Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I don't read newspapers nearly enough. Used to read them everyday before I got an iPhone and hooked up to Twitter. Maybe not intellectually sound, but I use Twitter as my main source of news because its all the news that fits my agenda, whatever that may be (follow me and find out!).

I haven't really missed reading a newspaper but I'll give Chicago its due: two great papers, two awesome perspectives. I'll go on record and claim the Sun-Times as my favorite because of the caliber of its columnists.

The Tribune simply doesn't have that columnist cache (but, wow, that delicious 'frat boy' mentality that blankets an oh-so serious rag - ha ha, I was once accused of having 'pedestrian' tastes when an acquaintance caught me buying the Sun-Times at a local White Hen - just as the clerk was slipping it into a brown paper bag. I confirmed his belief when I said I could barely read above the third grade level and the Sun-Times was my "Dick and Jane" primer. His look was one of pity - no sense of humor, those Trib snobs).

Anyway, I read the papers mostly on days off - mainly the Sunday papers or an occasional holiday. Since I'm no longer an avid newspaper reader and since Twitter is based on (conceptually) headline writing (maximum 140 characters, you know the score), I've recently found that I love the wordsmithing of headlines and see them as a literary form (serious or campy) that have purpose.

The Sun-Times on this Wednesday, November 21, had some nice turns of phrase:
  • 'Game-changer' from Vatican on condoms
  • Man's body found in recycling bin
  • Suburban orthodontist charged with fondling teen
  • Sheen's $3,500 date doomed from the start (actually a Richard Roeper column)
  • Dog-dropping charges against woman dropped
  • 'That guy who is in charge is crazy': local Korean
  • Grey powers through pain for the win
  • Athletes' jersey numbers used as code for drug amounts
  • Found bone not Natalee Holloway's
  • In Four Loko ban, logic is left behind
These headlines flow with a sort of poetic timbre, roll easily off the tongue and - surprise - do their jobs. They make you want to read every one of the stories below them.

But I love these headlines, the Sun-Times vs. the Tribune, over (basically) the same story:
  • Sun-Times: Gov, Brady chew the fat at 'corned beef summit'
  • Tribune: With election decided, a delicatessen detente
Now, be honest, which story would you rather read?

I can tell what kind of person you are by your answer.

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