Thanks to the Internet, no mistake shall pass without a good public mocking.
The readers of the Mankato Free Press in Minneapolis are having a ripe old time with the headline that appeared in the food section of their local newspaper. Not to spoil the punchline, check it out here.
Courtesy also to the power of the Internet, the playground of armchair comedians everywhere, the puns piled up in the comment section. “I’ve never heard of rapefruit but it sound like an intense way to start my day,” one reader posted to the paper’s Facebook page. (Also in true Internet style, her quip led to a hostile debate about joking about a serious topic.)
In any event, the Mankato is far from the sole offender of the headline fail. It has plenty of company, so we’re not judging. (And points for at least remembering to write a headline, disaster though it was.) Sometimes, the headline’s just fine, it’s the art that offers the punch line. And sometimes, as in the case of the sex scandal involving CIA director David Petraeus last year, headline writers can’t resist.
Of course, fans of the headline fail have to act quickly since editors can quickly improve their efforts online (again, not judging), as was apparently the case with the Sacramento Bee on April 6. “Homeless Survive Winter: Now What?” became this. And sometimes, the mistake is so awful – say using the headline Burn, Baby, Burn for a story about a gas-line explosion that destroyed a family’s home – you just have to say sorry.
Here’s a few more examples from online collections. It can be hard to tell the real ones from the fake – and some are true reflections of real events – so take a guess, then hit the link.
Chick Accuses Some Of Her Male Colleagues Of Sexism
Utah Poison Control Centre Reminds Everyone Not To Take Poison
Bugs Flying Around With Wings Are Flying Bugs
Starvation Can Lead To Health Hazards
No One Reported Shot, Stabbed Or Slashed In New York City On Monday
Women Look Their Worst At 3:30 p.m. Every Wednesday, Survey Claims
Hospitals Resort To Hiring Doctors
DOE To Do NEPA’s EIS On BNFL’s AMWTP At INEEL After SRA Protest.
Woman In Sumo Wrestler Suit Assaulted Her Ex-girlfriend In Gay Pub After She Waved At Man Dressed As A Snickers Bar
Editor's note: A previous version of this story misspelled the name of the Sacramento Bee newspaper. This has been corrected.