Paper Monitor: The bestest superlatives

Stetson
Image caption This is the most American hat ever. Or is it?

Tabloid journalists are not usually prone to playing things down.

As a colleague of Paper Monitor's once said: "Don't write down, write up." What did the up mean? It meant that you should amplify any story as much as you could without actually telling a fib.

So you didn't write "Investigation into accusations at school expanded". Instead, you write it as "shock move in school sex scandal".

The front page of today's Daily Mail is a case in point.

"At last! Internet giant axes links to vile sex-abuse websites in stunning victory for Mail campaign".

It's not just a victory. It's a "stunning" victory.

Then there's another big adjective on the front of the Sun.

"The 'luxury' hotel booked for England's 2014 World Cup stars is beside a reeking open drain containing human sewage."

Another colleague used to say one should avoid adjectives where it was unlikely that the opposite adjective would ever apply. Thus only a cliche-hound writes of a "brutal murder" or "violent clashes".

So, could you really have a "fragrant open drain"?

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