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Is "is" in for headlines?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by statrat, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. statrat

    statrat Member

    I'm just wondering if the use of "is" in headlines is becoming acceptable? I have always been taught to avoid it, but lately I seem to be seeing it pop up more in headlines, ie. instead of "Joe Schmoe dead at 75" I now see "Joe Schmoe is dead at 75." Anyone else seeing a trend or am I just going crazy?
  2. I think that's always been obituary style. Check out today's NYT for instance....http://www.nytimes.com/pages/obituaries/

    I can't speak for any other part of the paper.
  3. statrat

    statrat Member

    I just saw another one on MSNBC.com that is not an obituary: "Aviation adventurer Steve Fossett is missing"
  4. joe_schmoe

    joe_schmoe Active Member

    Damn. I was hoping to at least make 80. Oh well.

    But we don't use is much in heds here.
  5. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    It depends, of course, on what the meaning of the word "is" is.
  6. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    I've always thought it was kind of a silly rule to avoid "is".

    The only legitimate reason to avoid its use is to save space.

    "PRESIDENT SHOT" can run in bigger type than "PRESIDENT IS SHOT".

    But unlike languages such as Russian, English makes heavy usage of words such as "the" and "is." So if it's good enough for conversation and stories, it should be good enough for headlines (within reason).
  7. Dan Rydell

    Dan Rydell Guest

    The whole idea of eliminating such words as "is" or "and" or "the" or whatever was to make a hed fit.

    But if your hed is short, it's perfectly OK to put them in.

    Sometimes it makes for a better hed:

    Gambler says he will bet farm

    Gambler says he will bet the farm
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