lede of the day

in journalism your first paragraph is called your lede.

your lede is supposed to both summarize the root of your piece and hook the reader in an interesting way.

theres a little bit of an art to it, and top notch journalists often take pride in their ledes.

its spelled that way because in the olden days of typography “leading” referred to the the amount of space there would be between the letters to make the copy easier to read and/or fit in the newspaper column better.

this is why when you wanted to talk about how the letters were spaced you’d say “yo whats up with that leading” but if you wanted to say “omg the Guardian just busted with the sweetest lede on their feature on Werner Herzog” youd spell it that way.

omg the guardian just totally busted and made me feel like my life was a total waste cuz no one’ll ever say any of this about me:

Perhaps it is because the German film-maker Werner Herzog has, over the years, during working hours, been shot at, hauled a steamboat over a mountain, threatened to kill his leading man, thrown himself on a cactus, informed the Greek military that he would kill anyone who got in the way of his filming, been caught in the middle of a South American border war, taken a film crew to the lip of a volcano, and once, on camera, ate his shoe, he has a reputation for, let’s say, reckless eccentricity.

one of these days i’ll let my hair down.