This obituary headline totally confused me: “Chapman Pincher, Fleet St. Scoop Specialist, Dies at 100.”
At first it looked like one those weird tabloid headlines that tries to conserve space for huge type by using less words than needed to make sense. Because I thought the “St.” stood for “Saint.” But I didn’t know what a “Fleet Saint” was and what someone’s “scooping” it could possibly mean.
Then the first sentence gave me the answer – and could have been used in the headline: “Chapman Pincher was ballyhooed by his own newspaper, The London Daily Express, as the world’s greatest reporter, and he introduced himself as such.”
Why didn’t the headline say “‘World’s Greatest Reporter’ Dies at 100”?
I guess that would be too easy to make fun of. Especially when you read on: “He said he never took notes, so as not to interrupt the flow of conversation. He had an unimpeachable memory, he said. He tried never to see or touch a classified document, relying instead on the summaries of people he trusted.”
The “St.” stands for “Street.”