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A little summer light reading.

During the dog days of summer (although technically over August 11, when Sirius, the Dog Star, stopped rising at the same time as the sun), let's take time out for a chuckle or two.

The following is excerpted from Leads, the online newsletter from the Society of Professional Journalists.

The previous week, Leads asked for people's favorite headlines. Here are a few.

Favorite Headline #1

Edgar Miller was managing editor of the Chattanooga Times in the 1980s when a runner named Virgin won a foot race. The sports department came up with the headline: "200 chase Virgin across finish." For some reason, the publisher nixed it.

Favorite Headline #2

Susan Schwartz of the Press Enterprise in Bloomsburg, Penn., recalls when a heat wave swept through Pennsylvania and the local electric company was busy doing maintenance during what is usually a low-demand time of the year: The headline? "Heat wave catches PP&L with its plants down."

And Also ...

Susan's favorite headline, however, ran in the New York Post after Marv Albert was fired shortly after reports he was a cross-dresser. "Marv gets pink slip"

Favorite Headline #3

Rebecca Dudley of the Brush News-Tribune in Colorado was a copy editor when Chief Justice Warren Burger retired from the Supreme Court. Her paper's headline? "Burger to go."

What's so great about being funny?

There's nothing "great" about funny headlines, says SPJ member Renee Petrina. "As a copy editor, I appreciate the occasional funny head, but that's not what I strive for--especially not the obvious pun," says Renee, a "self-professed grammar and usage nitpicker."

"I don't mind that Leads is collecting headlines. In fact, I've been happy to see more mentions of copy editing in Leads recently. But please call them funny or quirky or amusing. Just not 'great.'

"What I would call great headlines are rarely funny, but they have fantastic verbs."
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Title Annotation:Who, what, when & where
Publication:The Newsletter on Newsletters
Date:Aug 17, 2005
Previous Article:Workshops--.
Next Article:Oxbridge Directory of Newsletters cites big increase in e-letters.

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