Friday, November 7, 2008
Did any of you see this story yesterday?
Woman Runs Mile With Rabid Fox Biting Her Arm
Now THAT’s a headline. How could you not read that?
Good headlines are an art form, and they’re surprisingly hard to write. On the Web they’re less restrictive because you don’t have a finite space to fill. But in print they can be tough.
I once won a headline writing competition at a seminar. The story had something to do with a cross-dressing bank robber, and the editors asked everyone in the room to write a headline for the story. We had a specific length to fit, and the key was to provide detail that would make people want to read the article. I was the only one in the room who managed to fit “transvestite” into the headline -- but let’s face it, that’s the key to the story. Otherwise it’s just another bank robbery.
Something must be going on with foxes out there, because I saw another bizarre fox headline yesterday. I think I remember reading that foxes, like raccoons and bats, are one of the animals most likely to be rabid.
Gray fox attacks worshippers inside church
And here are two more intriguing headlines I came across in recent months:
Dead son can't be prosecuted for keeping mom in freezer
Police: Butter-hungry man pulls knife at church buffet
You gotta read those. Right?
(Photo: Street art by Imminent Disaster, July 2008)