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Why "preps" when talking about public schools?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Nathan Scott Phillips, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. Prep schools are private schools generally geared towards prepping the students for college. Public schools and religious schools don't fit under that definition.

    Yet many papers refer to "prep sports" instead of "high school sports" in print. Isn't this essentially foisting newspaper jargon -- and inaccurate jargon in most cases -- on our readers?

    I couldn't care less what people in the newsroom say as short-hand, but that's one blatant inaccuracy that's bugged me for a while when I see it in print.

    (Oh, and what were the green eye shades for back in the day?)
  2. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    Because all high schools, ostensibly, are preparatory for the next level?
  3. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Yeah. Every high school's curriculum is essentially college preparation.
  4. MartinEnigmatica

    MartinEnigmatica Active Member

    And because "Secondaries" is just way too long.
  5. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    If you asked that question in my office, the answer would be: "You're right, now shut the f*** up."
  6. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    They're just high school sports in New Jersey.
    Not a single paper refers to it as "preps" coverage.
  7. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    In each of the three states I've reported, no paper has ever labeled a section: Prep Baseball, etc. I've only heard it in the office.
  8. Sandman

    Sandman Member

    Like with most newspaper slang, I think it has everything to do with size.

    At my old gig, we used Preps because it was shorter than High Schools. In every sports story, there would be a reverse bar noting what kind of story it was -- those reverse bars were designed to be kinda small, so we could never fit "High School Volleyball" but "Prep Volleyball" fit just fine.
  9. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Same here, but as we talk about this, it occurs to me that "H.S. Volleyball" would fit about the same.
  10. We don't have any prep schools in our area, so I always write high school. My editor calls it preps simply to annoy the shit out of me.

    When I worked on the news side, I dealt in perps, not preps.
  11. azom

    azom Member

    We call them high school sports at the behest of our ME. We joke about it around the office, but heads will roll if "prep" runs in print instead of "high school."
  12. armageddon

    armageddon Active Member

    I graduated from a "private" high school. It was not, by an definition, a "prep" school.

    It was a high school and the words high school were in the name. Now that I think of it, in our coverage area we had more public schools that were "college prep schools" than we did private.
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