Because a headline has to grab your immediate attention and hold it long enough for you to settle down and actually read the article, making these few dynamic words really stand out is an opportunity for writers to do their best work. Or their worst. Sometimes summing up that bit of news you are reporting on exposes exactly how absurd your story really is. Take these examples:
Maybe his leg was the only part of him intact enough to feel pain?
In other startling revelations: roads help people go places!
Their mothers never told them where the potty water goes?
A nice, well-funded, carefully calculated study can convince us to accept the most surprising of results.
This is like a seminar on time management being cancelled because of time restraints.
The title “mistress of the night” was already taken. Mr. Universe has some answering to do to Mrs. Universe, however.
They also hired 50 government experts to analyze if they are hiring too many experts.
They painted it too well. If only they had the remote door lock opener to make the vehicle chirp.
Caskets can turn up in the strangest of places.
“Sir, how did you know there would be weapons on the premises?” “Call it a hunch.”
Interesting that it doesn’t drop off sooner!
They’re making some severe cuts; they just fired the head of the block department as well.
At least somebody can enjoy this style of music.
Why are they so stiff lipped?
That is always the last resort for hospitals.
At least he didn’t blame his drivers’ school teacher for giving him a license.
Ah modern day medicine: you can know you will be sick days in advance.
Those parents also put their kids on a hunger strike to protest the flimsy school lunch program.
Good way to ensure the guilty party doesn’t escape.
This is as depressing as when the head for the Suicide Prevention Council took that bottle of aspirin.
I hope “death” is included as one of those hazards.
The radio announcer is to give us a play by play: “Now the moon is moving into position, the sun is right there — if only you could see this!”
Maybe it smelled like flowers? After all, it was the Angel’s Colon.
Sometimes you gotta go through a few patients before the miracle kicks in.
On the contrary, it sounds downright exciting: I’ll put it on my bucket list.
Can they confirm this?
The cigarette store next door however is considering starting a new joint.
I fail to see the connection.
The harder you work at your job the more likely you will go insane.
And I thought I was a dope for losing my keys!
Oh! the tax-dollars spent to fund such studies…
Those retirement homes must be really bad…
I wonder where they get their natural gas?
You better stay under that damn bridge!
Ice skating is hard when it’s not.
Maybe a cat would do the trick?
How the earwax got up there we may never know.
They’re one of the most intelligent breeds.
I think it was just a small indiscretion on the grocer’s part.
Teen is unable to speak of the experience for years.
There’s more than one way to impress the admission board.
His blind buddy never saw such kindness.
Apparently those kids might still get jobs in journalism.
The 43nd was bad enough
MSI owner was Bill Clinton.
Jets mocked them for being so passé.
Is that the title of his video?
Oh, that’s rich!
Psychics are amazingly accurate at predicting the past.
Some of them argued that they weren’t arguing.
What man doesn’t? But can you manager?
Must have been an early bird.
It soon won’t include seniors either, going in that direction.
Something fishy about this article…
Teaching by example is the best way
Soon we’ll be racing at a standstill.
Employees are radiating gratitude.
Pics or it didn’t happen.
Only the wiliest thieves strike between January and Sunday.
Better make him a receiver to loosen him up a bit.
Not all the bottom half received extra help…
Secret Agent Smith can be contacted for questioning at his home address (see map).
As Patton would say, They passed through them like crap through a goose.
The nudists need a heads up
If nothing else works, they could start a new war?
This is from the same guy who said churches should pay a tax-exemption tax.
Well played, forecasters, well played.
Unlike last year, where it only made the snow pile higher.
He speaks from experience.
I knew they needed something but couldn’t figure it out what.
Why they kept the title there they never explained.
I have no respect for this ad-man’s math skills, or zero respect, whatever is less.
So he says, but he’s just full of hot air.
Pass the Pepto please!
Can you guess which 2 of the 11 really didn’t care?
I doubt any violence will be happening in these Baltimore neighborhoods with these giant officers walking around.
I think someone didn’t pass Idioms 101…
Maybe it should be renamed “affordable for some”.
In other news, a pro-life committee has a meeting scheduled at an abortion clinic.
Ouch! Talk about an unintended pun gone horribly wrong.
When you run out of legitimate clients, I guess you have to improvise.
Wow! This whole time I thought breathing oxygen was just a passing fad.
These must be the same people who just figured out that breathing oxygen helps you stay alive.
I guess they just like to brag about their sweet ride.
I want to know who tried chicken manure for their chapped lips?
What are you waiting for? Grab your friends and family and join the fun!
“Wanna see my city plan? You can’t! Its secret. Sure you don’t want to see it? Its really good…”
The taxpayers don’t fund Congress? Well congress could be printing fresh money?
I prefer my Grandparents well done.
No one said the life of a cop is easy, but I really feel for this officer.
What trashy news! Even short stories deserve their privacy!
When you see a cow on the side of the road “will loll for food” it’s udderly heart breaking.
Its a crime to have a crack in your butt? Well I’ve been meaning to get mine fixed…
There is so much wrong with this headline and the picture….
The heading of the article is its moment of truth, in which the writer can find the pith of his message and make it evocative — or, alternatively, undermine the whole thing.