Romps, Tots and Boffins – the strange language of news

Romps papers.jpg largeWhere is drunken vandalism always a “booze-fuelled rampage?”
Where is everyone in uniform a “hero” and every thief “heartless”?
Where are market towns always “bustling” and villages “sleepy”?

Journalese is the language of news. It’s a strange language, a little like English. I’ve been working around native speakers for two decades, living as one of them and learning their ways, and in my book, Romps, Tots and Boffins – The Strange Language of News, I make their secrets available to the public for the first time. You don’t need to thank me.

You can read some of the funny bits, see what people are saying or just take my word for it that it’s a “must read laugh-a-minute page-turner” and buy it from Waterstones, or The Book Depository, or your local bookshop. Or, you know, order it from Amazon.

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5 Responses to Romps, Tots and Boffins – the strange language of news

  1. Pingback: Cliches in Audio | Online Journalism: The Essential Guide - Steve Hill & Paul Lashmar

  2. Sir Harold Walker says:

    I only came across “Romps, Tots & Boffins” yesterday (in the Oxford & Cambridge Club, you may be glad to hear). Great stuff.
    The work has no index, so I may have missed something. But I did not see either “Mandarins” (any grouping of British civil servants or diplomats of First Secretary rank or above) or “Top Brass” (invariably for senior military officers).

    HookyWalker 16 Dec 14

    • robhutton says:

      Hi, sorry for the delay – this got caught in a spam filter. “Mandarins” we do have – page 89 – but “Top Brass” is a Glaring Omission, for which I can only apologise.

  3. Philip Connolly says:

    [Ditto Sir Harold Walker vis-a-vis index]:

    Last chance saloon. Where politicians who have a mistake of which we disapprove may be found

    Quantum, usually followed by leap. Something that is actually teeny tiny but journalists use when significant change has taken place.

  4. Philip Connolly says:

    A variation, picture opps used without fail:

    Animal stock-taking time at zoos

    Choirboys in red costumes skating

    Fruity girls jumping when exam results are published

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