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If I've told you once ...

I sometimes suspect that fellow journalists are former seminarians, because so many of them appear to have been instructed by a homiletics professor, “Tell ’em what you’re going to tell ’em, tell ’em, and tell ’em what you told ’em.”

 The suspicion grows particularly strong when I spot the all-too-frequent device of the lead-up to the quoted statement that duplicates the quoted statement:

The sheriff said that authorities know of no motive for the killing.

“We don’t know of any motive for the killing,” the sheriff said.


 An analyst thinks that the company will probably do well in the long run.

“There may have some problems in the start-up, but I think that it will work out in the long run,” said Bruce Flannelmouth of Bluff, Equivocate & Associates.

Or perhaps these writers simply suspect that our attention is flagging. You can see how it might.



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