Thursday, July 03, 2008

Six words (more or less)

Further to the six-word short story game below, it strikes me that some of my favourite newspaper headlines are six-worders. Coincidence, possibly, but it illustrates nicely why headline writing is such a particular art.

He lied and lied and lied

(The Graun on Jonathan Aitken)

Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes Minister

(The Daily Mail on Steve Norris's five mistresses. It was illustrated with a great picture too, but I can't find the original online. Just to show I'm not making it up, the New York Times remembers it too).

Fog In Channel. Continent Cut Off

(Possibly apocryphal, but an (unintentional?) classic of Little Englander-ism).

There are, of course, great headlines with one more or fewer words (Super Caley Go Balistic, Celtic Are Atrocious or Freddy Starr Ate My Hamster both from the Sun, as it happens) but the point about great headlines telling a story in a few words holds. As my favourite spoof one: 'Archduke Found Alive. World War A Hoax' illustrates.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Quink said...

Very surprised you didn't mention the 5 word classic

ENGLISH TRAIN KILLS IRISH GIRL

4:11 pm  
Blogger bill said...

Ha. Yes the Irish Indo, I believe.

4:14 pm  

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