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Flying monkeys raise eyebrows

As Black Ink regulars know, I’m completely in the tank for the inside-the-back-cover feature of Columbia Journalism Review in which the editors assemble headlines that are subject to often-hilarious double meanings.

Here are some from the latest issue that just hit my snailmailbox:

Write-in voting gets woman shot at school board

Bison study plan to use sterilization

A Nancy Grace special: “6-yr-old girl just found after 26 years”

Top cop vows to get gang involved in shooting of girls

Over the years that I’ve been enjoying the feature, I’ve seldom seen a headline from my old employer, but the Star Tribune made the current issue with this one:

A-Rod gets hit, Colon hurt.

To get it, you would have to know that the hated New York Yankees not only employ the slugger Alex Rodriguez, but also a pitcher named Bartolo Colon. Colon got hurt in the same game that A-Rod got plunked by a pitch.

And if you wonder about the flying monkeys who raised their eyebrows in the headline on this post, that’s also a headline from the new CJR collection. I couldn’t hazard a reasonable guess what that headline, originally from the Toronto Star, was trying to say. Here’s the story.

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Bruce Pomerantz on 09/21/2011 - 09:53 pm.

    Here’s one that appeared in Mr. Black’s very own MinnPost on September 21 for a Joe Kimball article:

    Facebook votes to determine historic preservation grants

  2. Submitted by Aaron Sinner on 09/22/2011 - 10:48 am.

    I remember learning in high school English to avoid the word “get” in formal writing, because it’s a vague word and there’s pretty much always a more precise word that can be used in its place. Following that rule could’ve saved at least two of these headlines.

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