Dawn of the (forbidden) hed
(Polite knock) Desks? Editors? We call 'em "forbidden heds" because they're, um, forbidden? Under all circumstances? Unto the end of time amen? Right, something like that.
Behold two sterling exemplars. At top (from today's 1A in Columbus) is the all-purpose "it's official," which can be applied to almost anything in which people or entities have to file pieces of paper, commit assorted speech acts, or place a certain statistical distance between themselves and the hated Bankees. Given that it applies to everything, we can fairly conclude that it doesn't apply very well to anything. Any lede or hed containing "It's official" can be radically improved just by taking out "It's official." Try it!
The second (4A in Monday's Freep) is more specific: It's the Up-Up-and-Away of woeful environment heds. You can't just take out the offending cliche, because then you're left with "Homeowner finds." That means you have to work a little harder: you know, finding a subject, verb and object that suggest at first glance that something is new and different since last your readers stopped in for a visit.
You almost hate to pick on desks too much these days, especially in shops where the wreckage is still smoldering from the latest round of cuts. But forbidden heds don't do a lot to underscore the value-added that a desk provides.