Week 1218: Mess with our — or any­one else’s — heads

The Washington Post Sunday - - DIVERSIONS -

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.


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