Funny Headlines

I love headlines. One on-line service defines “headline” as “a heading at the top of an article or page in a newspaper or magazine”. This seems rather limited now since many on-line services and other organs use headlines to encourage readers. Perhaps Merriam-Webster on-line has a better definition, “Words set at the head of a passage or page to introduce or categorize”, but then they offer a 2nd definition as weak as the first meaning above, “A head of a newspaper story or article usually printed in large type and giving the gist of the story or article that follows”. This is altogether more descriptive and accurate, but does it apply to just newspapers that people seldom read today?

What I do know is that good headlines are difficult to write. Way back when I actually worked for a newspaper or two, I often had little trouble writing an article but then agonized over how to word the title. Writing a blog is tricky. It’s hard to use words that will help readers find stuff to read that suits their exact interests. Often a headline seems generic and dull even though it’s far more helpful.

Anyway, I collect unusual headlines and have for years. Today I googled weird headlines and was surprised by how many services like huffpost.com use headlines to stimulate the imagination like “OREGON THIEF BERATED MOM WHO LEFT 4-YEAR-OLD BOY IN CAR HE STOLE”. This is, in my opinion, unwieldy but curious and funny. I want to read the article.

Below are some recent headlines that I found today followed by some that are old and I recently found in a folder. I have proof that they were once actually used.

MISSIPPI’S LITERACY PROGRAM SHOWS IMPROVEMENT

MURDERER SAYS DETECTIVE RUINED HIS REPUTATION

BEST MAN LEFT BLEEDING AFTER BEING HIT….BY FLYING DILDO.

FEDERAL AGENTS RAID GUN SHOW, FIND WEAPONS

and LOOSE COW IN MASSACHUSETTS CAPTURED AFTER SIX MONTHS

The following were in my folder and were really used

TIPSY TABOO

JUST-REPAIRED PLANE CRASHES INTO TOY FACTORY

DOG KILLED, COUPLE HURT IN FIRE AT BOWLING ALLEY

STOVE, LEFT ON, DESTROYS KITCHEN

SHOT MAN WON’T TALK TO POLICE

and my favorite, which could apply to me, THE MAN WHO’S BEEN EVERYWHERE, EXCEPT THESE PLACES

Headlines that make you want to read on do work, in my opinion, superbly.

Hank

About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

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