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“For the most part, writing has a single purpose: to communicate. That means that as writers, it is our job to get to the point as quickly and as concisely as possible. Burying the lede means the opposite of that. When someone buries the lede it means the writer is holding the most important information back for a big reveal the reader will eventually get to, strung along by anticipation of what’s coming. That sounds pretty good in theory. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. Burying the lede not only causes frustration and increases bounce rate for online content, but it also prevents us from succeeding at why we’re writing in the first place: to communicate. If we bury the lede, we’re not saying anything. So let’s take a look at how that can be avoided.
Bury the Lead or Lede?
First off, let’s get it straight. The phrase is bury the lede, not bury the lead. It’s an easy mix-up to make, especially as the word ledeisn’t exactly an everyday word for most people. Lead is a verb meaning “to show the way [. . .] by being in front“, while lede is a noun meaning “opening sentence or paragraph of a news article, summarizing the most important aspects of the story.”
In the most technical sense, lede is jargon developed in the 20th century by journalists to avoid confusion with the idea of the “lead story” or “leading news” of the day. It’s caught on, and because language is always evolving, has become part of the modern writer’s toolbox.”
Read the whole thing here.
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