Headline Help!

May 24, 2011

I Stumbled across this on a website and found is amusing: 

A headline must:

1.      Fit the story to tell the reader clearly what it’s about.
2.      Make the reader interested in the story and want to read on.
3.      Be on a front page, and should be visually striking enough to grab the eye of the readers at stations, news agents, and news stands.
4.      Reflect the newspaper attitude to the new story.
5.      Fit into a very limited space but still be bold and capitalized

Examples of headlines:
“Atlanta Housewife Investigated And Almost Arrested For Losing 73 Pounds.”

“Overweight Granny Loses 57 Pounds, Steals Granddaughter’s Tight-Fitting Jeans, Then Enters Limbo Contest.”

In addition to these characteristics, a headline includes a variety of techniques and various forms of language.

Examples:

Alliteration
Assonance
Cliché
Euphemism
Exclamation
Expletives
Metaphor
Metonym
Mis-spelling Words
Parody
Pun
Rhetorical question
Rhyming
Slang     


According to Big Al’s website, in order to have a sleazy, trashy, and exciting headline, you should follow a four step formula:
·         Step #1: Benefit
·         Step #2: Occupation
·         Step #3: Geography
·         Step #4: Odd numbers

Colorful adjectives and words are defiantly used in tabloids. Every article uses a wide variety of different adjectives to make the reader more interested in the topic.

Examples:
Anger => fury
Annoyance => outrage
Attempt => bid
Avoid => shun
Cancel => axe, scrap
Confiscate => grab
Controversy => row, turmoil
Criticize => slam, blast
Difficulty => snag, hurdle
Disagreement => clash
Dismissed => dumped, axed
Division => split
Encourage => boost
Exclude => bar, ban
Fail to attend => snub
Fatal fall => death plunge
Mystery => riddle
Possibility => threat
Promise => vow, pledge
Proposal => plan
Question => quiz
Quarrel => feud
Raid => swoop
Reform => shake-up
Replace => oust
Reprove => rap
Request => call for
Resign => quit
Restrict => curb
Rise => soar
Setback => blow
Sex => sex romps
Vital => key