Gawker bans ‘Internet Slang’

"We want to sound like regular adult human beings, not Buzzfeed writers or Reddit commenters," new Gawker Editor Max Read says in a memo to the publication’s writers. Words like "epic," "pwn" and "derp" are no longer welcome on the site. Read also says the word "massive" is "never to appear on the website Gawker dot com."

He also asks staffers not to use strikethrough for corrections, preferring they “change the wording and link from there to a comment noting the corrected text.” He singles out a correction by J.K. Trotter that was done in “the proper spirit and is funny to boot.”

Full memo:

I meant to send this out on Monday but forgot. These are my exclamation points.


• Strikethroughs. No more strikethrough tag. It’s HTML styling, and it gets stripped in Google searches, RSS, tweets, through copy-pastes, etc., completely fucking up our meaning, especially in headlines (e.g.: http://gawker.com/5974190/here-is-a-list-of-all-the-assholes-who-own-guns-in-new-york-city)

For corrections, rather than strikethrough, change the wording and link from there to a comment noting the corrected text, as Tom does here: http://gawker.com/thanks-ill-correct-it-and-link-down-to-this-correctio-1554296985.

(While we’re at it I want to note Keenan’s correction here, which is done is the proper spirit and is funny to boot: http://gawker.com/david-brooks-may-not-have-gotten-divorced-after-all-1555282728)

We should strive to make our writing clear and precise even absent any text formatting.

Jokes made using strikethrough are generally not worth saving.

• Internet slang. We used to make an effort to avoid this, and now I see us all falling back into the habit. We want to sound like regular adult human beings, not Buzzfeed writers or Reddit commenters. Therefore: No “epic.” No “pwn.” No “+1.” No “derp.” No “this”/”this just happened.” No “OMG.” No “WTF.” No “lulz.” No “FTW.” No “win.” No “amazeballs.” And so on. Nothing will ever “win the internet” on Gawker. As with all rules there are exceptions. Err on the side of the Times, not XOJane.

• The word “massive.” Is never to appear on the website Gawker dot com. Here’s a handy list of synonyms for your headline toolkit:

> huge, enormous, vast, immense, large, big, mighty, great, colossal, tremendous, prodigious, gigantic, gargantuan, mammoth, monstrous, monumental, giant, towering, elephantine, mountainous, titanic; Herculean, Brobdingnagian; monster, jumbo, mega, whopping, humongous, hulking, honking, bumper, astronomical, ginormous

Keep reading Roy Peter Clark’s story to find out how you can show signs of listening, rather than the bad habits he has laid out above.


LinkedIn Corporate Communication Manager Yumi Wilson will be walking through how to make LinkedIn work for your job search.

Send us many questions and comments!


Join us in 10 minutes for a live chat with Yumi Wilson, Corporate Communication Manager at LinkedIn to find out how to make the most of LinkedIn when searching for a job. 

Open up Poynter.org and your LinkedIn profile to make the most of Yumi’s strategies. 

Twitter users can send us questions using the hashtag #poynterchat.


The winners of four 2013 Pulitzer Prizes came together Tuesday night at Poynter to talk about their work and their wins. They came from Florida, New York and a shop with people scattered around the country, from three large papers and one nonprofit news site. They won for work on speeding cops,diluted bitumenfluoride in the water and cross-border corruption at Wal-Mart.

Other than that Pulitzer, the work of the seven people present Tuesday night didn’t have much in common.

But, for most, the processes they used to produce their work did.

(story continues)

Keep reading Kristen Hare’s story to find out what the winners had in common and how you can apply their processes to your work in the newsroom.


Some may find this hard to believe, but there are people — even some from these United States — who are completely indifferent to sports.

Although 112.2 million viewed Super Bowl XLVIII, according to Dan Bell of Fox Sports, that still means upwards of 201 million people across America were spending their Sunday afternoon doing something else, something that in all likelihood didn’t involve a sporting event.

That said, it’s clear that sports — along with extreme weather, celebrity news and political scandal — has not only grown in coverage nationally and locally, it now regularly breaks into general news and grabs the lead spots on front pages and homepages.

(story continues)

Keep reading Steve Lepore’s article on Poynter.org.


What can LinkedIn do for your career other than show people your work history?

Tune in to our live chat with LinkedIn Corporate Communication Manager Yumi Wilson at 3 p.m. ET today to find out. 

We’ll be covering many strategies so make sure you open one window for Poynter.org and another for your LinkedIn profile page.

Twitter users can also send us questions with the hashtag #poynterchat.


Join us now for a live chat on what happens when a journalism career breaks with Warren Watson from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. 

Twitter users can send us questions using the hashtag #poynterchat.


The upcoming deadline for the Google Journalism Fellowship is this tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 31!   

This fellowship offers you the chance to work with a nonprofit journalism organization during the summer and to spend your final week with Google. A stipend covers your expenses and travel.  

Tip: Make sure you submit your applications early in case the website jams from last minute applications.  

If you have questions, ask our Google Journalism Fellow Anna Li on Twitter @ax_li.