Shot, shell, whatever

There is work called "journalism" which was a trade when I learned it but which has become a "profession." The journalist now "professes" his desire to improve the world; this places reporting tradecraft at the bottom of a long list of more urgent priorities.

For us, this means reading endless stories that refer to Civil War shells or bombs as "cannonballs" and vice versa. Here, have another: "Civil War-era cannonball safely detonated." Note that "It turns out the cannonball was filled with gunpowder." Full of tricks, those cannonballs.

In a different kind of balls, Private Eye collects this kind of nonsense in a weekly column called "Colemanballs," named after an incompetent sports broadcaster. We need columns like that in this country, if shaming can still do any good.