Headline blues

Sometimes I miss being a copy editor. There’s nothing quite so exciting—or dangerous—as writing a headline on deadline.

One night I was working on a local story about a terrible accident that had killed two people and severely injured another.

My headline accurately summed it all up. Better yet, it actually fit in the very tight one-column space I’d been given. And it had taken me only 10 minutes!

I was so proud of my work that I celebrated with a trip to the vending machine. Upon returning to my desk, my pride turned to horror when I realized what I’d written:

2 lives,
1 leg lost
in crash

Fortunately, my horrendous headline never went to press. But many others have. Here are some recent (real!) beauts:

Something went wrong in jet crash, expert says
Miners refuse to work after death
Juvenile court to try shooting defendant
Cold wave linked to temperatures
Iraqi head seeks arms
Red tape holds up new bridge
Kids make nutritious snacks
Local high school dropouts cut in half
Hospital is sued by 7 foot doctors
Eye drops off shelf
Typhoon rips through cemetery; hundreds dead
Squad helps dog bite victim
Dealers will hear car talk at noon
Two Soviet ships collide; one dies
Grandmother of eight makes hole in one
William Kelly was fed secretary
Farmer bill dies in house
War dims hope for peace

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