Headlines, good and bad

A good headline:

“iPhone May Not Rock Music Industry”

This June 26 story is from the WBAL site. You can find it here:


This headline uses the subject-verb-object format and makes clever use of the verb “rock.” Like any good headline it makes you want to know more about the story. It uses the qualifier “may not” to reflect the views of some experts without buying the opinion itself.

A bad headline:

Southeast Europe Sizzles; 38 Die”


This is again a June 26 story and is from the WJLA site.

“Sizzles” is an expressive word and is usually used in more informal or light-hearted contexts. Using it in a headline that tells us 38 people have died is a bit tasteless. The headline can be rephrased using the subject-verb-object format. For example, the headline could instead read: “South-east Europe heat wave kills 38.” Also, if there isn’t enough space, “heat wave” could be replaced with just “heat.”

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