The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Thursday, May 20, 2004
 

Pols and their initials: another arcanum of journalism?


Just scanning today's piece by the New York Times' Elisabeth Bumiller [1], I detect an anomaly:

Certain namechecks bear the initial of the person in question the first time they're mentioned - and others do not.

Thus we have

Donald H Rumsfeld
Karen P Hughes
Gerald R Ford
Paul D Wolfowitz
Peter T King

but

Ray [H] LaHood
[C] Trent Lott
Chuck [T] Nagel
Jimmy [E] Carter
etc

The usage with Ford and Carter is time-honoured, I think - Carter is always Jimmy, and the diminutive doesn't sit well with the initial.

But why, say, does, Hughes get an initial where Karl Rove - Karl C Rove, apparently - does not?

Is this a sort of code, not intended to be understood by the little people?

[I particularly object to any mark of respect being given to that long-time cheerleader of terrorism, King...]

  1. Widely reviled in liberal circles as a pusher of Bush pap. On this occasion, she offers us flagging morale amongst Congressional Republicans.


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