Monday, October 8, 2007

No, not February 30

OK, journalism junkies: This is for you.

A few weeks ago, when I cleaned out my office at the P-I, I titled a sad little post about the afternoon "30," explaining that the number is an archaic newspaper marking for the end of a story.

Now, in its October/November issue, American Journalism Review has come along with a little piece about the many competing theories explaining the tradition. One amusing anecdote in the story concerns a New York Times reporter who typed "30" at the end of his article about the shooting of two police officers. A correction was required when a copy editor didn't get it and appended 30 onto the last word of the story, February -- overlooking, as AJR put it, that February 30 "doesn't occur even in the leapest of leap years."

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