Sunday, June 22, 2014

Solon flays nod nab ploy

There's a saying among the headline tribe: If "Afghanistan" didn't fit in one column yesterday, why do you think it's going to fit in one column today?

Designers like size, advertisers like size, space is finite and somebody has to split the difference.* For that and other reasons, deciphering headlines can often seem like a game of Scrabble devised by particularly malicious orcs: great if your vocabulary is long on words like flay, blast, rap, nab, flee, rip, solon and cops; nasty, brutish and short otherwise.

With no space concerns in play, though, it's hard to see why "nabs nod" made sense as anything but a stroll through the antiques mall. I'm not sure the audience is as fond of buggy whips and kerosene lamps as we are.

* One of the uglier hed calls I remember was a 2/60/1, no descenders, for the bizpage news lead. Quick, think of a verb and pronoun that fit with room left over!



Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

Surely if he rallied for a victory his nabbing the nod is understood? Why put it in at all?

ps - thank goodness, the capcha is a nice clear photo of a number, not one of those horrible twisty color-changing letter sequences. I think I can prove I'm not a robot in one try today.

12:54 PM, June 22, 2014  
Blogger Wayne Countryman said...

Designer wanted: 1-60[bold]-3 on annexation by
Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. I complained to slot editor, who said to ask for a drophed. Designer said no drophed.
So, I wrote:
and warned slot editor to check it long before deadline.
Designer barely survived resulting fury.

3:06 PM, June 22, 2014  
Anonymous raYb said...

Oh! I

6:44 PM, June 22, 2014  

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