headline exercise

Good Headline:
This article on Salon.com immediately grabbed my attention:
"A vote for Romney is a vote for Satan"
My first reaction is WHAT???!!! My next reaction is, well, there are quotes there, so somebody SAID that. Then I want to know WHO would be quoted saying something like that?
The quote is simple, to the point, and makes me want to continue reading. It does a perfect job of drawing me into the story without ruining the article. Using quotes as the entire headline seems to be pretty rare, but in this case it’s incredibly effective.
The article is here:

Bad Headline:
Some of the sports headlines are incredibly cheesy.
Haywood Shines Bright Despite Wizards' Woes
“Wizards’ Woes” just strikes me as ridiculous-sounding; it’s such a contrived alliteration it makes me shudder.
Another alliteration I was not a fan of: Rookie Runs to Record: Minnesota 35, San Diego 17. Yes, you’re clever, congratulations, don’t smack us over the head with it.



lindsey said...

Hollywood Strike Turns Punch Lines to Picket Lines
Washingtonpost.com, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/05/AR2007110500138.html

I really like this headline because it is witty and catches your attention. I was wondering why there hasn’t been much hullabaloo surrounding the Writers Guild Strike, and this headline perfectly sums up what has been happening in a few, simple words. If I saw this headline on a website, I would definitely click on it to read more about it.

On main page: Child porn cops arrest Children’s Museum exec
When you click on the story: Children’s Museum employee distributed child porn, officials say
CNN.com, http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/11/06/childrensmuseum.arrest/index.html

I was so confused when I first read, “Child porn cops arrest Children’s Museum exec,” on CNN’s homepage. It was the first story listed on the homepage and it really caught my eye, because it puzzled me that they decided to call the police, “child porn cops.” Huh? The other headline makes much more sense and gives a much clearer picture as to exactly what the situation is regarding the museum executive who is suspected of distributing porn.

Becky said...

Bad Headline: "Wake Forest's Gaudio, Team Honor Prosser"
This headline from washingtonpost.com (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/06/AR2007110602117.html?hpid=sec-sports) is sufficient, but I would consider it poorly written because it requires more than one reading for the average person to understand what it is trying to communicate. There are three reasons for its lack of clarity: First, the average D.C. area reader will not know who Gaudio is. Second, the headline uses the comma to omit the understood "and," but it is located in the middle of the sentence and a reader might not automatically connect the comma to the word "and" due to its less common placement (usually, this type of comma is at the end of the headline). Third and finally, the word honor could serve as both a noun and a verb. These three elements placed consecutively make the headline hard to read.

Good Headline: "Macs are cheaper than PCs, dammit"
This headline from the homepage of salon.com is eye-catching and would persuade me to read the article. It is effective because it states something that most people believe to be the opposite of true in a comical way. The headline clearly presents what will be discussed in the article and it also applies to the majority of readers (almost every reader in today's society owns a Mac or PC).