Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Headlines are for...well, written by, idiots

Anyone who has worked at a newspaper can attest to the fact that most copy editors are 1) arrogant, and 2) dumber than they should be. Basically, they suck. C'mon - who decided that the guys and gals who layout pages are also wordsmiths, and should be in charge of writing the headlines? Someone with a single-digit IQ, clearly (in other words, management.) I've never understood the lure of the copy-editing position. If you're gonna work at a newspaper (e.g., long hours for low pay and little reward), don't you at least want to break stories and write, as opposed to sitting at a machine until the wee hours of the morning?

But I digress.

Mind you, reporters get the brunt of it - calls from livid and insane readers bitching about why "you" wrote a certain stupid or libelous headline...ah, but we WISH we had written the headlines! They'd at least be grammatically correct. And very possibly accurate. But anyway. Here are some recent gems:

Fatal Tour Boat Unsafe (no, really?)

Republicans Want to Turn Over a New Page (I'll bet! You bring the vaseline?)

Priest's Relations With Foley to be Probed (See former comments)

Boring Man Dies in Car Crash (Interesting Man in Hospital)

2 comments:

Darth Weasel said...

I always liked the ones like "Deceased man found dead". As opposed to what, man found badly injured whom we then killed?

Leslie said...

Yestery I wrote a lede that said a girl "shot like a rocket through her short life."
The copy editors, without consulting me, decided that "sped" was a better word than "shot." But the copy editor who retyped it mispelled it "shed." She "shed like a rocket"? What the hell does that mean? She dropped parts of herself into the atmosphere?
My fantasy on what to do to copy editors was best expressed by P.G. Wodehouse:
http://www.themediadrome.com/content/poetry/wodehouse_printers_error.htm