Headline Humor

by Roger Pynn

While I’m not old enough to have known Britain’s World War II slogan in “Keep Calm and Carry On,” I do remember days when headline writers made sure the words they put atop a story told you what to expect.

A Saturday headline on a Reuters story in the Orlando Sentinel (you know, the print edition of OrlandoSentinel.com), warned:  “Keep calm – and keep your clothes on.”  Nowhere in the story about the controversy over the topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge (you know, Prince William’s wife, Kate Middleton) was there reference to the now more than 70-year-old slogan.

While humorous headlines can be fun, any comedian will tell you it’s important to tell jokes that your audience will get.  I guess there may have been some justification, because increasingly the only people reading print editions are octogenarians (although on their limited incomes in these trying times I wonder about them, too).

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