Step Up to the Lectern, Please

Image credit: Adapted from benchart / 123RF Stock Photo

Hmm, does this sound familiar?

It appeared in a recent “You Don’t Say,” the blog of Baltimore Sun copy chief John E. McIntyre:

Spot the Error:  From an account of Mitt Romney’s appearance yesterday at the annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People: “Romney stood quietly behind the podium, smiling at the audience as it voiced disapproval.”

Let’s voice disapproval of journalists who use words without knowing what they mean. A podium is a platform on which a speaker stands, from the Greek podion, “foot.” The object on the platform that the speaker stands behind is a lectern. An elevated platform for speakers may also be called a dais or a rostrum.

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