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    • New note by bobjonkman 4 September 2019
      They're made out of meat https://web.archive.org/web/20190501130711/http://www.terrybisson.com/theyre-made-out-of-meat-2/
    • Favorite 4 September 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by tom: we're all just markov bots made of meat
    • Favorite 4 September 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by o0karen0o: Free and open source software's all about the fact that no one and nothing is perfect. #reminder
    • Favorite 31 July 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by natecull: Dear everyone who is considering making a video of yourself talking rather than just writing the *exact same words* into a text file, a blog post or a PDF:Unless you're specifically targeting people who literally cannot read...Please don't.Sincerely, A Person Who Doesn't Have Literal Free Hours To Hear You Slooooowly […]
    • Favorite 28 July 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by kensanata: I recommend people just turn off voice assistants whenever they can. That includes smart watches and the like! If you don’t depend on them, then there always the chance of activating them by mistake and of voice samples getting sent and stored where they don’t belong and listened to by […]
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by floxadvocate 27 July 2019
      RT @floxadvocate Happy System Administrator DayToday, please remember to thank the professionals who keep your computers and network functioning https://sysadminday.com/https://www.sys-admin-day.de/https://www.LOPSA.org/#sysadm #LOPSA
    • Favorite 27 July 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by floxadvocate: Happy System Administrator DayToday, please remember to thank the professionals who keep your computers and network functioning https://sysadminday.com/https://www.sys-admin-day.de/https://www.LOPSA.org/#sysadm #LOPSA
    • Favorite 17 July 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by wolfie: @ink_slinger also "blood is thicker than water" is actually short for "The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb" which means that friendship formed in hardship is stronger than family bonds, the exact opposite of the shorthandAnd curiosity killed the cat used to stop people […]
    • Favorite 17 July 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by inkslinger: "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps" was originally satire because that is, um, impossible. It's now stated without irony."Just a few bad apples," when referring to police, conveniently ignoring the full aphorism ials actually: One bad apple *spoils the bunch.*
    • Favorite 27 June 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by selfcare: Fix something small that gets in your way. Sew on a button, clean a grimy keyboard.

When Headlines Go Bad

Posted by Bob Jonkman on December 9th, 2009

Bad Headline: GWAVA Releases Version 3.1 of its Novell GroupWise Disaster
Bad Headline: GWAVA Releases Version 3.1 of its Novell GroupWise Disaster

Newspaper editors have it easy — whatever they write, the printers print. On the Internet it’s not that easy. On the Internet, Atom/RSS feeds of articles mean that editors can’t control the presentation on the reader’s computer. That makes it all the more important to craft headlines so that they can’t be misconstrued, or at least so that they can be truncated safely.

The headline I read was GWAVA Releases Version 3.1 of its Novell GroupWise Disaster, which doesn’t sound like an appealing product worth buying. GWAVA’s full headline was GWAVA Releases Version 3.1 of its Novell GroupWise Disaster Recovery Product. Sadly, even the headline on GWAVA’s web site is mangled, running the main headline into the secondary headline:

Even full headlines have problems of their own
Even full headlines have problems of their own

"Too Cool To Do Drugs" pencil
Sharpen this pencil, I double-dog dare ya!

Pencil manufacturers should take note also: As the Too Cool To Do Drugs pencil is sharpened, the message transforms to Cool To Do Drugs, the semi-Hamlettian To Do Drugs, eventually to just Do Drugs and finally the non-judgmental declaration Drugs. Just the kind of thing that will go over well at school.

–Bob.

 
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