Saturday, January 25, 2014

Redtop hed dialect shock merge horror

Is the austere beauty of the American tabloid hed becoming indistinguishable from the baroque splendor of the London redtops? That's the impression I get from the claim quotes here.

Owing in part to their libel laws, I expect the British would avoid some of the characterizations in text:

Deranged suspect Sean Farrell, 24, called his grandmother after killing his mom — a nurse who helped care for sick children — to confess, court papers show.

“Sean told me he was scared and confused,” stunned granny Letitia Dunn told cops, according to documents.

... but the real interest here is the hed -- particularly the quotes and the lack of the comma. Input from both sides of the ocean is welcome: are we losing the core elements that make our tabs different?

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Anonymous Ed Latham said...

Well, this is the superbly mid-Atlantic Post, so I suppose some Fleet Street import could have forgotten what continent he or she was on when writing it. I reckon it may not be a total merger: more that some bits of hed dialect are just too useful not to import, like UK claim quotes (so space-efficient!) and American conjunctive commas. Bit surprised about the "then", though.

10:12 AM, January 26, 2014  
Anonymous Picky said...

Libel laws, sure, but I suspect (and hope) a British sub-editor would first of all raise the matter of contempt of court. Because it would be a strange judge who didn't think this piece calculated to prejudice the jury.

10:17 AM, January 27, 2014  

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