Why do editorials have such irrelevant and circuitous introductions?
February 17, 2013 12:53 PM Subscribe
On a cold and New York winter afternoon, I sipped at my coffee and wondered at how to best phrase my question. I decided a direct approach would be best: when did editorials start to feature such long-winded and irrelevant introductions? What happened to the "reverse pyramid" I was taught in elementary, where you put the most important features first? Why is it not until the middle of the third paragraph that I usually find out what I'm reading? And do most readers actually like this style?
posted by Citizen Premier to Media & Arts (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This type of writing almost definitely predates the internet, but I still have to wonder why it still appears online. When I start to read an editorial, I have no idea if it was written by a genius world-traveling astronaut with a PhD in traffic management or a 14 year old who is just upset that he has to write a literary analysis of Macbeth. There is a strong possibility that a large body of text is going to be a complete waste of time, and as such I would vastly prefer to read details before I read about the author's lunch.
I know this has the form of a rant, but I'm sure that many of these editorialists must have taken classes where they were given a reason for this writing style, and I'd like to hear the reasoning.