Headline supersubstance identified as Guillemot Kryptonite

The BBC has granted us a window into another side of the Headline Superheroes with a marvellous exposé. Check out this headline superthing:

Seabird deaths substance 'identified as oil substance'

Thanks for the clarification, Beeb. If only they’d identified that substance as something other than oil substance, that headline might have had some substance. Oh, wait:

Plymouth University said it was a form of polyisobutene (PIB), which was used as a lubricating additive in oils to improve performance.

No words in that sentence are more descriptive than ‘substance’ nor of similar length. Apart from ‘additive’. And ‘lubricant’.

It’s a shame that this event wasn’t live-blogged, so that we could have watched the development of this headline in real time:

  1. Seabird deaths caused by seabird death causer
  2. Seabird deaths caused by unidentified seabird deaths substance
  3. Seabird deaths substance ‘identified’ as ‘substance’
  4. Seabird deaths substance ‘identified as oil substance’
  5. Seabird deaths substance identified as oil substance ‘identified as oil additive’
  6. Seabird deaths substance identified as oil additive identified as polyisobutene
  7. Seabird deaths oil additive lubricant substance ‘identified’ as Richard III

Written by Tom and Statto

February 6, 2013 at 22:27

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