Friday, 16 April 2010

Making the Headlines

We all like a good headline. Here are some to to save you from General Election burnout.  Let's start with the wartime classic:

Eighth Army Push Bottles up Germans’ Rear

(a fine example of Syntactic ambiguity popular amongst headline writers who like a laugh but can later claim all innocence.) 

I worked on the Wirral News for a year and was often called upon by the editor (who recognised my 'special' talents) to come up with catchy headlines. I was especially proud of one about a local student's sponsored walk in Jordan: 

Dead Sea Stroll

...most of them have drifted from memory. If they drift back I'll be sure to let you know.

Anyway, here are some favourites collected over the years from my local papers:

Magistrates Act on Indecent Shows

Big Surprise Expected

Enter your child now!

‘Suicide’ deliberate

Mayor Welcomes Badger Bill (a piece of legislation, but particularly apt for us because the paper's mascot called Bertie Badger - hence the lapel badges with the immortal slogan: 'I've Been Badgered By Bertie') 

The careful placing of one headline at the same level and in the same font as one on the opposite page can lead to entertaining 'mash-ups:

Beauty Pageant Opens opposite: Samantha’s Lovely Legs

My favourite local headline was the report of the death of an Irishman in the local river: Cork Man Found Floating in Mersey

One local journalist contact insists he regularly miss-spells end of British Summer Time reminders for comic effect: Don’t forget to put your cocks back!

While you're thinking about the funniest headline's you've come across, here's an entertaining song about Headlines, which I am indebted to Moptop for supplying:


  1. Dead Sea Stroll---Brilliant!

    I love a catchy title.

  2. These are great. Gave me a good laugh this morning.

  3. Super-duper! What a wonderful post.

    I can't tell you my absolutely favourite headline, but it was in a Sheffield newspaper and is Beyond The Pale in terms of offensiveness.

    But I did like the headline in the Kingsbridge Gazette in 1998:


  4. I LOVED that video! Brilliant.

  5. Forgot to say I liked the post, too! One of my favourite classroom activities is to write 'BECKHAM RUNS' on the board and they have to write down as many different things that could mean. It doesn't take long before we get onto the diarrhoea.