What's in a Word | All Blogs


Four fitting words

By Debra Dobbins

“Make it snappy and make it fit” is the injunction that headline writers follow. The “hed” over today’s irrigation story rises to the challenge.

Good headline writers use literary techniques to grab our attention. Here, the writer employed three techniques in just four fitting words.

The writer used two words starting with “I” to make the headline alliterative. (See entry for July 13 for more on alliteration.)

The writer used parallelism by using a noun and a verb and then repeating that grammatical structure. The use of two words with the suffix “tion” further strengthens the parallelism. (See July 8 entry.)

The writer also managed to create not one but two internal rhymes with “irrigation” and “irritations” and “dries” and “rise.”

Such techniques appeal to our inner ears. Our teachers taught us not to subvocalize as we read, which means saying words softly to ourselves, but we subconsciously hear, and appreciate, the sounds anyway.

It’s challenging to write a hed that summarizes a story in a mandated length. When someone can write just four words that encapsulate a story and contain so many literary techniques, it’s downright masterful.
 

COMMENTS

Please Login or Register to leave a comment.




Recent Posts
Of horses and dinosaurs
By BSilbernagel
Thursday, June 30, 2016

DON’T POO-POO YOUR NOISY WOODPECKER!
By Nic.Korte
Thursday, June 30, 2016

When they said shade, they meant shade
By Penny Stine
Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Carrots and raspberries make a good combination
By Penny Stine
Monday, June 27, 2016

Proof
By Penny Stine
Friday, June 24, 2016


TOP JOBS




THE DAILY SENTINEL
734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050; M-F 8:00 - 5:00
Editions
Subscribe to print edition
E-edition
Advertisers
Advertiser Tearsheet
Information

© 2016 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy