No still-ness around here

December 11, 2003

The post below reminded me of a story Brian Throckmorton used to tell. He was our features desk copy chief at the Mercury News until he got a better gig back in Lexington, Ky., running the copy desks at the Herald leader.

Brian wasn’t given to Universal Pronouncements in regards to headline writing, but he had one hard-and-fast rule: Headlines with the word “still” in them were banned. Because, if the head says “still” it means “what was true yesterday is true today; there’s no news here.” His favorite saying was passed down to him by another editor, presumably also from the Blue Ridge region:

“The only time I want to see ‘still’ in a headline is if one blows up.”

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