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Headlines hook readers, PM class

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  1. Chelle
    November 21, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    The headline I chose is from an article posted on msnbc.com on Nov. 20 called ‘Botax? Nip/tuck levy to help fund health plan.’

    This article is about how lawmakers are having to scrape around for money for the health care plan and vanity was an easy target. Taxed procedures would include breast implants, botox injections, tummy tucks and other procedures. Corrective plastic surgery, such as implants after a mastectomy, are not included in the tax. Obviously the vanity industry doesn’t agree with this tax. The article discusses the amount of the tax and how much money it would raise over a certain time period.

    I personally hate the plastic surgery industry when it comes to needless “corrections” of a person’s features, so this title including a clever wording of ‘tax’ within Botox made me happy and I clicked on it. I think that the tone of it is also interesting, because originally the ‘tax’ part of the word is italicized. This could give an impression of incredulousness or it is simply a way to make ‘tax’ stand out so readers wouldn’t bypass it. If it was meant to give an impression it is a good one, because it shows that lawmakers are really, really scraping around for money for this health plan.

    The headline also works because it uses a simple verb, levy, that most adults would immediately understand. Nip/Tuck is actually the name of a TV show as well, so that use of Nip/tuck in the headline could also have painted a picture for many readers of the plastic surgery industry.

    Overall, a very clear headline that adds a bit of cleverness to the article instead of being a bland “Lawmakers plan to tax plastic surgery.”

  2. Alia Conley
    November 22, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    It’s funny this is the blog prompt, because today I was watching “Silence of the Lambs” on TV with my friends and saw a headline I liked. If you’re not familiar with the story, Jodie Foster is trying to find a serial killer named Buffalo Bill. In the beginning of the movie, the camera cuts to a bulletin board that says, “Bill Skins Fifth.” This short, but high-impact headline tells who this involves, what he did and the number of people he has skinned.

    My real-life headline that I liked is from the Sports section of the Sunday Omaha World-Herald. It says, “Plotting Patriot perfection.” The story is about the Millard South football team that is aiming for a perfect season. The headline works because it gives a glimpse at what the story is about and intrigues readers but doesn’t completely give all the details. I really like the alliteration; I think it sounds cool but isn’t too cutesy. The headline matches the tone of the article because of the words the writers chose. I think “plotting” works better than a synonym the writers could have chosen, “planning.” “Plotting” sounds very serious and mysterious, like a secret strategy. Both headlines work because they are short and sweet yet informative.

  3. Samantha Millard
    November 23, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    The headline that I found says, “Man gets life for scaring woman to death.” I found the headline on ABC’s web site. I liked it because it makes me want to read the story and it is interesting. The use of the words “life” and “death” are very interesting. The headline is serious enough for the story, which is about a man who broke into his grandmother’s house and she suffered a heart attack when she saw him. He never touched her or actually murdered her, but he failed to call for help. The word choice is definitely what is working, and I like how ABC uses the words “life” and “death” together in this headline.

  4. Chelsea Coli
    November 23, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    I found a headline on CNN’s web site that I really liked. The headline was “Enjoy the sermon, get a tattoo.” The article was about a church in Washington whose pastor is using tattoos to get across the message of what people want permanently on their bodies and souls. People do actually get tattoos while the sermon is happening, although tattoos are neither encouraged nor discouraged. I really liked this headline because it was short and to the point. It incorporates the two important parts of the story, which happen to be complete opposites. I’d never think of tattoos and churches together. The point of a headline is to make someone want to read the story, and in this case I clicked on it. It did its job.

  5. Erin Grant
    November 23, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    First off, I have to say this has been my favorite blog yet. Needing to pay more attention to headlines has opened my eyes to the ridiculous ones and the plain, boring ones. Usually when I’m looking through a newspaper or on a news Web site, headlines and photographs are what catch my eye the most. So for this blog the headline I found was “Where Punchlines Pay the Rent.”

    “Where Punchlines Pay the Rent” is a headline I found on the New York Times Web site on Monday Nov. 23. The story is a human interest piece in the real estate section of the paper. The story covers a couple who are cartoonists for The New Yorker and how their “punchlines” pay their rent.

    What I liked most about this headline was the punchline noun. Using punchline in the headline really grabs the readers attention. A punchline could be cartoonists, comedians, or even anyone who is just remotely funny. What adds to this headline is pay. Combining punchlines and pay in one headlines packs a lot of intrigue, enticing the reader to want to know about these people. The real estate section isn’t the front runner of news most of the time, but this headline caught my eye right off the Web site.

    Being able to subtly use words that most people enjoy (who doesn’t love a good punchline?) and a verb to back it up is something that immediately can catch the wandering eye.

  6. Alissa Skelton
    November 23, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    The headline that caught my eye said, “Car crash victim trapped in ‘coma’ for 23 years was conscious.” This headline was published on my YAHOO! page. The story is intriguing because it is a rare story. I set YAHOO! as my home page because it typically publishes rare or odd stories. The patient was paralyzed and unable to communicate with doctors until a Belgian neurologist tested a new brain scanner and realized the man was not in the presumed vegetative state. I like the headline because it is clear and to the point. I know exactly what the story is about just from reading the headline, but I still want to know more about what happen to this guy.

    I think “trapped” was a great verb to describe what this man endured. I like that “23 years” was included in the headline because it shows the reader that the man was trapped. The reader knows exactly why the man was in the “coma” because the headline states “car crash victim.” So this headline works because it drew me in and made me want to read the story.

  7. Jared Hanner
    November 24, 2009 at 10:00 am

    My headline came from the November 15 issue of the Lincoln Journal Star. The headline reads “Workers winding down.” I like this headline because of the word choice and the tone. The story is about workers at the state fair getting ready to move everything to the new location at Grand Island. You can almost get a feel for it when you read the headline, it just feels like its slowing down. The head offers enough information to make you interested in the story but it doesn’t give the whole thing away, so you have to actually go to the deck to see what the story is about. Otherwise you just know that work, somewhere, is slowing down.

  8. Steven Cain
    November 24, 2009 at 10:31 am

    The headline “The Biology Behind the Milk of Human Kindness” was found on the New York Times Web site. I found this title to be intensely intriguing even though there is no verb. I think I was most intrigued because of the phrase “Milk of Human Kindness.” The article dealt with the impact that a hormone called oxytocin. I knew from the headline that the article would deal with something that made people happy, but I couldn’t tell if it dealt with something in milk that produced hormones or if it was just being used to describe a hormone already in existence in the human body. I thought this was a fantastic headline, although it does not follow the traditional rule of putting the emphasis on the verb.

  9. Derek Brandt
    November 24, 2009 at 10:35 am

    The headline I saw came from CNN.com and was titled “Man was awake during 23-year ‘coma’.” It instantly grabbed me and was a simple headline at the same time.

    I like it because of its simplicity and how it provides the bulk of the story in a short sentence. The man in the story was in a car crash and has been conscious for 23 years when presumed to be in a coma. It’s a very interesting story which helps keep the reader’s attention after the work is done by the intriguing headline. The word awake helped the headline the most I believe. When I read that a man was ‘awake’ while in a ‘coma’, I had to read on and I knew this would be an interesting story.

  10. Sara Nelson
    November 24, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    The headline that I liked was “Hells Angel Finds God at the Bottom of Bottle of Booze,” from Fox news website on Friday, Nov. 20. The headline pulled me into the story because of the contradicting phrase “Hells Angel finds God,” on top of that, of all places for him to find God he does it “at the bottom of bottle of booze.” The play on words made me curious what the story could be about. The article is about a former Hells Angel who drinks himself almost to death, and at his lowest point he asks God to save him from himself and wrote a book about it. The headline works for this article because it is a clever play on words that is appropriate for the story. It tells the reader what the story will involve but still leaves them curious and wanting to read more. Good word choice is what makes this headline stand out, without the words “Hells Angel,” “God” and “bottom of bottle of booze” I would not have even glanced at it.

  11. Ruth Angelina
    November 24, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    I like the headline “Price Wars Brews Between Amazon and Wal-Mart” that I found from The New York Times Web site on Nov. 23. This headline tells the story clearly. It intrigues me to read the story more as a consumer because I want to find out which giant retailer offers lower prices as the holiday season is around the corner and what is the story behind these price wars.

    I think both the word choice and tone of the headline worked in this case. The verb “brews” is visual as readers can imagine the price wars between the two giant retailers are interacting and developing. The tone is strictly business, just like the tone of the story. The article explains when and how the price war began and how the retailers are fighting for every dollar consumers spend this holiday season. I think this headline is very straightforward and catches attention as most people are either a consumer of Amazon or Wal-Mart.

  12. Kevin Zelaya
    November 24, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    I picked the headline “Scared and Silent, Runaway, 13, Spent 11 Days in the Subways.” This headline ran with a front page story in The New York Times today. Not only is this story informative in that it lets you know it is about a runaway child, but it also hooks you in with the reference to him living in the Subway! I think the word choice really works, the use of scared and silent humanizes the child, it made me wonder what could have possibly driven him to abandon his family. As noted in class, it is always best to use verbs starting with the letter, ‘S’ and this headline did this really well. Also, I’m shocked to hear that an underage child was left to fend for himself and live in a New York Subway for so long, that alone sucked me and made me want to read the story.

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