A media house should develop its own editorial house style. This subsequently informs how its products will be consistently expressed. In its absence, you are likely to end up with a patch work of different styles. So a story about life in prison, comfortably uses warder and warden interchangeably, which to the not so erudite, might appear to be erroneous.
But a side bar story almost 'ruined the impact' of the supposed expose.
The headline alludes to prison wardens. But further down the body of the story, reference is made to prison warders.
My immediate reaction was that there was a linguistic mix-up.
(Yes, I am one of those not so erudite).
A warder is more likely to be found in a prison, while a warden should be spoken of in the context of wildlife or forest rangers, so I thought.
It turns out that:
- A warder is a guard in prison, in British English.
- A warden is the head official in charge of a prison, in American English.
So now you can appreciate my British-American headache.
The cure of this malady is for media outlets to adhere to a defined editorial house style.