Headline writing

From the Dave Barry blog

February 4, 2004
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Super Bowl boob reference of the day: Janet Jackson as another, um, single out Hats off to the smart-alecks on the Arizona Star copy desk.

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Commas in headlines

February 3, 2004
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Nicole muses on the right and wrong reasons to put commas in headlines. For those of you who don’t write heads for a living: a comma implies “and”: Scores of angry ducks, geese infest City Hall Nicole’s point is that it’s bad enough we’ve turned “and” into a comma … we shouldn’t make headlinese...

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Sponge for ridicule

January 15, 2004
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I am speaking of yet another example of Poynter Institute silliness, this time praising so-called prize-winning headlines. I could link to the list but I prefer the outpouring of invective over at Testy Copy Editors.

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Headline of the Day

December 31, 2003
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Did you know the Poynter site has been taking these submissions since September 2002? Neither did I.

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A thread on heads

December 26, 2003
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Blanp rails yet again on people’s lopsided notions of “good” headlines. My favorite riposte: Nearly all winners in headline contests are puns. Usually, they aren?t even funny. Copy editors see this and draw the lesson that they are supposed to turn every headline into a joke, because they have learned that that is the...

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‘Got Him’ and so forth

December 15, 2003
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Testy Copy Editors mull the headlinage on Saddam’s capture. Consensus is that “Ace in the Hole” was a bad idea.

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No still-ness around here

December 11, 2003
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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...

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On the genius of Dr. Seuss

November 21, 2003
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… and how we do ourselves few compliments by trying to walk in his shoes. Nicole and Clay agree we’re not exactly clever when we get all Seussian in regards to the “Cat in the Hat” movie. In deference to Mr. Blanchard, I made a weak attempt to discourage similar hilarity on our desk,...

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Worst headline foul-ups

November 12, 2003
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Array of them revealed at Testy Copy Editors. Even the mighty Blanp has some doozies. I also liked this comment. I find that it’s usually the most productive, strap-the-newspaper-on-their-back copy editors who make these shockingly embarrassing mistakes. That’s because they’re accepting the most opportunities to make mistakes day after day. It’s the same way...

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Nice head

November 7, 2003
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On stand, she’s Rosie the Riveting

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