I met Victoria Ipri via LinkedIn which is a professional sort of Facebook. I like to connect with other copywriters, editors, and proofreaders to expand my own knowledge and see what others are doing in the industry. I recently joined Victoria’s Link InSanity group and found it to be helpful and professional, and I’ve expanded my knowledge of LinkedIn tremendously. Victoria shares funny headlines that give readers the wrong idea. Welcome, Victoria!
Hysterical Headlines Teach Important Copywriting Lessons
By Victoria Ipri
Seen in local newspaper:
Hospital Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
Gee…I wonder what they’re feeding those guys?
Mistakes like these can be found in printed materials any day of the week. And while they give us a good chuckle, such a coup de plume won’t build your reputation as a skilled copywriter.
Before I begin to wax poetic about the joys of writing and proofreading, here are a few other headlines guaranteed to give you the giggles:
Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
Kids Make Nutritious Snacks (Tastes just like chicken!)
It is curious how the writers of such gaffes don’t catch the humor in these lines. No doubt, the writer knows exactly what he or she means, and simply fails to see it any other way.
Now let’s apply this to the skill of copywriting, as most of us know it. Those of us in the copywriting industry spend long hours staring at computer monitors, stringing together just the right words and phrases for our clients. How simple it is to write a sentence that can be easily misconstrued, like this one:
“ABC Medical Group announced today that it will seek a larger test group for its study on obesity.”
Hmmm….larger, as in…?
Or this one:
“BigCity High School representative Mary Jones stated, “High school dropouts have been cut in half.’”
Now that isn’t going to help boost our national SAT scores!
So much has been said and written about the art of copywriting. In my humble opinion, however, not enough information is shared on the correct use of English language. In a world overrun by tweets and text messaging, these nuances of grammar and punctuation quickly fade. I contributed this article today with one goal in mind – to help us all remember the immortal words of English poet John Drinkwater, who said, “The written word is everything.”
Let’s work together to keep the love of real words alive, and keep our eyes open for more hysterical headlines. Drop me a note if you have some funny ones of your own.Victoria Ipri is a professional copywriter and LinkedIn enthusiast who has helped hundreds of small business owners achieve outstanding success with Internet marketing. Please visit Victoria on LinkedIn for more information. Visit Victoria’s blog at Linked-In-Sanity.
What funny headlines have you seen? Have you made a mistake like this in one of your own headlines?
Photo by Kevin Connors. You can see more of Kevin’s photography at www.kconnors.com.