Monday, December 31, 2007

Oh, stop it

And why is it we tell the upcoming Best and Brightest never to write ledes about what "most people" do, think or want? Because "most people" ledes invariably turn out to be insulting, trivial and stupid!

If you're like most well-intentioned folks, your New Year's resolutions will go something like this:
Spend more time with family.
Get out of debt.
Lose lots of weight.
Eat healthier.
Make career changes.
Quit smoking or drinking.

We try not to do resolutions in these parts, though if we did, "no more features about resolutions" and "always strip the local anesthesia out of allegedly 'national' features before running them eight states away"* seem like good places to start. And while you're at it, you can probably make sure some heavenly imp or another earns its wings by carrying out any of these in the onrushing journalistic year. As the sign says over on Woodward, you buy, we fry: You write in with evidence of your good deed and HEADSUP-L will salute it in public (names changed to protect the innocent in the rare case that actually involves innocents).
  • Kill a hed that makes a stupid pun on somebody's name.
  • Kill a sports cutline in which anyone "celebrates."
  • Make an after-hours call to a news agency (or star reporter) to ask for the confidence level at which a poll's margin of sampling error was calculated. You won't be disappointed!
  • Spike a Natalee Holloway follow-up.
  • Reduce all the relative clauses you can in a New York Times story.
  • Correctly place an adverb between the auxiliary and main verbs in an AP story.
Any more suggestions?

* Funny you should mention it. You figure these looked a little odd in a New Year's feature here in the snow-smitten paradise?
"Generally, we see a lot of people with unrealistic expectations coming in January," says fitness trainer Grant Trobaugh, who owns Simply Fit in Melbourne, Fla.
One reason people don't succeed is because they set goals that are too overwhelming to meet, says Florida career coach Laura DeCarlo.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Ninja Of The Mundane said...

Euthanize all First Babies Of 2008 stories.

Sink to the bottom all Top Stories Of 2007 roundups.

2:50 AM, January 02, 2008  

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