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Attention Grabbers

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We live in an increasingly distracting world. Public speakers find that "attention grabbers" are useful and at times even necessary in getting their audiences to focus. Newspapers have to do this with headlines. Today I'm posting some headlines that grab the attention for one reason or another. I suspect that some of them were more arresting than the person writing them had hoped for, like the one on the right.

Here's one from this summer that makes you wonder if they understand what a tie is.

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Even an elementary school student could catch the typo in this one, if he or she has learned the ditty "Capital M, I S S, I S S...."

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I wonder if this is the first time this leader was referred to as he was in this headline....

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This is news?!

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I know scientists do some awfully strange things, but this defies any scientific method I've heard of.

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Would any seagull haters like to weigh in on this one?

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This woman has an unfortunate name to be in such a situation.

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Councilmen seem to face all sorts of difficulties, including being short on time....

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It's a shame this next victim was made to feel so small!

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Someone might want to warn this guy's new lawyer!

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Pesticides are not always effective, I guess.

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If you recognize the man in this article, contact the police right away!

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This article should help the police understand why some people aren't talking.

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It seems as if Elvis is not alone, wherever he is....

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Apparently the people of Plains, Georgia thought they had cause for great rejoicing!

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Here's an example of why you have to read beyond the headline and catch the by line (circled in yellow highlighter.)

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No good deed goes unpunished....

If you spot some good headlines, please send them my way! Any thoughts on today's headlines?


"God knows what others need more than you do and why He's given you to them and them to you." - Chris Barney

=^..^= =^..^=

Just because I have a short attention span doesn't mean

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9 Comments on “Attention Grabbers”

  1. #1 Donna Lawrence
    on Aug 5th, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Don’t get me started on seagulls! At the beach last week I was trying to eat a sandwich and one hovered 2 feet away and screamed in my face trying to get me to drop it! The next day, we huddled our chairs in a circle to eat and six of them surrounded us, pacing back and forth just in case. “Rats with wings” (Finding Nemo) about covers it!

    Rob adds: Donna, could you tell us your true feelings without being a racist homophobe? 🙂

  2. #2 Kristin
    on Aug 5th, 2010 at 11:34 am

    LOL, these are awesome! Especially enjoyed the Missippi headline … I do love irony.

    Rob adds: Thanks, Kristin. Glad you enjoyed them.

  3. #3 Stephanie
    on Aug 5th, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Despite “Mississippi” being misspelled, this is actually the way those of us in the South say it: Missippi. We don’t generally talk fast unless it’s a word with more than 2 syllables, in which case we just run it all together.

    I know, it’s sad…

    Rob adds: I remember hearing that that is how it’s pronounced by the locals and thought of that when I read the headline out loud. Thanks for confirming that one for me.

  4. #4 richard
    on Aug 5th, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    This is Hilarious! Where are the proofreaders? Were they sleeping? I agree the southerners might not have caught the Missippi mishap but racist seagulls I mean come on. Great laugh to start the day thanks!

    Rob adds: Glad you enjoyed the post, Richard. You do have to wonder if the economy has caused some newspapers to lay off their editorial staff. 🙂

  5. #5 Gerv
    on Aug 5th, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    “Diana was still alive hours before she died” is from Private Eye, a satirical newspaper. It is lampooning the media’s obsession with Princess Diana, such that they will find any excuse to print a story about her.

    Rob adds: Thanks for the clarification, Gerv.

  6. #6 bet
    on Aug 5th, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Love these, Rob. I use these and others when I teach copy editing …which I will do again this fall. I end up having more sympathy with editors than many noneditors, however. I know how easy it is to let some things slip through when you’re editing lots of copy.

    Rob adds: After working many summers at the press as a proofreader/editor, I share your sympathy for editors. After reading something several times in the various galleys, when the book is finally in print, your eyes are draw almost like magnets to what you had read but not seen several times. I’m sure daily publishing deadlines of copy editors makes the process that much harder.

  7. #7 Janis
    on Aug 6th, 2010 at 6:43 am

    Hi Rob thanks for the article! I found it from this website: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2010/08/05/humorous-headlines

    Have a good day!!

    Rob adds: Thanks, Janis. That could explain things. Justin and Andy have quite a following. I was just amazed at how many times my post has been read in the past 24 hours!

  8. #8 Michael
    on Aug 6th, 2010 at 8:47 am

    I believe I may have mentioned this in a previous comment, but writing headlines has more challenges than simply being succinct and arresting. You also have to fill the space allocated to the headline. Not only does it have to be short enough to fit in the space but it also has to be long enough to fill the space without lots of nasty white patches. That can often cause you to choose words or expressions that are awkward but that will just have to do. You also have to remember that newspapers are usually produced in a short amount of time so it may not be proofread as much as you’d like. Regardless, the innocent mistakes are the funniest.

    Rob adds: I feel their pain, Michael. But the unintentional humor is indeed the funniest.

  9. #9 Lisa Creech Holt
    on Aug 8th, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    Oh, M. Loach, I found your blog during one of my many insomniac moments. I have to say I miss your humor. Now, I’m giggling so much that I may never get to sleep.

    Rob adds: Lisa, it’s good to hear from you! I hope you will follow my blog, either by e-mail or by RSS feed. We *must* get caught up soon!