Hole In Bagel Story

Alastair Cooke’s America tells the following anecdote to illustrate the divergence between British and American English:

bagel I remember once, during a strike in New York when the salmon wasn’t coming in, there seemed to be a glut of bagels in the Jewish bakeries. In a whimsical moment I sent a cable to my editor warning him that I was about to put a piece on the wire to be entitled, “Lox Lag Brings Bagel Boom.” He cabled right back: “your message hopelessly garbled it reads lox lag brings bagel boom.”

A glut is of course not the same thing as a boom, but never mind. Anyway, Mike Lyle expresses doubt as to the veracity of this story, but doesn’t say why. But I can think of at least one reason for skepticism: since when do journalists get to pick the titles of their own stories?


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