Monday, April 09, 2012

Headline Headaches

One of my favorite books is Anguished English, by high-school English teacher Richard Lederer. Its four chapters contain some of the most side-splittingly laughable assaults on the English language you can imagine (well, probably Kathy and Melissa and other experienced educators can imagine others), divided into various categories.

One of the categories deals with newspaper headlines that - intentionally or not - serve up outrageous puns, double entendres, or just plain what on earths??. More of these are discovered all the time (as you know if you've been following my occasional series of Great Moments in Editing), and Miss Cellania published a fine crop of them in her blog recently. Here's her list ...

Infertility Unlikely To Be Passed On (from the Montgomery Advertiser) - tracks with the old observation that if your parents didn't have any children, odds are you won't, either.

Study Finds Sex, Pregnancy Link (from the Cornell Daily Sun) - and here I thought my Father was just trying to distract me from what the stork was doing.

Survey Finds Dirtier Subways After Cleaning Jobs Were Cut (from The New York Times) - do you suppose the Republicans are reading any of these surveys?

Larger Kangaroos Leap Farther, Researchers Find (from The Los Angeles Times) - perhaps Amanda has an opinion on this one.

Light Meals Are Lower In Fat, Calories (from the Huntington Herald-Dispatch) - I think I'll withhold judgment on this one until I see the science.

Alcohol Ads Promote Drinking (from The Hartford Courant) - I thought that was the point, but what do I know?

Malls Try To Attract Shoppers (from The Baltimore Sun) - perhaps they should try using giant magnets.

Official: Only Rain Will Cure Drought (from the Westpost, Massachusetts, Herald-News) - that's not true! According to the GOP, lower taxes and elimination of job-killing government regulations will fix any problem, including this one!

Teen-Age Girls Often Have Babies Fathered By Men (from The Sunday Oregonian) - well, who else do you think might be fathering them?

Low Wages Said Key to Poverty - (from Newsday) - this isn't true! According to the GOP, lower taxes and elimination of job-killing government regulations will fix this problem, too!

Man Shoots Neighbor With Machete (from The Miami Herald) - in a related story, another man was accused of stabbing his neighbor with a 12-gauge shotgun.

Economist Uses Theory To Explain Economy (from the Collinsville Herald-Journal) - and every economist has his (or her) own theory, and none of them agree, and the economy is still in the toilet. QED.

Bible Church's Focus Is The Bible (from the Saint Augustine, Florida, Record) - well, that certainly clears things up.

Court Rules Boxer Shorts Are Indeed Underwear (from The Journal of Commerce) - I wonder if conservative politicians have gotten hysterical over this clear case of unwarranted interference by activist judges in the foundation garment business?

Lack Of Brains Hinders Research (from The Columbus Dispatch) - recent events also demonstrate that it hinders good governance as well.

Just a little something to tee up another week for you. Remember, you can always send scans of your favorite Great Moments in Editing to ol' Bilbo for use in future posts. I'll always give you credit.

Have a good day. More thoughts coming ...



eViL pOp TaRt said...

Those were great headlines. Whoever wrote them really didn't think long or deeply about what they said.

KathyA said...

I just love these!! And your right, dear friend. I've seen some great ones!

I really enjoyed teaching dangling and misplaced modifiers for this very reason.

Have you seen the commercial for some drug that states: "Not for those taking aspirin and the elderly"? :)

Mike said...

'Infertility Unlikely To Be Passed On'

I think this needs to be studied more. I'm volunteering for the study.

Duckbutt said...

Study Finds Sex, Pregnancy Link

That poses some difficulties for the "finding babies on tree stumps in the woods" theory also.

Politicians, of course, are parthenogenetic.