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Article listed on Wikipedia:Votes for deletion Apr 29 to May 6 2004, consensus was not reached. Discussion:

Made up term? A specialised form of language? If there *is* an article to be written on the subject, what's there right now isn't it.

  • I've at least seen the word before; it's linked from journalese. I have tried to rewrite the page. Smerdis of Tlön 14:52, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)
    • On second thought, what I wrote might be profitably merged with headline, and headlinese turned into a redirect. Smerdis of Tlön 18:55, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)
    • I like what you've written, but agree it's ahrd to see it growing into a full article. How about merging the meat of it with journalese as you suggest and creating a List of famous and funny headlines as an interesting jumping-off point ? TB 07:52, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)
  • Keep, and I love TB's idea about funny headlines. RickK 22:08, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)

End discussion

Starting fresh[edit]

I write headlines. "Headlinese" is a word we sometimes use for language we try to avoid. It's only related to the unintentionally funny headlines in that we try to avoid those, too.

I'm going to rework this.

Maurreen 09:47, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)

This is what it was[edit]

Headlinese is the compressed, syntactically distorted form of writing that is frequently found in newspaper headlines. It is characterised by:

verbing nouns (and vice versa); the frequent use of contractions, such as Pols (for "politicians"); Dems (for "Democrats"), GOP (from "Grand Old Party", a nickname for the Republican Party), and so forth. the use of short nouns where a longer one is used in the article; "talks" for "debates" or "negotiations", for example. the use of alliteration and other rhetorical figures to capture interest. discarding accuracy and nuance in favor of concision, e.g. "Ford to City: Drop Dead". Variety magazine is well known for brief, witty headlines that often contain jargon that is possible because this is a specialized periodical covering the entertainment industry. (E.g. Hix Nix Stix Pix meant that rural audiences rejected movies with rural settings.) However, many people are more interested in collections of alleged, possibly apocryphal, "headlines" that contain humorous solecisms, such as:

"Mad Cow Talks in Washington" "Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge" "Mounting Problems for Young Couples" "Hospital Sued by Seven Foot Doctors" This article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it (

Retrieved from ""


This page should be merged with Headline. Maurreen (talk) 17:03, 9 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

more headlinese[edit]

In old films (30s, 40s) you will sometimes see newspaper headlines that read like imperative sentences: e.g. "FIND HAUPTMANN GUILTY." I've never seen that construction used in real life, and I haven't even seen it in films later than the WW2 era. Any insights? PurpleChez (talk) 20:27, 2 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Merge proposed[edit]

 – Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere

Please see Talk:News style#Merge two stubs? for a proposal to merge this article and Headlinese into News style, as sections.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  08:43, 2 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comma meaning "and"[edit]

It's very common that headlines use commas instead of the word "and". This should be addressed here. Can anyone help? Thanks. Mateussf (talk) 17:20, 11 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Third bullet point in the "Style" section. Einsof (talk) 18:08, 11 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Oh, thanks, I had missed it! I found this source if anyone feels it should be added. Mateussf (talk) 18:33, 11 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]