December 17th, 2003

Fishy Circumstances

On writing headlines

Canadian newspapers wasted an opportunity yesterday. Not a single one of them had a decent headline to announce that Saddam Hussein had been captured. They were all lousy.

The Sun read "Trapped Rat". Trapped Rat? Do they know what rats are? I know his captors want him to be a rat, but the mere fact of his capture does not make him into one in the way it is colloquially used.

Both the National Post and the Toronto Star used "'We got him'". Sure, it's a quote. No, it's not good headline writing. I feel rather sorry for both newspapers' headline writers. Surely major headlines should be a chance for them to shine at their work.

I can't remember what the Globe and Mail used - it was certainly more informative, if extremely bland, whatever it was.

I hope that your local newspaper's headline writer did better than the ones around here did.

In more interesting headline news, I saw a tabloid headline yesterday announcing "Jackson charges loom". This, of course, left me to wonder what Jackson was charging the loom with. Being a bit warped? Fraying sanity? Be-weft of its senses?