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Thoughtless Headlines?

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Have you ever laughed out loud reading the headlines in the newspaper? It certainly beats the weeping that some headlines cause! Our local writers have a special knack at coming up with punny headlines and even the occasional head-scratchers that leave you wondering if the wording was intentional.

I have collected some headlines in my files that I'm sharing today, followed by some scanned pictures of some bad headlines or opening sentences.

(Disclaimer: the humor of some of these is in how inappropriate their wording makes them sound.)

March Planned For Next August

Lucky Man Sees Pals Die in Crash

Blind Bishop Appointed To See

L.A. Voters Approve Urban Renewal By Landslide

Patient At Death's Door — Doctors Pull Him Through

Latin Course To Be Canceled — No Interest Among Students, et al.

Diaper Market Bottoms Out

Stadium Air Conditioning Fails — Fans Protest

Women's Movement Called More Broad-Based

Researchers call murder a threat to public health

Police use tear gas, SWAT team, battering ram, stun gun to oust woman 65

8 Bagels for $1.49 — Limit 3

Death in the ring: Most boxers are not the same afterwards

Ski areas closed due to snow

Chester Morrill, 92, Was Fed Secretary

Shut-Ins Can Grow Indoors With Lights

Legalized Outhouses Aired by Legislature

Difference between day and night found on tour of Torrington schools

All Utah Condemned to Face Firing Squad

Jerk Injures Neck, Wins Award

Fried chicken cooked in microwave wins trip

Tester links pygmy defect to shortness

Fire officials grilled over kerosene heaters

Lower Age for Elderly Opposed

Sewer input sought

Man shot to death in Cavalier Manor

Reader is upset over dog eating Filipinos

Safety Experts Say School Bus Passengers Should Be Belted

British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands

Lung Cancer in Women Mushrooms

Lansing Residents Can Drop Off Trees

New Vaccine May Contain Rabies

Man Minus Ear Waives Hearing

Prosecutor Releases Probe into Sheriff

Mirror robber given 10 months to reflect

Lack of brains hinders research

'Light' meals are lower in fat, calories

Alcohol ads promote drinking

Malls try to attract shoppers

Official: Only rain will cure drought

Survey Finds Dirtier Subways After Cleaning Jobs Were Cut

Low Wages Said Key to Poverty

Man shoots neighbor with machete

Dirty-Air Cities Far Deadlier Than Clean Ones

Bible Church's focus is the Bible

Something Went Wrong In Jet Crash, Expert Says

Police Begin Campaign To Run Down Jaywalkers

Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case

Iraqi Head Seeks Arms

Survivor of Siamese Twins Joins Parents

Enraged Cow Injures Farmer with Ax

Eye Drops Off Shelf

Teacher Strikes Idle Kids

Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim

Killer Sentenced To Die for Second Time in 10 Years

War Dims Hope for Peace

If Strike Is not Settled Quickly, It May Last a While

Cold Wave Linked to Cold Temperatures

Local Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide

Red Tape Holds up New Bridge

Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery, Hundreds Dead

Man Struck by Lightning Faces Battery Charge

New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group

Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft

Kids Make Nutritious Snack

Clock Thief Faces Time

Hospitals Are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors

Include Your Children When Baking Cookies

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant

Stolen Painting Found by Tree

Two Sisters Reunited after 18 Years in Checkout Line

Deer Kill 17,000

Chef Throws His Heart into Helping Feed the Needy

Arson Suspect is Held in Massachusetts Fire

British Union Finds Dwarfs in Short Supply

Ban on Soliciting Dead in Trotwood

Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half

Old School Pillars Are Replaced by Alumni

Bank Drive-in Windows Blocked by Board

4-H Girls Win Prizes for Fat Calves

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"If Scripture doesn't take me to a Christ-centered life, I've missed the point of Scripture." - Dr. Drew Conley

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

Ever wonder why you don't ever see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"?

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10 Comments on “Thoughtless Headlines?”

  1. #1 Jessica
    on Dec 1st, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    These were great. I think I’ll use some of them for my English class this week. (We’re studying misplaced modifiers.)

  2. #2 Rob
    on Dec 2nd, 2008 at 6:50 am

    @Jessica – Glad to hear that not only did the headlines amuse you, but also that some will be used to teach others to go and *not* do likewise!

  3. #3 Dave
    on Dec 2nd, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    I’m reminded of one I read recently about a football player who had to take some time off because of a death in the family:

    McAllister’s mother passes away, out indefinitely.

  4. #4 Rob
    on Dec 2nd, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    @Dave – I love it! Thanks for sharing that great example. It left me wondering if she ever came to or came back….

  5. #5 Michael
    on Dec 2nd, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    Hilarious stuff. You have to wonder if some of them are intentionally funny. And, I must defend those who write headlines. I worked on a student newspaper in college and writing headlines is actually a lot harder than you might originally think. You have this limited amount of space and you’re trying to say something eye-catching in just a few words. Sometimes you pick words you wouldn’t normally use because you have more white space to fill and therefore need a longer word or you don’t have enough white space and therefore need a shorter word. And, if you’re doing this late at night, then you might end up communicating something that was most unintended.

    Also, Rob, the final Jeopardy answer last night involved French. I actually got it right, too. Basically, they were looking for a French word of just three vowels that was a homophone to a vowel in English. The question is “What is eau?”

  6. #6 Rob
    on Dec 2nd, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    @Michael – I know whereof you speak … my title for each blog post is often the hardest part of putting the post “out there.” Since that is the part that shows up in some of the feeds, I try to make it something that will pique the interest at least a little.

    Bravo on your coup on Jeopardy. The French word “eau” is indeed a wonder. I tell people who ask me about it to think H-2-eau.

  7. #7 Vikki
    on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 9:29 am

    I love it! Isn’t it amazing how little things like this can amuse us? I also have to wonder why parents name their kids some of the things they do. When I was a kid I lived next door to Chris Kringle and went to school and worked with two different people named Candy Cane. I also worked with Evergreen Forest who had a sister named Birch. All were their given names, not their nick names. A good friend of mine was born on Christmas Eve and her last name was Bell. She had red hair (and green eyes as it turns out). Her father was insistent that they name her Jingle Bell. Her mother quickly filled out and turned in her birth certificate when he wasn’t around with Judith and she’s been forever grateful.

    Concerning the Jeopardy comment of “eau”, we’re from Wisconsin where there are a lot of cities and towns with French or Indian names. It’s always fun to hear people who aren’t from there, or TV news castors new to the area, try to pronounce some of the towns. Some of the more massacred French names are Eau Claire, Trempealeau, and my favorite, Butte Des Morts. The hysterical part is, when you tell them the correct pronunciation, they argue with you and ask if you’re sure. When we lived outside of Chicago, my boss had a daughter who moved to Minneapolis and told me that they drove through Eau Claire on the way, but he called it ē-ū klār-ē. I told him it was pronounced ō klĕr and received the usual “Are you sure?” “Yes, I’m sure.” “You’re positive?” “Yes, I’m positive.” “Really?” “I’ve been there many times and have an uncle who lives there, so yes, I’m sure.” The French names I understand, French is a written language and the cities are spelled in French. What I don’t understand are the strange spellings of the Indian names. There was no written Indian language, so who decided to spell them the way they did? Or take translating languages like Russian, Japanese, Chinese, etc. into English. Just because they have a different alphabet than we do, who decided the English spelling should be so bizarre and not simply phonetic?

    Ya gotta love this country. Its heritage is truly a combination of people from all over Europe and beyond who brought al little bit of home along with them and named their new homes accordingly.

  8. #8 b.j.
    on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    To comment on the weird names, I have heard of two sisters called Daybreak Dawning and Twilight Glory. A Rhodes family with kids named “Rocky, Dusty, and Misty”. And two brothers whose names are pronounced Oar-longe-ee-low and Ee-longe-ee-low. Their names are spelled Orange Jello and Yellow Jello. I’m SO glad I have a common, normal name!

  9. #9 Jill
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 4:59 am

    Speaking of psychics never winning the lottery, Jerry Seinfeld wrote psychics should be licensed, and to earn the license they should be able to parallel park a car while blindfolded.

  10. #10 Rob
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 6:05 am

    @Vikki – Parental naming practices have long intrigued me. I need to let that idea simmer on a back burner for a future blog post. I love the pronunciation woes of the upper Midwest with all the French and Indian influence. We had some of that where my wife and I grew up in NW Ohio, but way more when we lived in the Detroit area. I could do a whole post on some of those atrocities too! Here’s one example – when we went up for our daughter’s wedding, her church in on Schoenherr. Being a former German prof, I knew that that is German for “handsome man” (minus an adjective ending). When I pronounced it as the Germans would – shøn h ěr, I was asked what in the world I was talking about. When I wrote the name for the person, I got, “OH! That’s pronounced shāner!” Hilarious! Thanks for your great comment, Vikki!

    @b.j. – I’ve really got to consider doing a funny person names post soon! I’m also glad you have a common name like b.j.! 😉

    @Jill – That’s a good one about the parallel parking! By the way, are you still living in Germany? Good to hear from you!