Thursday, September 9, 2010

More Bad Headlines for Fall

The weather is cooling here in the Heartland, as it’s called, and I thought you’d all enjoy a new batch of finger shaking to warm your hearts. I receive a lot of newsletters from national organizations and magazines so I get some terrific fodder…information, that is, in my e-mail every week. These four stood out of the recent batch as the best examples.

"A World of HVAC&R Information at Your Fingertips"

Pardon my language, please, but who the hell puts an ampersand in an acronym? Either use the “a” for and or skip it altogether they way it was before you added the R in the first place. (Folks have used HVAC—heating, ventilation, and air conditioning—for decades. Apparently refrigeration ranks highly enough to be included, now.)

"2010 Year in Review"

There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with this headline except that it was emblazoned on a newsletter distributed at the end of August, 2010. The article in question addressed not 2010 in particular but the out-going president’s term with the organization which spanned two years. Thus the headline doesn’t fit the article, which makes it misleading or at least confusing.

"Don't Let Winter Wreck Havoc"

When I’m wreaking havoc I’d rather not have some season wreck it, thank you very much. Your spell check cannot save you from using completely the wrong word. Nor can it save you from forgetting to finish your headline with a hint as to what havoc you intend to help me avoid.

"Low pants have no chance in Louisiana's capital"

I included this example for contrast. I actually think this one is pretty good, except for the lack of capitalization. It certainly gave me an idea of the topic but left me wanting to read the article. (In case you’re curious, it’s a public awareness campaign that wearing your pants sagging off of your behind makes you look like a slacker that no one will want to hire. That’s a rant for a different blog, however.)