Perhaps you’ve seen this floating around the interwebs in the last couple of days:
Hadn’t you heard? The word ‘news’ is actually an acronym for Notable Events, Weather and Sport.
It makes perfect sense. Doesn’t it? Doesn’t it?
Twitter seems to think so, with the information spreading far and wide, with re-tweet after re-tweet announcing this is brand new, shiny information we all must know and consume and understand right away.
Except this shiny, brand new information is not shiny and new at all, and certainly not factually correct.
Before long, the acronym was shot to the ground by those who know best, with many proclaiming, ‘how silly! It clearly stands for North, East, West, South instead’.
Unfortunately for poor Sam Schelly, he too spent 19 years being very, absolutely, totally wrong.
According to Snopes, the origin of the the word ‘news’ really is as boring as we’d assume, derived from “the plural form of ‘new'”.
It’s not surprising this explanation sounds a bit odd to us, because new is an adjective and not a noun, so how could it have a plural form? Although adjectives don’t generally have plurals in English, they do in other languages.
When nouveau, the French word for new, modifies a plural (feminine) noun, it becomes nouvelles, which is also the French word for news.
Not so strange after all.
It seems like this is a grand old case of fake news.
Or should I say fake notable events, weather and sports?