Sometimes I come across the phrase "A mondey story". I was wondering what it means.

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  • 3
    Who knows? You haven’t shown us where you came across it. You should cite the entire surrounding context and written work. – tchrist Feb 22 '15 at 17:06
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    What @tchrist said. It's not a well-established idiomatic usage, so without context it means nothing more than the literal sense of the words - a (newspaper) story published on Monday. Without an example, there's nothing to add. – FumbleFingers Feb 22 '15 at 17:08
  • Is it perhaps a story explaining why you are not available for work on a Monday? (Heavy week-end?) – WS2 Feb 22 '15 at 17:43

In decades past, Monday newspapers tended to be thin on coverage of political and business developments from the previous day because government offices, stock exchanges, etc., had shut down for the weekend. As a result Monday editions tended to have more than the usual proportion of op/ed think pieces, stories revisiting "evergreen" topics, or articles with an offbeat human-interest angle.

This tendency is alluded to in an article in The New Republic, volume 106 (1942) [quoted snippet doesn't show in the snippet box]:

I don't think that even a Washington columnist, desperate for a Monday story, would venture to predict how this estrangement will be resolved. It started a year ago when Lewis paid off on his election bet, and quit as president of the CIO.

A similar idea seems to be at work in this excerpt from The Best Science Fiction Stories and Novels (1950) [combined snippets]:

In five minutes the lawn was swarming with cameramen. Some of them were grinning. "What a screwy gag for a Monday story," said one. They lost their grins when they smashed their noses on the invisible barrier, ten feet from the shell. Even the most skeptical reporter knew then that we were up against something new.

There is also a hint of the unusual status of Monday stories in this interview between Franklin Roosevelt and a journalist, in The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt: The advance of Recovery and Reform, 1934 (1938) [combined snippets]:

Q. Can't we use this, what you said this afternoon about Tennessee Valley and before — can't we use that?

The President: Instead of using it right now, jot your notes down and let me give you a hint. The National Resources Board preliminary report is coming out, and it ties right in with it. Let me dig that up for you. Don't use it today — use it for a Sunday story or a Monday story.

Q. These notes are worth a thousand dollars at least, minimum.

The President: Wait until you learn more about it. You don't know enough about it to write a story. ...

It may be that "a Monday story" refers to content produced to fill space on this (from the newspaper's vantage point) predictably challenging news-poor day of the week. I must say, though, that I haven't found any direct confirmation of "Monday story" as a recognized term in the daily newspaper industry.

In any case, the modern news cycle doesn't involve governments (or anything else) shutting down for the weekend, so the underlying reason for speaking of "a Monday story" as a particular type of story is undoubtedly far less acute than it once was.

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