Holiday Clichés Should Stay out of Headlines

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


The holidays are around the corner but the typical Christmas clichés in the headlines such as "'tis the season" should stay out of the headlines.

"Chestnuts roasting by an open fire are fine, but they should be kept out of copy and headlines," cautions master copy desk chief John McIntyre of the Baltimore Sun.

In his article titled The Holiday Cautions McIntyre lists off some of the typical holiday sayings that should not make it to the headlines.

"'’Twas the night before' anything: 'Twasing is no more defensible than ’tising," says McIntyre. "And if you must refer to the Rev. Mr. Moore's poem, if indeed he wrote it, the proper title is 'A Visit from St. Nicholas.'"

McIntyre also puts a halt to the Grinch stealing anything. When a house is robbed or any Christmas related items are stolen, "Grinch steals" needs to remain out of the headline.

Some of the other clichés he mentions in his article to not use are any "Yes, Virginia" allusions, and he states "Any 'Christmas came early' construction is right out."

The parodies of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" are a no go, and anything that has bah or humbug needs to be deleted.

These sayings offer what seem to be creative headlines for the holiday season, but instead they are overused or do not resonate with the reader.

2 comments:

Keith McCarthy November 2, 2011 at 11:12 AM  

Clichés should be left out of print in general. They're cheesy and show a lack of though on the author's part. They show laziness on the author's part in my opinion. Some claim that clichés let them show their voice or express originality. A cliché is defined as something overly familiar or commonplace. It would appear that a cliché is anti-originality.
I agree with your post clichés have no place in headline. While the holidays are a time of fluff stories and what I consider "awwwww" reporting, keep it purely journalistic. Explain things in your own words, not those that are "overly familiar or commonplace.

Lance Kramer November 6, 2011 at 6:58 PM  

I agree with Keith because I believe that the headlines should not be original but creative and say something about their story. Christmas is a time for giving but what about giving the holiday of Hanukkah a headline? I feel that the United States papers are bias when it comes to Christmas because most of the major headlines, in my opinion, are only about Christmas not any other holidays.

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