"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


"How are you going to monetize it?" asked an OU journalism professor about a year ago when we attended a session on what The Oklhaoman was doing on line, etc.

Thought I to myself, "Self, now there's an academic word that doesn't fit in my culture. Too long in the newsroom, too long reading newspapers, too long thinking journalism is more than a business, too long thinking words matter.

"No self-respecting journalist would ever use the word "monetize," saidize Self.

Can you imagine the old city editor's scowl and cussing when you used that word in a news story? I've been chewed out before, but never approached the scene I can visualize if I'd used that word. You'd be ridiculedized out of the newsroom.

"What the hell does this mean Clark? Write in English, not like some over-educated college professor who has never had anything published except in journals that nobody reads."

Alas, sometime this year, a reporter for the New York Times was writing about the turmoil in the newspaper business, and he used the word "monitize." No wonder newspapers are failing, thoughtIze.

Then I start this blog, and at the top is a tab, "monetize."

What's wrong with "financing," "making money," "Selling ads," etc?

Yesterday Warren Buffett said he would never invest in newspapers, because they're big money losers. We all understood him, and he never used the term "monetize," or "under-monetize," or "negatively monetize." Sounds like educationalese or PR talk to me, or some car salesman trying to cover the fine print.

Monetize, smonetize.
Why don't we journalize and finalize wordizing to endize academicizing failizing?
Let's banize all Anglo-Saxon words. Think how loftizing it would be to "fartize," to editize copy, to writize news, to creatize new words, to obscurize our thoughtizing.

You should readize Orwell's "Politics and the English Language" essay for more verbizing to help us Orwellize our demisizing as journalists. The only journalist I knowize who can legitimately usize this is former OSU student Richard Mize, now at The Oklahoman as real estate editor, where he does his best to redneckize the rest of us.

Monetize? Here's to ruinizing the language.

Ursa tha professa


  1. nice. i do prefer plain-spoken journalism. and warren buffett means he'd never invest ... again, right?

  2. Hey, what the heck kinda dadgum eatin' joint are you at in that picture of yerself drinkin' coffee anyway?! A white CLOTH napkin???

    I'll bet yer drinkin' a frickin' la-tay, too!

    Hie thee to the Cherokee Truck Stop and get a real cup o' joe! And a buffalo burger.



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