On Monday, The New York Times let it be known that it was “retiring” the term “Op-Ed,” primarily because its readers aren’t smart enough to understand what an Op-Ed is.
That’s not how they put it, of course.
“Terms like ‘Op-Ed’ are, by their nature, clubby newspaper jargon; we are striving to be far more inclusive in explaining how and why we do our work,” wrote Kathleen Kingsbury, the Times editor who oversees both the paper’s editorial board and its opinion section. “In an era of distrust in the media and confusion over what journalism is, I believe institutions — even ones with a lot of esteemed traditions — better serve their audiences with direct, clear language.”
Because nothing brings clarity better than changing the vocabulary in the middle of the conversation.
For anyone who may not be fluent in Timesian, allow me to translate: You dummies got mad at us when