that washington post sure knows how to turn two

January 4, 2007

writing teachers can never agree on taglines. some people want a lot of information, and others want nothing. what do i mean?

compare…

“where you off too?” josh shouted, looking at his friend.

“anywhere but school,” Marcello pouted.

“come to school,” josh snapped back, “there’s free vicodin today.”

with…

“where are you off to?” josh shouted to Marcello.

“anywhere but school.”

“come to school. there’s free vicodin today.”

ok, the point is, taglines can dramatically change the tone of a story. sometimes a lot of information is good, and sometimes the mood is ruined with description. ultimately, it’s up to the writer to decide how to express things.

here’s an example of a great tagline from a Washington Post article on House Republicans attempts to receive more minority rights:

Was the gentleman from North Carolina asking Democrats to do as he says, not as he did?

“Look, I’m a junior member,” young McHenry protested. “I’m not beholden to what former congresses did.”

Anne Kornblut of the New York Times asked McHenry if his complaint might come across as whining.

“I’m not whining,” he whined.

now, whether or not he was actually whining when he complained/introduced the legislation is moot. we know all we need to know. the Post has told us he whined in his response, and that therefore he is a whiner of the first rank with a history of whining.

the rest of the article is equally hilarious.

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One Response to “that washington post sure knows how to turn two”


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