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)


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: