QUERIES When did the


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.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com