YESTERDAY AND TOMORROW….This is the ultimate in trivia, but I’m curious about something. When I was in journalism school I was taught never to use “yesterday” or “tomorrow” in news stories, since those words could be misconstrued depending on when the reader happened to be reading the story. (“Today” was OK, though.) Thus, instead of “The president said yesterday that Karl Rove is a fine human being,” it should be “The president said on Tuesday that Karl Rove is a fine human being.”
This always seemed like a sound rule to me, and it seems even sounder today given that stories are often published on the web on the day before they appear in print. For example, if a story is dated tomorrow, but refers to “yesterday” in the text, it’s actually referring to the same day that I’m reading it. Pretty confusing, no?
Despite this, I see “yesterday” and “tomorrow” used all the time in news stories these days (although you might notice that I almost never do ? old training dies hard), and I’m wondering what happened to the old rule? Is it dead and gone? Are copy editors just being sloppy? Or what?