My sweet daddy sent me the funniest email this afternoon (see below) full of humorous newspaper headlines. As a former English teacher, I couldn’t believe that an editor allowed these headlines to go to press. Curiosity got the better of me. I wanted to read these articles, so the researcher in me took over, and I figured this might make a great lesson in teaching digital literacy skills (see the results of my search at the end of my post).
Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter
This one I caught the other day and called the Editorial Room and asked who wrote this. It took two or three readings before the editor realized that what he was reading was impossible!! ! They put in a correction the next day..
Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
No, really? Ya think?
Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
Now that’s taking things a bit far!
Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
What a guy!
Miners Refuse to Work after Death
The good-for- nothing’ lazy so-and-so’s!
Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
See if that works any better than a fair trial!
War Dims Hope for Peace
I can see where it might have that effect!
If Strike Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile
Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
Who would have thought!
Enfield (London) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
They may be on to something!
Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
You mean there’s something stronger than duct tape?
Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge
He probably IS the battery charge!
New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
Weren’t they fat enough?!
>Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
That’s what he gets for eating those beans!
Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
Do they taste like chicken?
Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
Chainsaw Massacre all over again!
Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
Boy, are they tall!
And the winner is…..
Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
Did I read that right?
While these “headlines” are humorous, to say the least, I couldn’t find a single full text article supporting any of them. I did, however, find just the headlines in a series of books written by Richard Lederer, one of which dates back to 1987. They may be actual headlines, but, without the original source, I’m still a bit skeptical.
For those of you who understand the importance of vetting sources for research (hopefully, not just my librarian compadres), I found this scholarly journal article discussing humor in ambiguous newspaper headlines. Although the author apparently is/was an English professor at Youngstown State University, his sources are a bit sketchy. Only three of the links work, but this article was published ten years ago. Nonetheless, all but three of his listed websites appear questionable simply by looking at the URLs.
Not to leave you disappointed, here are a few humorous headlines that I found:
Hershey Bars Protest
New Yorker; 2/3/1968, Vol. 43 Issue 50, p79
This article may be accessed via EBSCOHost.
Freemont Tribune 06/09/2009
And my favorite . . .
LA Times 06/24/1996