1660s, though the thing itself is older (see gazette ); from news (n.) + paper (n.). [T]he newspaper that drops on your doorstep is a partial, hasty, incomplete, inevitably somewhat flawed and inaccurate rendering of some of the things we have heard about in the past twenty-four hours -- distorted, despite our best efforts to eliminate gross bias, by the very process of compression that makes it possible for you to lift it from the doorstep and read it in about an hour. If we labeled the product accurately, then we could immediately add: But it's the best we could do under the circumstances, and we will be back tomorrow with a corrected and updated version. [David Broder, Pulitzer Prize acceptance speech, 1973]
Meantime, too, some of the enterprising humorists of the country had helped themselves to such parts of the work as served their needs, and many of its definitions, anecdotes, phrases and so forth, had become more or less current in popular speech. This explanation is made, not with any pride of priority in trifles, but in simple denial of possible charges of plagiarism, which is no trifle. In merely resuming his own the author hopes to be held guiltless by those to whom the work is addressed — enlightened souls who prefer dry wines to sweet, sense to sentiment, wit to humor and clean English to slang.
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