Navigation & Music Control
 [ BACK]  [NEXT]                       Issue #076 - 01/25/1998


Headlines That Need Footnotes...

Hello again, Folks!
     It's been a while since we took a look at the top of the
news...  Not the top stories, but the headlines themselves. 
Headlines are supposed to set the tone for the story, and make
you want to read the rest of the article, but sometimes they take
on meanings of their own.  Headlines are written very quickly,
and things get into type that shouldn't, which makes it all the
more fun for us.  It should go without saying that these are all
real headlines from US papers and wire services - I've included
the original source, when I have the complete story.
     Once in a while, headline writers go a little crazy, but
some papers seem to aim for that as part of their style.  In the
1970's and 80's the New York Post was famous for its goofy banner
headlines in huge 'second coming' type.  Caught in a squeeze that
saw other New York papers closing, the Post decided to take the
low road.  In reporting about President Gerald Ford refusing to
back a plan for government loans to bail out New York City, the
Post boiled the issue down to: "FORD TO NY, DROP DEAD!"   But the
defining headline of that era of the Post is the famously weird,
"HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR."  The Post has toned down in
recent years, becoming almost respectable again.  Or maybe it's
just that the rest of the media has edged more toward the weird
     Thanks this week for the contributions of SUNFUN's special
correspondents: Caterina Sukup, Carol Becwar, Libin He, Jerry
Taff, Yasmin Leischer, Peter Adler, Bob Martens, John Adler,
Nnamdi Elleh, Ellen Peterson and Paul Roser.  Now, Let's go to
     Have a great week!



     I'm sure most of you heard of the incident last year where,
during a heavyweight fight in Las Vegas, fighter Mike Tyson bit
Evander Holyfield's ear.  The reaction of the newspaper headline
writers was almost as weird as the incident.  Seems like headline
writers were just waiting to bite off more than they could chew. 
Here are some of the headlines:

   - Ear-Responsible  (Fort Worth  Star-Telegram)

   - Undisputed Chomp (USA Today)

   - From Champ to Chomp  (Durham, NC  Herald-Sun)

   - Tyson's Behavior Hard to Swallow  (Providence, RI

   - Sucker Munch"  (London, England  Sun) 

   - Biting Back: Evander Has Public's Ear  (New York Daily

   - It's Tyson's Nature to (Ch)eat  (New York Post)

   - Pay Per Chew  (Philadelphia Daily News)

   - Bite of the Century!  (Arizona Republic)

   - Tyson Subject of Biting Criticism  (Baltimore Sun)

   - Lobe Blow for Boxing  (The Tennessean)



   - Please Visit Cairo but Without Your Chimpanzee Friends,
     Officials Say  (AFP)
          [ Attention Michael Jackson... ]

   - Water Houseplants When Soil Is Dry (AP)

   - Putting Mattress on Floor Prevents Fall from Bed

   - Pregnancy Problems at Memorial School Not Caused by Air

   - Unemployment Not Working, Critics Say

   - Man Disputes Government's Claim He's Dead

   - Psychopaths Unpredictable

   - Don't Use Poison Ivy to Decorate

   - Suicide May Hasten Death

   - Sadness Is No. 1 Reason Men and Women Cry



   - Man Told to Get License So it Can Be Suspended

   - Police Called in to Quell Librarians (Toronto Sun)
          [ SHHH! ]

   - Man Gets Probation for Violating Probation
          [ And if they catch him again - MORE
          probation! ]

   - Clown Offered Microwave to Man for Killing His Wife (AP)

   - Breast Implants Seized by Marshals
          [ Is that illegal shipment or sexual
          harassment? ]

   - Police Car Hits Cow in Line of Duty

   - Cops Get Burglar to Drop His Pants, Then Pinch Him

   - Police Find TV, Lock it in Jail
          [ And no TV privileges, either! ]

   - Man in Bra, Black Lace Stirs Police Suspicion

   - Cop on Tractor Nabs 43 Speeders (AP)
          [ Those things can really move when you pull
          up the plow... ]


     One writing trick that headline writers just love is to
repeat the word sound so the words tend to reinforce each other. 
But, like anything else, they can carry it too far:

   - Cuba Confident of Peaceful Pope Visit  (Reuters)

   - Fish Fights Fatal Heart Attack  (Reuters)

   - Court to Rule in Rent Row over Rowdy Romps  (AFP)

   - Pretty Polly Provokes Pet Problems  (Reuters)

          [ How about: "Hundreds Hurl on Hearing
          Horrible Headlines" ]



   - Suspect in Bank Robbery Was Either Man or Woman
          [ Thank you for settling that! ]

   - Court Affirms Election Victory of Dead Judge  (AP)

   - Brooksville Buys Shredder to Aid Record Keeping
          [ Record KEEPING? ]

   - Farm Forecasters Predicting a Good Year, or Possible a Bad

   - Honesty Tests for Workers Can't Be Trusted

   - Absentee Votes Accepted in Person Only
          [ Huh? ]



   - Kids Must Be Shot by Monday

   - Study: Long-term Marijuana Use Harms Mermory (Northhampton,
     MA, Daily Hampshire Gazette)
          [ Spelling ,too? ]

   - Japan's Leading Condom Maker Stretching Across the Pacific

   - Ada Kring, 67-year-old Orick Resident, Dies at Age 94
          [ Maybe Orick is the kind of place that made
          it SEEM 27 years longer... ]

   - Hazardous Waste Breakfast June 6

   - Rains Delay Big Umbrella Show

   - LCISD Dress Code Insists On Clean-shaven Kindergartners
          [ Shaven?  They must have been held back a
          few grades... ]

   - U.S. Created 6.8 Million Secrets in '90 
          [ Just how do they know that? ]

   - Secret Math Center to Be Located Here
          [ But don't tell anyone - it's a secret! ]

   - Sex May Keep Legislature in Session

   - High Speed Train Could Reach Valley Within Five Years
          [ High Speed?  Even AMTRAK is faster than
          that! ]

   - Airport on Christmas Pudding Alert  (Reuters)



   - Poll: Americans Becoming More Cynical  (UPI)
          [ Yeah?  What makes you think we're going
           to believe that? ]

   - El Nino Blamed for Rise in Diarrhea in Peru  (Reuters)
          [ Scapegoat of the Year Award ]

   - Wife Sues Over Lost Brain

   - Researchers Can See Thoughts  (UPI)
          [ So keep it clean! ]

   - Blaze Destroys 97 Vehicles at Cookout Held by Firemen

   - Dogs Barred from Dog Museum (Reuters)

   - Man Who Killed Roommate Looking for a Place to Live.
          [ It's not like he's hard to live with or
          anything... ]

   - Former Biology Teacher Finds He's Happier Running a Brothel
          [ Hmmm...  Doing field work? ]

   - Outdoorsman Caught in Trap While Urinating
          [ You could say... ---  No, I'll get into
          trouble if I say ANYTHING here! ]

   - Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft

   - Gas Odor Traced To Passenger After Emergency Landing (AP)
          [ Excuse me sir, would you happen to be an
          astronaut? ]

   - Japanese Firm Makes Musical Bra In Fitting Mozart Tribute
          [ "Fitting?," he asked. ]

   - Man Dies on Golf Course, but Friends Play Through (AP)
          [ Gone, but not 'fore'gotten? ]

   - Wanted: Suitable Position for Disoriented Indian Maharajah
          [ Uh...  Lying Down? ]

   - Japanese Women Prepare For Summer With Bug-resistant
     Pantyhose  (AP).
          [ Are they musical, too? ]

   - 29 Nations Approve Bribery Ban  (AP)
          [ Of course, we had to slip some of the
          ambassadors a few bucks to get it passed... ]

© 1998 by Bill Becwar. All Rights Reserved.