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Journalism usage[edit]

The following debatable usage has been moved here in the absence of verification.

lede (plural ledes)

  1. The opening or leading paragraph of a news story, which usually presents the key elements of the story. An alternate spelling is "lead" (rhymes with heed), which has other meanings as well. Using lede not only clarifies the meaning, but also avoids confusion with lead (rhymes with head), which is a typesetting term.

See also Wikipedia article on news style and structure. Eclecticology 19:23, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, it is used that way, and a quick internet search confirms it. Journalists revived the 15th century spelling so that the typesetters could easily differentiate between "the text of this story starts here" and "give me a blank line here." A few traditionalists still use the archaic spelling, for essentially the same reasons that some of them mark the end of their stories with -30- 18:24, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Requests for verification - kept[edit]

Kept. See archived discussion of February 2008. 07:01, 7 March 2008 (UTC)


older citations would be useful 22:50, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

My thought exactly, so I went and did it. As a side-effect, it provided some historical etymology, too. 11:34, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Journalistic meanings of lead[edit]

A journalist has to contend with three possible meanings of non-metallic lead:

  1. idea or potential source for a good story
  2. the first sentence or paragraph for the story
  3. the main front-page story.

This could lead, in principle, to a reporter asking an editor: "could you keep any hint about how I got my lead(1) out of the lead(2) of the lead(3)?" At least 2 and 3 would come up at the editor's desk. The spelling distinction seems useful.

Adding the now-mostly-dated printers' senses of the homographic metal term, there is great potential for confusion.

I have not seen the 4-way confusion potential here hypothesised mentioned elsewhere. Anyone in the field have any thoughts, experiences, facts, or references? DCDuring TALK 11:23, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

A further reference: NYT "On Language DCDuring TALK 11:39, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Lede does not appear in any journalism style books or textbooks until 1959, (see Lead Paragraph) and through the 1960's & 70's it's very sporadic (and was even omitted in several post 1959 versions). Here's the actual 1927 article cited in the above NY Times article as its source for "Lede" - a Nebraska elementary schoolteacher's take on how copywriters work. Hardly a ringing endorsement of a universal copywriter term from days of yore. This is just yore. Lexlex (talk) 22:01, 3 August 2016 (UTC)