Tag Archives: headline errors

Headline Lessons: Contractions, Redundancies, Verb Forms

HeadlinesToday is a holiday in the U.S. — The Fourth of July (Independence Day) — so many of you probably are not in your office or at your computer.

But my email list is not limited to U.S. residents, so I went to my latest collection of headlines to develop a post for those of you who are toiling through this American holiday.

Headlines and the grammar lessons they teach

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Don’t Repeat These Grammar Errors From Recent Headlines

Headlines provide never-ending examples of incorrect grammar, whether in word choice, word order or punctuation.

Reminder: I define grammar as the words we choose, how we string them together, and how we use punctuation to give them meaning.

News stories and their headlines should be examples of excellent writing. They also should conform to Standard English, defined as the way educated people write and speak. Writing in haste is no excuse for careless errors. Continue

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3 Worst Places to Make Grammar Mistake: News Headline, Report Title, Email Subject Line


www.RuthlessEditor.comNews headlines draw us into a story. Report titles summarize what our readers can expect. Email subject lines should do both.

That’s why these are the three worst places to make a grammar error.

Here are four headlines that don’t pass my Ruthless Editor grammar test and how they could be better: Continue

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7 Headlines, 8 Grammar Lessons

In the past, I’ve used headlines to show how to — but more often how NOT to — write or speak. Examples teach best.

This post’s seven headlines comprise three good and four bad examples that involve correct word use, incorrect word use, and redundancies.

One headline boasts a double whammy: two grammatical errors in just nine words!

Please know that the frequent appearance of the name Trump is simply due to the fact that so many headlines have been and continue to be about him. Continue

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Grammatical Errors Sabotage Writer’s Message, Credibility

Embarrassing_Grammar_MistakesWhen this headline written by a member of one of my LinkedIn groups hit my inbox, I did a double take:
Is you Networking, Notworking?

Although it’s catchy, I clicked on the link to see if the errors — you instead of your, no capital Y, and a comma where none is needed — were intentional as a means to attract attention or whether they truly were oversights.

When I read further, I decided they had to be oversights, as these faux pas were only the beginning. Continue

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Headlines: The Good, The Bad, And The Lessons They Offer

Headline errors provide grammar lessonsHeadlines, along with photos or graphics, catch your attention and draw you into a story.

An error in a headline is much more apt to be seen than an error within the story. I’ve always considered a headline error and a misspelled name the two most egregious mistakes a writer/editor can make — and this Ruthless Editor has made her share.

But errors provide grammar lessons, so when I read something that hits me wrong, I stop to copy/paste it into a Word document for future blog material.

Headlines that avoid common errors also catch my attention. Here’s my latest batch from online news and blogs: Continue

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How to Use Apostrophes With Numbers, Letters

 

Adding s to pluralize numbers and acronums like 401kA New York Times headline about 401(k) investment options prompted me to review guidelines for using an apostrophe when making plurals of letters and numbers:

Pushing Aside 401(k)’s for Mandatory Savings Plans
12.12.15

A quick search led to a headline on cnn.com about 409(k)s, this one without the apostrophe:

401(k)s: Starting to Invest
5.28.15

There are multiple scenarios that require an apostrophe decision: to add or not to add. Consider these: Continue

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Headline Errors Hurt Writer’s Credibility

Grammar in headlinesI consider writing headlines an art form.

A headline should grab attention and draw in the reader. It also should be an accurate portrayal of what’s to come. Hyperbole — bait and switch, so to speak — can be a turnoff.

You can write your headline at the start, before you pull your content together, using it to keep you on target.

Or you can write your headline as you finish, reflecting on and summarizing your topic in a few words that invite your reader to continue.

A headline is the worst place to misspell a word or make a grammar faux pas. It signals either lack of knowledge or lack of attention to detail. Either hurts your credibility as a writer. Continue

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