Week 1218: Mess with our — or anyone else’s — heads
Our new interior secretary
(Washington Post headline) Newest Alexa model can be implanted directly into the brain (Fake bank head)
Donald Trump vs. the Food Snobs
(New York Times) Ketchup, ShallotInfused Bearnaise Sauce Fly in Dining Room Kerfuffle Over Steak Condiments
Have you noticed that The Washington Post has almost entirely done away with the oldfashioned, elliptical “Dog Bites Man” headline style? Now, in print as well as online, headlines are likely to be full, grammatical sentences (sometimes two sentences) that better explain the point of the story and catch the reader’s interest. That’s a great benefit to both the articles and the reader — but not to the Invite’s perennial contest to misinterpret ambiguous headlines. So the Empress deigns this week to let the Loser Community range farther afield: Reinterpret (or comment wryly on) a headline appearing in The Post (print or online) or another publication and dated
March 920 by writing a bank head, or subtitle, as in the examples above from March 6. Please give the source and date for the headline you use so we can verify it. Note that those real headlines are in the “label” format, with just a subject and no predicate, like a book title; you’ll often find them atop essays and reviews. Please give the source and date for the headline so we can verify it. What counts as a headline? Can you use just part of one? The E covers these and other ground rules in The Style
Conversational, her weekly supplemental column, at bit.ly/conv1218. Submit entries at this website: bit.ly/enter-invite-1218 (all lowercase). Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a nifty decal for your car window that makes it look as if a golf ball has smashed into it — complete with half the golf ball. It’s reusable, too. Donated ages ago by Dave Prevar. Other runners-up win the yearnedfor “This Is Your Brain on Mugs” Loser mug (or its future replacement) or our Grossery Bag, “I Got a B in Punmanship.” Honorable mentions get one of our new lustedafter Loser magnets, “No Childishness Left Behind” or “Magnum Dopus.” First Offenders receive only a smelly treeshaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). Deadline is Monday night, March 20; results published April 9 (online April 6). See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. “InaugurAlchemy” in this week’s results headline is by Tom Witte; the honorablementions subhead was submitted by both Chris Doyle and Duncan Stevens. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev. “Like” Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at bit.ly/inkofday; follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.