This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Saturday, 13 December 2014

Saturday Rave: headlines. Anonymous.

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.


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