Grandma's Tales

December 16, 2006

Headline woes and gains

Filed under: Language — Geeta Padmanabhan @ 6:42 am

Making a mistake in the heading is like hitting a same-side goal. You go out of the way to highlight your error. That is self-inflicted injury.

That said, I know some writers use “different” spellings as attention grabbers. At least one shopowner claimed that the spelling error on the name board was deliberate. He said people stopped by to point it out, got talking, and in no time, the owner had a new customer. Some of the bloggers do it too. Check out Iceburgg.

Errors come in many shapes, sizes and shockers. They could be
{1} in the use of an apostrophe
Ex: The Clinton’s War Plan ( The Clintons’ War Plan)
Tonights’ Simpsons Episode
The Cannon as the site got it’s 100,000th hit.
{2} Misplaced modifier
Ex: All eyes on Kennedy in court abortion debate (er, court abortion?)
{3} The verb does not agree with the subject
Ex: Over a lakh of workers readies to travel out of Tirupur.
{4} Homophone confusion
Ex: Congress plans stir against prise rise

{5} Mangled word order
Ex: Why a sentence should not be disturbed? (The question mark doesn’t get any respect here!)

{6} Plain ignorance
Ex: New mammal mouse found ( A mouse IS a mammal)
Star Bucks-scented prosperity (Starbucks is the name of a coffee chain)
Minor fire in McDonald outlet (McDonald’s)


As has been proved in the blogospere, for maximum readership, choose a provocative headline. The ones about Britney Spears remained at the top of the “hit” list for quite sometime.



  1. And this one is from a Samsung hoarding on Chamiers Road,Chennai. It says ‘World’s first slimmest mobile phone’. Such an eyesore on my way back home that I try to purposefully look the other side when driving by.

    Comment by Rajesh Kumar — December 18, 2006 @ 5:38 pm | Reply

  2. Hope you are still looking at the road, Rajesh!
    Talking of billboards, I loved those one-liners by Amul. Remember any of them?

    Comment by Geeta Padmanabhan — December 18, 2006 @ 10:03 pm | Reply

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