Foreign-Owned Hotels Invite Tokyo to Taste Luxury Anew
(The Washington Post, April 3, 2007)
I think this is foremost a good headline because it is intriguing. My own bias is to assume that hotels bring foreign luxuries to tourists, not that foreign hotels bring luxuries to cities where, apparently, the hotels aren’t indigenous. What sort of “new luxury” could Tokyo be experiencing, a city, after all, which is regarded in the west as luxurious in that it is different than what most of us know? The article immediately gets to the point by describing the “fresh” and “immaculate” décor of Tokyo’s new Ritz-Carlton hotel. “New luxury” for Tokyo is something, which might be more familiar to American readers—large expensive suites and the like—and “old luxury” like traditional Japanese rooms, acquire new meanings in this article. I believe the headline does a good job of summarizing the feel and drawing the reader in by intrigue.
Not So Good Headline
'Something went drastically wrong': 20 die in plane crash
(USA Today, December 20, 2005)
My main problem with this headline is that it is not descriptive. Plane crashes, especially fatal ones, can usually be attributed to something going “drastically wrong,” (and if that’s not the case, then that’s the story, even in a post Sept. 11 America.) Though at the time the article was written, little was known about the crash, the headline could have centered on the fact that the aircraft was a vintage propeller driven seaplane or that it actually flew regularly before it’s demise, or more specific to the crash, witnesses on the Miami beach saw what they perceived to be smoke and an explosion before a wing fell off and the plane ultimately went into the sea. Descriptors like this would make this plane and this crash unique, rather than one of hundreds or thousands of unfortunate aircraft malfunctions and deaths.