Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ax beach teach in kid drown tragedy

Even by tabloid standards, this is pushing the rules. I think the idea of "drown kid" is that  "drown" -- like "slay" in "slay suspect" -- is a noun modifier, because once you turn the verb into a gerund, it's still a noun when you remove the "-ing" if you really, really want it to be. I'm more used to seeing that noun being modified, as in "'86 bro kill," discussed a few months back, but -- hey, language changes.

"Teach" as a clipping of "teacher" always sets off a chorus of "Officer Krupke" in the back of my head somewhere, but it's standard hed fare at the Post, especially in -- come on, you know you want it:

Sex teach caged (Dec. 18, 2007)
Bx. 'sex' teach faces music, major rap in minor 'rape' ( March 7, 2007)
'Montessori sex-teach' victim 'crossed' up* (March 6, 2007)
East side 'kid sex' teach bets on a trial (Oct. 19, 2006)
Sex teach: I'm a very bad girl (Sept. 12, 2006)
Sex-teach a slow learner -- jailed for writing tryst teen again (April 28, 2006)
'Free ride' for sex teach -- court-shy victim saved from stand (March 22, 2006)
Sex-teach judge slams her victims (Mov. 22, 2006)

The hammer hed ("Sea of hurt") doesn't really go with the subject-verb in the deck; is it the death (which was three weeks ago) or the firing that sets off the "sea of hurt"? And is "axed in beach tragedy" a reference to an already existing tragedy or one we haven't yet been told of?

Sometimes we look back upon the great traditions of journalism syntax and wonder what exactly we were thinking. At right is a 1A story from the World's Greatest Newspaper on this very date in 1942, and you sort of think -- wow, subjects, who needs 'em? Oh, wait. Perhaps someday the great tab hed NPs will look the same. Meanwhile ...

* Special bonus points if you can translate this one on the spot. Here's the story, should you be curious.

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Blogger location espagne said...

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7:25 AM, July 16, 2010  
Blogger Jan said...

I happened to be on vacation within the Post's, er, catchment area yesterday. It was the inside hed on that story -- though I'm sure it's nothing unusual in tabloidland -- that I found tacky:

"They were in way over their heads"

7:47 AM, July 16, 2010  

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