The headlines of a newspaper are usually anonymous. They're written by a sub-editor, who doesn't get a credit.
Well, credit isn't always the right word:
MAN ACCUSED OF KILLING LAWYER GETS NEW ATTORNEY
doesn't display the happiest turn of phrase. And neither does:
ONE-ARMED MAN APPLAUDS KINDNESS OF STRANGERS
Now, I'm not saying that headline-writing isn't a sophisticated skill - it is, it is - but quite honestly sometimes all a sub-editor is doing is telling it how it is, as in:
BUGS FLYING ROUND ARE FLYING BUGS
or, another example:
DEAD BODY FOUND IN CEMETERY
Quite often, though, a headline is a work of tremendous skill, thought and cunning; and occasionally even genius:
SUPER CALEY GO BALLISTIC CELTIC ARE ATROCIOUS*
is one to savour for ever. And while we're on the subject of genius, this following example is a sub-headline, really, but it's just too good to leave out. It's from the Ulster Gazette:
Is this the rail price?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught up in land buys
No escape from bureaucracy!
And why are headlines on my mind? Well, I caught sight of one out of the corner of my eye the other day. It said:
FREE RELATIONSHIP COUNSELLING FOR PARSNIPS.
But then I looked again, and it actually said PARENTS.
Never mind. It's still making me laugh.
Word To Use Today: headline. This word...well, it's a line that goes at the head of an article, isn't it. Doh....
*Caley are the soccer team Caledonian Thistle. In February 2000 they defeated Celtic FC 3-1 in the third round of the Scottish Cup. The headline appeared in The Sun.