing comedians as "artists" who are producing "art." Just a guess:
If people hadn't told Louis C. K. that he was an artist producing art, he might have kept his head about him, destructive behavior-wise.
(As an example of the misuse of these terms, we cite this excessively thoughtful thought piece from Tuesday's page A2.)
Also, could we drop the word "story?" In theory, journalists produce "news reports," "analysis pieces" and even "opinion columns." When they keep describing their work as "stories," can mischief be far behind?
Below, we'll recommend another word we might disappear. But first:
In our view, the journalistic event of the year may have been the "reimagining" of the New York Times' page A3, found in hard copy only.
Our view? The low-IQ childishness of this reimagined page may reflect a Peter Pan dream at the soul of upper-end press corps culture!
Do our upper-end journalists long to stay children forever—children producing silly stories and zeroing in on trivia?
We can't answer your thoughtful question. But on this morning's page A3, these were—we kid you not!—the first three "Noteworthy Facts:"
Of InterestTo the extent that those passages even make sense, do they involve "Noteworthy Facts?" We're not sure they do! But so it goes on this preternaturally childish page, on a daily basis.
NOTEWORTHY FACTS FROM TODAY'S PAPER
"Vapor Wake" dogs are Labrador retrievers that can pick up whiffs of explosive particles in the warm air that trails behind people as they walk.
The Sherwin Williams paint color Spalding Gray, a shade of gray with subtle undertones of chocolate, is named after a dog (of the Weimaraners breed) that is named after the actor.
Roller derby, which started in the United States in the 1930s, has surged in popularity in the past 15 years or so. In the Middle East, teams have sprung up in Cairo, Beirut, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
(In today's "Here to Help" section, we're told what "experts" say about the way to discard a Christmas tree. "Expert" is the other word we'd recommend discarding.)
Back to today's announcement. Why have we chosen "anthropology" as the word of the year?
Simple! We're suggesting that we change the framework, or paradigm, through which we view the behavior of our badly floundering species.
We're suggesting that we move away from the "rational animal" paradigm, a framework which has obscured our vision for millennia now. In its place, we should move toward a framework in which we cease to expect rational conduct from any of our various tribes, understanding that we're basically a life form whose conduct is biologically determined, perhaps a bit like zebras or manatees, even butterflies.
Let's drop the artists-and-experts bunk and see ourselves as we actually are! Tomorrow, though, we unveil it:
With a nod to Krugman's latest column, the question of the year!
Other key points from the Times: According to today's A3, "Jennifer Finley Boyle's elegy for a dog, a beloved dog whose death marked the closing of a chapter in Ms. Boylan's life, was a sensation on social media" yesterday.
Not that there's anything wrong with it! People, we're just saying!
What did Meghan Markle's top suggest? Yesterday, in Thursday Styles, Vanessa Friedman examined Markle's "sly statement."
Friedman, of course, is viewed as an expert. We're suggesting that it may instead be manatees all the way down!
It's brand new paradigm. Go ahead! Give it a try!