Friday, February 17, 2006

How not to write a headline

Is it just me, or do both headlines make it sound as if the Veep has struck again?
Man Shot by Cheney Leaving Hospital

Hospital Discharging Man Shot by Cheney

First one says Cheney was leaving the hospital and shot a man. The second implies that Cheney took a shot at the building itself. "Man Shot By Cheney Discharged from Hospital" would have worked. I guess writers didn't want passive voice, but those headlines are just awful. (Both heads via Yahoo.)

10 comments:

hoov, esq said...

I think the second one more suggests that the man in charge of hospital discharging was shot by Cheney.

Jim Donahue said...

Ha! You're right, it could be read that way.

Ambiguity, ambiguity.

Asher Hunter said...

Hmmm ... of course, if the Veep did shoot another guy, we wouldn't find out about it for four more days ......

Mark H said...

There was a DailyKos diary today titled "Was Whittington Shot on Friday?". One of the comments read: "What? Again?".

I thought it was funny.

Peter said...

How about this for a headline:

Cheney shooting victim calls mishap an accident

Hey, I've got one: Man Calls Redundancy Superflous. Is that a good one? How many points do I get?

MsYvone said...

The AJC is notorious for those...of course, this is one day I can't find an example.

Did you know that your comment "code" has about twice the digits you have to punch in than other peoples? whats with that?

Sam said...

Love the first one -
Cheney is coming off as very trigger-happy in thise headlines, lol.
Nothing as funny as a misplaced modifier

Douglas Hoffman said...

Cheney Shooting Victim Leaves Hospital.

I like that -- Victim. Makes it clear Cheney's a perp.

Spider63 said...

I think that the first headline properly suggests that Dick Cheney could just about shoot anyone and it would be OK. You realize that the only reason Larry Worthington got to the hospital at all was because he was a multi-millionaire and promised to blame himself.

MsYvone said...

Backyard slaying puzzles Henry
'Perfect neighbor' found shot to death by wife; nothing stolen

Today's classic example from the AJC.

Henry who? Aaron? the stuffed dog I had in elementary school? And the wife shot him? OH! she FOUND him. (i found that out after i read the dang article...) geesh.

I know its days later, and its not about cheney, but i had to share.