Sunday, July 26, 2009

Stupid headline words: the readers speak

I asked folks on Twitter what stupid words in headlines bothered them most. Here are the initial responses:

Probed; spar; faces; linger; walks back; curb; spark; exec; inks; Solons; pokes (for the Dallas Cowboys); mull; nix; tapped kudo; eyed; inked; dissed; slay/slain

One person offered a three-fer: Moguls Ink Pact

Add to the list in comments below. There must be more stupid words than these ...


  1. Fete and ice... expanding the 3-fer here:

    "Solons ice pact, fete green laws"

  2. There are no stupid words. The problem is stupid writers. One stupid writer trick that inflames me is the use of "disconnect" as a noun.

  3. Anonymous12:47 PM

    Sexist headlines bother me more than stupid words. "Ex-wife's new relationship blamed for rampage" instead of "Violent man with gun blamed for rampage", for example. "Girlfriend's hunger blamed for deadly robbery" instead of "Loser high on drugs blamed for killing". Or just stupid ideas "Terrorist group claims responsibility for blast" rather than "culpability" for blast. Blasts are not a responsible act! --Maryellen I don't have a URL

  4. Using words that can be either nouns or verbs (in a way that the meaning of the headline is unclear until you read the story) really irks me.

  5. Likewise, Lori K. My all-time favorite example is "Blow eyes fine fund." (More examples here.)

  6. Elder scribe eyes tiff on blurbs?

    Real one from when I was a reporter:

    Plan terms backed
    but means opposed

    No, I don't remember what it meant.

  7. "Opinions mixed", "views differ"
    (and FYI, I can't submit comments on your blog, using Firefox)

  8. You know, those open source people have always had it in for me ...

  9. P.S. Anna: I often have to try twice commenting myself (in Safari) to get it to post.

  10. Any version of "budget axe", as in Bush Wields Budget Axe and so forth. I hate it.