When did the first, or “leading,” paragraph of a news story — the “lead” for short — become the “lede”?
The change must have come sometime after 1964, when I learned to write a lead in eighth-grade journalism class.
And, whenever it happened, why?
Kevin Drum reports being told that the spelling “lede,” like “graf” (for paragraph) and “hed” (for headline), was originally used to warn compositors that the word in question was an instruction, not part of the copy to be set in type. Could be.