There is nothing new under the sun, and I can’t say for sure, but I’m pretty certain I’m the guy who invented the exclamation-point lede (EPL). It started with a piecelet Jule Banville and I wrote about coffee tables for oddly shaped rooms for last year’s best-of issue; not totally thrilled with this foray into service journalism I wrote a lede I was sure would get killed by someone smarter than me. But then everyone here liked the EPL! And started to use it! And then we mostly got over the (rather poor) joke.

And today, I was reading Time, and I see Lev Grossman is using the EPL:

Humans! They do like their words. Studies—by scientists who stuck recording devices on them and then counted—suggest that they speak some 16,000 words a day.

It’s a good review. And now I wonder whether I invented anything at all—I can’t imagine Grossman’s scouring our blog archives for narrative devices. Did I tap into an ambient meme? I’m totally gonna have to change a line on my résumé if I’m wrong about this.

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