This wasn’t a documented list, it was more of an oral tradition, handed down from one generation of suckers that go into journalism to the next.
One of these lists was a list of compound name descriptions. Journalists love to cut words by hyphenating and compounding adjectives and place them in front of a name.
For example, you might read about “ex-county commissioner and alleged nun killer Joe Smith.” The funny thing was that when one writer comes up with such a description, it is often used over and over again by other writers covering the same topic.
So we had a list of modifiers you never want to have in front of your name. I can’t recall all of it from memory, so I’ve started a new one. Please feel free to add you own.
- alleged stalker of Madonna
- bearded Montana recluse
- spiderhole-dwelling former dictator
- notorious Queens drug lord
- celebutante hotel heiress
- accused ex-Enron exec
- Mafia turncoat and key government witness
- militant anti-gay preacher