The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Thursday, May 20, 2004
Pols and their initials: another arcanum of journalism?
Just scanning today's piece by the New York Times' Elisabeth Bumiller , 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
Ray [H] LaHood
[C] Trent Lott
Chuck [T] Nagel
Jimmy [E] Carter
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...]
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