This week, the New York Times announced it is killing the term op-ed.
Invented in 1970, the paper feels it’s no longer descriptive, because its original meaning referred to the location of the opinion page as being “opposite” the editorial page. Therefore, op-ed.
Didn’t know that.
The paper’s opinion editor wrote a long piece explaining the decision and also noted the original term was not meant to suggest that all opinions on the op-ed page were meant to oppose the opinion of Times’ editorials.
Since most opinion pieces are read online, the reference to newspaper real estate has outlived its usefulness, so like Royal typewriters and IBM Selectrics, op-eds have been replaced. They will now be called “Guest Essays.”
We see one problem with this. Not all opinion articles qualify as essays. In fact, most probably don’t. But it sounds good.