Thursday, April 29, 2010

Let Readers Draw Their Own Unwarranted Conclusions

This morning's front page, 7-inch filler, lower right, tells Old Word Wolf that grapes are good for her heart.

That's what a second-person pronoun does. "You" means the reader. And in this case that would be moi heart. Well, as the names featured on the left rail know, OWW doesn't have a heart.

Equally important is another minor detail -- that quaint idea that a headline accurately reflects the story. The article says nothing about human or Old Wolf hearts. The words -- read 'em -- are devoted solely to rat hearts, and rat hearts in a Michigan laboratory, at that.

Copy editors page designers layout artists Headline slappers, heed: Your (yes, that would be you) job is to report what the story says. It's the reader's job to draw baseless conclusions.

Before we move on, note the helpful picture of this rare fruit.

While we're on the front page, check out what's framing the mast: a color photo of Sandra Bullock from head to boob, a red-letter, three-line teaser about her marito-parental status, a refer to page 10. This would be fine if you -- yes, that would be you, Sun Group -- were our very own local National Inquirer or Variety, or even People Magazine, from where this who-cares-leave-the-movie-star-alone item has been lifted. Silly silly us. We thought we were reading a southwest Florida regional newspaper.

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