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Bad breaks in headlines. Does anyone care anymore?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Clever username, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. Clever username

    Clever username Active Member

    No one where I work seems to and I've noticed a lot of bigger papers don't seem to either? Eliminating bad breaks in headlines was drilled into my head in my editing classes and at the student paper in college. Yet at the places I've worked, people either don't even know what a bad break is or don't really care as long as it fits the space.

    Personally, I think they look and read terrible and may take two or three glances to actually understand what they're saying. Thoughts?
  2. Bump_Wills

    Bump_Wills Member

    Aside from a couple of iron-clad rules on this -- I won't break a proper noun over two lines or split a noun phrase (peanut butter) -- I've stopped letting blind adherence to the no-breaks approach keep me from writing an otherwise clear, on-point headline. There is considerable evidence that readers are not at all interrupted by hanging prepositions and the like. Time and energy spent on verbal gymnastics with no tangible benefit are best expended on better all-around editing.
  3. pallister

    pallister Guest

    This may
    be one of
    those very
    dumb threads

    Just kidding. Bad breaks bug me, as do multideck heads where any line, but especially the first, is a lot longer than the rest. But like BW said, time and space (especially for 1-column heads) often make bad breaks inevitable.
  4. I'm with "Clever." One of the first things I was taught and one of the things the veterans beat on more than anything was danglers. I still don't like seeing it, but as we've changed desk people and years have passed it no longer seems to bother anyone else (along with a lot of other things).
  5. pallister

    pallister Guest

    How about hyphenation breaks in headlines? Anyone like those?
  6. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

  7. pallister

    pallister Guest

  8. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Wiseass. :D
  9. devils_claw

    devils_claw Member

    Split prepositional phrases don't bug me in the least.
    Absolutely no split hyphenated words/phrases, nor proper nouns.

    I would definitely rather spend my time making sure the hed was clear and accurate than worrying if I ended a line with "of."
  10. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    you may be trying a little sarcasm but that was acceptable at my place before i took the big chair. embarrassed the shit out of me. abbreviations in headlines used to be ok, too. aaarrrggghhh!!!
  11. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    The Wall Street Journal National Employment Weekly had this gem of a headline back in 1994. I saw it in National Lampoon's True Facts book but can't find it online to post. I believe it broke like this:

    How Great Candidates
    Blow Job Interviews
  12. We care... depending on what time of night it is.
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