Time was when headline writing was a bit of an art. Dust down a corduroy-clad sub-editor chuntering away under the cobwebs at any newspaper and he (it's probably a he) will bore you to tears with stories about brilliant headlines of our time that he wrote, the wonderful puns that have graced our pages, and so on.
That was before the internet, I'm afraid. Nowadays your headline has to generate clicks, not interest readers. So when you see the frankly bizarre
Roman Abramovich spends £17million on a big fat naked lady
on this story about a billionaire buying a painting, don't wonder why the headline writer didn't craft something more witty. Or interesting. Or any good. Because it's not about that any more. It's about getting to the top of the Google search.
Hence why it's not 'Abramovich' but 'Roman Abramovich'. You know who he is, I know who he is, almost everyone in Europe knows who he is. But if it's just 'Abramovich' then you won't get as many clicks from people who have googled 'Roman Abramovich' as other articles that have got both names in the headline.
Hence why I've tried a bit of a catch-all in the headline to this post. Hopefully it will snare in people searching for things about headlines AND Jeopardy. And mghghghg as well. So I'm casting a very wide net, you have to say.
There's a part of me that's saddened about this decline in the value of a well-written punning headline. Surely something with some imagination and flair could have been found, some mention of the painter, some artistic bit of wordplay? No. Big fat naked lady. (I imagine that the Mail are hoping for a few clicks from a certain type of gentleman searching the internet as well.)
Oh and the story's a crock of fetid shit, by the way. But that's kind of a given, isn't it?