Sunday, April 26, 2015

The forbidden hed

Q: Having just indulged in one of the Great Cliches on Friday, is there a way you could possibly make it worse upon elevating it to the frontpage display type on Sunday?
A: Actually, there are several! You could, for example, make the meter even clunkier. You could insert a random comma in the "oh my!" part. You could even -- not wanting to spend precious creative time looking up whether commas go inside or outside quotation marks -- try it both ways!

It's hard to emphasize this rule of hed writing too often: If it's the first thing that comes to mind, lie down and wait for a second thing to come to mind. It's certainly hard to imagine why anyone would consider this a gift from the gods to a languishing hed world. The sports world, as usual, is a prime offender:

Seahawks schedule: Lions, Tigers (well, Bengals) and Bears, oh my! 

2015 MASCOT DEATHBRACKET: Dragons, Tigers and Bears, oh my

But the movie angle has appealed to others too:

Dinosaurs and ants and bears: Oh my! 

And it's still a Forbidden Hed when real animals are involved:

Fish and turkeys and bears, oh my!
Lions, Wolves and Bears, oh my!  Game and Fish offers seminars on large carnivores to teach safety and awareness

Lynx and Wolves and Bears, Oh My! Europe's Carnivore Resurgence

Getting the meter almost right will not save you:

Readers take on hot wings and I-4 and bears, oh, my!

... though there's some merit if you actually manage to nail it:

Texas and dildos and bears, oh my! Alcee Hastings insists Texas is 'crazy,' also bashes Florida

In general, though, this is how good you should be if you want to get away with one of the Great Cliches:

Lying and taiga and bears—oh my! Russian president lays the blame for Russian woes at the feet of the West and "fifth column" insurgents

Any questions?



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