The word “dateline” is used today mainly to label the bit of text at the top of a printed news story that indicates where and—often, but not always—when it was written. For instance, after a headline about events in Kenya, the dateline might read “NAIROBI, Kenya, June 2, 2010.”

Probably because this rather obscure word has been popularized by its use for the name of an NBC television news show, some people confuse it with “deadline,” which is most often the date by which something must be accomplished. You can miss deadlines, meet deadlines, or have to deal with short deadlines— but not datelines.

Back to list of errors


Common Errors front cover