Beware: two fonts are in danger

Published 11:24 am Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I’m a firm believer that a strong, fact-based headline on a news story is what draws a reader in.

But what if that headline is so hilarious that it becomes a “must read story”….that is after you stop laughing long enough to read the ensuing words.

Every year or so I search the worldwide web in an effort to locate funny headlines. You hopefully will not find any of these in the newspapers printed by Roanoke-Chowan Publications, but as an editor I feel obliged to share these knee-slapping headlines printed by other newspapers.

From Kanston, Maryland: Cows lose their jobs as milk prices drop. Gee, I wonder where in the world will we now get our milk!

From Laguna Beach, California: City Council runs out of time to discuss shorter meetings. Oh, well, perhaps they can take this issue under consideration at their next meeting…of course if there’s time to do so.

This one really isn’t funny, but rather thought-provoking. From Santa Fe, Texas: Man accused of killing lawyer receives new attorney. I sure would feel mighty uncomfortable being that second guy.

From Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Mayor Parris to homeless: Go home. Hey, Mr. Mayor, kind of hard to go home when you don’t have one….hence the title, homeless.

This one didn’t show where the newspaper was published: Missippi’s literacy program shows improvement. Perhaps the copy editor of this publication skipped his or her literacy classes. Note: I spelled Missippi’s just as it appeared in the headline.

From Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania: Homicide victims rarely talk to the police. In those cases when they do take the opportunity to communicate, does it come via a Ouija Board?

From South Haven, Michigan: City unsure why sewer smells. Pick me, pick me, pick me…I know, I know, I know!

From Stettler (Alberta, Canada): Man eats underwear to beat breathalyzer. If he was a large man, does that qualify as a supersized meal?

From Redwood County, Minnesota: Bugs flying around with wings are flying bugs. I’m so glad this age old question has finally been answered!

From Los Angeles, California: Chick accuses male colleagues of sexism. This is a well-crafted headline. It’s about Los Angeles City Councilman Laura Chick.

This one also comes from an unidentified publication, but it reminds me of a tabloid headline: Exclusive – Diana was still alive hours before she died. I would assume the same thing could be said for all human beings prior to taking their final breath.

From yet another unknown publication: Midget sues grocer; cites belittling remarks. Upon reading the story, it appears the lawsuit had nothing to do with belittling remarks. Rather, the young man (described as a teenager standing 4 feet, 4 inches tall) sought legal action after being asked to place stock on upper shelves of the store without the use of a ladder.

From Norton, Maine: Police arrest everyone on February

22nd. This is either a tiny town with a small number of inhabitants or it’s full of crooks.

From New Boston, Texas: Hooker named Lay Person of the Year. We’re all hoping that the winner’s last name is Hooker.

From somewhere in Australia: Army vehicle disappears. You would have to read the story to fully appreciate this headline. It appears the vehicle “disappeared” after being painted camouflage.

Unknown publication: Fag disposal ceremony set Sept. 11. I think they meant a flag disposal service.

And, finally, even the TV news folks make glaring mistakes. This one is from CNN: ISIS advancing on two fonts. Run for your lives Times New Roman and Garamond Bold Condensed!


Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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