The Press: A Small Favor

Ever since they dropped words like "Mr." from their headlines, U.S. news papers have made their own language as they went along. Their independence has been limited only by type, column widths, and their own often curious taste. Even Franklin Roosevelt, an old phrase coiner, got nowhere with his "War for Survival." The press* made it World War II, which stuck.

Last week the United Nations' press section made a modest request: would the papers please take the O out of UNO, which was never christened an "Organization?" Manhattan dailies unanimously agreed to make a short headline word even shorter, although the...

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