Friday, July 07, 2006

Legally blonde

The shakeup at the Santa Barbara paper has been interesting to read about, if only in the train wreck sense.

A quick recap: Reclusive billionaire owns paper. She quashes news of the opinion editor's DUI sentence and then makes him publisher. Incoming publisher says he'll oversee some news operations, and journalists worry about the separation of news and editorial. And actor Rob Lowe is somehow involved.

One other edict that caught my attention: The reclusive billionaire owner has decided that, when referring to women, blonde will always be spelled with an E, noun or adjective.


At 12:43 PM, July 07, 2006, Anonymous Dana said...

I just found your site and I love it! I am enjoying my browse of your archives. (Yikes, I didn't want to say "enjoying browsing" and had a lapse - is "browse" a noun? Yes. Good.)

Could you please tell me more about "blonde"? The definitions at indicate that "blond" is male and "blonde" is female for both the noun and adjective forms. They also list these terms without a gender association: "platinum blonde" as a noun, "ash-blond" as an adjective, and "strawberry blonde" as a noun. The last as an adjective has the gender association.

This brunette is very confused.

At 1:01 PM, July 07, 2006, Blogger Nicole said...

Hi, Dana. The Associated Press Stylebook has an entry:

blond, blonde Use blond as a noun for males and as an adjective for all applications: She has blond hair.
Use blonde as a noun for females.

Every paper's copy desk is forced to follow strange rulings that were someone's pet peeve once upon a time, so it's not really that big a deal.

But I find it hard to believe that this publisher doesn't have better ways to spend her time.

At 5:04 PM, July 07, 2006, Anonymous Dana said...

Thanks, Nicole!

At 8:26 PM, July 19, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm...idiosyncratic spelling.

See if you can identify a large media company whose public documents are littered with idiosyncratic punctuation -- most notably, having two periods instead of one in instances like this:

"My favorite country singer is Hank Williams Jr.."


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