Archive for the ‘headline superheroes’ category

Headline Superheroes III: The Daft Knights

Presented for your delectation: a fresh set of stupidly shortened headlines that result in often offensive demi-deification of victims, criminals and assorted nautical ne’er-do-wells.

Do let us know if you find any of your own: tweet @headheroes, hashtag ’em #headlinesuperhero, Facebook ’em, or leave a comment below!

Shed death mother meets minister

‘Thank you, Shed Death Mother,’ said the minister, ‘Without your sterling work and great sacrifice, the garden centre’s forces may have overrun the city.’

Jay Whiston murder: leaflet appeal for stab death weapon

‘This boy was stabbed,’ said the police officer, visibly shaken, ‘but I’m afraid this is no normal stabbing. This boy was stabbed to death with a stab death weapon.’

Forth dinghy capsize death man named as John Dinning

No, BBC: John Dinning named ‘Forth dinghy capsize death man’.

Death dinghy’s standards failure

‘You haven’t killed enough people this month,’ scolded Death Yacht. ‘Shut your face,’ retorted Death Dinghy. ‘You’re high.’

Death yacht ‘had £20m of cocaine’

Yup. Even a 36-foot boat is going to die after that much coke.

Death boat loaded with ‘dirty’ cash

It was the harrowing experience of transporting money extracted from Cash-in-buttocks Man that caused Death Yacht to turn to drugs in the first place.

Cancer boy Neon Roberts’ mum blocks surgery

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s an intracranial neoplasm! But wait! Cancer boy’s mum just deployed her jurisprudential shield. Who will survive?! Cancer boy’s mum, for sure.

Tiger death girl’s family slam boss

‘It’s not easy being in charge of a family slam, especially when the daughter is a superhero capable of dishing out tiger death,’ explained Tiger Death Girl’s Family Slam Boss.

OAPs’ ordeal at hands of wild-eyed machete man

Edward Scissorhand’s less-friendly cousin had trouble with his contact lenses.

TV death baby Kian McMillan’s father admits neglect

When TV Death Baby grows up, The Ring will become a reality show.

China baby rescued from sewage pipe out of hospital

They’re lucky that the china baby didn’t shatter when he landed. Also, it was well worth spending words clarifying that the sewage pipe was coming out of the hospital.

He was my world, says dad of stab-death man Jake Harris

Welcome to Stab-Death World, boys and girls!

Fernhill Heath mystery crash man identified

Incidentally, ‘Mystery Crash’ was Microsoft’s internal codename for Windows Vista.

‘Nothing there’ for pool death girl

A fine candidate for the Least Informative Headline of 2013 award.

Racy online novel teacher ‘surprised’ at losing job

‘I thought my position as Sexy Dean at St Bacchus School of Naughty Literature was assured,’ she moaned… as she shuddered, feeling his powerful [that’s enough -Ed]

Written by Statto and Tom

October 26, 2013 at 22:53

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

The -ese of fixing headlines

The BBC today has given us a fantastic headline superhero in a fantastical situation. Meet Nepal Man: a national symbol who suffered for a crime he did not, nay could not, commit, for it does not exist. Japan Murder.

BBC News: as of 1634GMT, 7 November

Now, last time I checked, the nation of Japan wasn’t dead at the hands of Captain America’s lesser-known Himalayan counterpart. And, more appositely, there was definitely space in that headline for two ‘-ese’ suffixes.

Written by Tom and Statto

November 7, 2012 at 17:27

Headline Superheroes Assemble: Round 2

Column inches and pixel-millimetres-squared are precious, so truncation is natural in headlines…but, just sometimes, sense and sensitivity should come first. Welcome the latest batch of headline superheroes!

Do let us know if you find any of your own: tweet @headheroes, hashtag ’em #headlinesuperhero, Facebook ’em, or leave a comment below!

Aphrodisiac attack wife convicted

Her husband shakingly testified that she had smashed through the window, unleashing a volley of oysters, dark chocolate and tiger penis.

Fire extinguisher student is paying too high a price for his idiocy

His professor failed him for the whole year on account of one terrible extended essay on the differences between long-cone and star-burst hose dispersal systems on foam-based fire-fighting tools.

Gunshot man’s ‘execution’ death

For when ‘Man shot’ just doesn’t cut the mustard. Also a plot synopsis for the new Judge Dredd movie.

‘Rest break’ death ambulance technician keeps job

‘Hey, Rest Break!’ called Aphrodisiac Attack Wife from the back of the ambulance.

‘Look, I’ve told you. Call me Death Ambulance Technician—I don’t feel like we’re on nickname terms yet,’ responded ‘Rest Break’ Death Ambulance Technician, grouchily.

‘I can sort that out!’ she replied, unleashing a volley of oysters, dark chocolate and tiger penis.

Outcry over disowned US rape girl

As if it weren’t bad enough that she’s been disowned, Rape Girl has to live with her new title, which defines her by an event that not only brought her great physical and emotional pain, but also led to her estrangement. Woo!

Hartlepool stab death man was ‘self defence’

Hartlepool stab death man story editor was ‘poor standard of English’.

Baby wipe horror man admonished

‘You won’t dare admonish me when I’m a fully-grown Wipe Horror Man!’ riposted the baby Wipe Horror Man gravely, as shocked onlookers tried to grapple with the severity of the circumstances surrounding a dirty bum.

Bikini girl: Pervert yeti stalked me

Bikini Girl was forced to call upon the declarative powers of Pervert Yeti’s arch-nemesis, Sex Claim Man (remember him?).

Noisy sex woman admits ASBO breach

‘Yes! Oh, yes! Yes!’ Noisy Sex Woman told the court on being asked if she’d breached her ASBO.

Slough sausage choke baby death woman jailed

Baby Death Woman wowed a capacity crowd with her signature move, the Slough Sausage Choke.

Death explosion man ‘devastated’

Explosions do tend to be quite devastating. Whatever the case, keep your distance, or this guy might death explode.

US Skype death soldier Bruce Kevin Clark ‘not shot’

Skype Death Soldier’s powers include killing the conversation and causing fatal exceptions in VoIP software.

Prison for anti-freeze drink man

This jailbird tear-jerker will melt your heart: he was raised to be an ice-cold killer, but all that ethylene glycol put paid to that.

Murder girl parents’ India trip

I bet Murder Girl Parents were proud to have their holiday summed up succinctly with just five nouns and one possessive apostrophe.

Electrocution death firm cleared

…of electrocution death bodies.

Still no clue over bath death man

…headline choice.

‘UDA were behind boy bat attack’

Meet Boy Bat: a very rich young bat who paid for a special boy suit to be made so he could rid his cave of evil. And guano.

Banknote fetish man gets jail sentence cut on appeal

If there’s one thing we’ve learnt from the headline superheroes, it’s that we’d appeal against the cutting of sentences.

Written by Tom and Statto

September 18, 2012 at 17:40

Mum’s the unspeakable word

The Scarborough Evening News this week carries an example of a common technique for self-refuting emphasis popular amongst journalists and idiots alike.

These shocking pictures show the ‘unspeakable’ conditions four young children from Scarborough were forced to live in…

By which, presumably, they mean:

The conditions cannot be described in words, as we are doing, so we will let the pictures unspeak for themselves.

Astute Scarborians will also have noted that the headline—‘Neglect mum is spared jail’—makes the protagonist in this particular cliché a headline superhero.

Written by Statto and Tom

March 14, 2011 at 12:25

Headline superheroes

Believe it or not, we are all surrounded by powerful demigods with idiosyncratic superpowers. Terror man. Death girl. Crash boy. Test drive crash death man. Cash-in-buttocks man.

Take a tragedy, throw in a lack of name-recognition for average Joes (ironically excluding Jo), a pinch from a radioactive spider and you have…The Headline Superheroes!

In editorial meetings, subs are being snubbed in favour of hackneyed hacks who apparently think nouns are adjectives…but imagine how a grieving person must feel when they see their loved one splashed all over the day’s news, renamed as a superhero in the service of truncative expediency.

Certainly, increasing newsprint prices and decreasing sales volumes are forcing editors to covet every physical column inch, while online news perusers have attention spans so moronically short that they lose track of the plot whilst reading LOLcats or that squirrel… there, outside the window. Quick, video it on your phone and upload it to the YouTube!

Join us in our quest to honour the accidental, undeserving, offensive, and outright insane superheroes and supervillains of the modern age. Submit them to us here at Headline Superheroes, or tweet them @headheroes, or with the hashtag #headlinesuperhero. You can also stick them on our Facebook wall.

Elephant attack man played dead

Stolen away from his parent’s missionary outpost in darkest India, young Jerry Walker soon learned amazing powers from the jungle animals—including the ability to summon a herd of Attack Elephants!

Wisbech mattress death woman ‘may have been stamped on’

‘Sleep tight’, quipped Wisbech Mattress Death Woman, as she emerged victorious from yet another pillow fight.

‘I’m only playing dead!’ retorted Elephant Attack Man.

‘Digger death driver was not qualified’

‘This digger death driving test is harder than it looks,’ sobbed an aspiring superhero.

Sex attack deportation man jailed

‘For outsourcing our sex attacks overseas, I sentence you to 16 years in jail,’ said sex attack deportation man trial judge.

Malaysia hunts for sex claim man

‘Ha ha, Sex Claim Man, we have you cornered now!’ said Malaysia.

‘Look, over there,’ exclaimed Sex Claim Man, ‘They’re shagging!’

‘Wh…where? Who? I can’t see…hey, where’s Sex Claim Man gone? Blast.’

Sex attack on lorry death girl ruled out

‘Should we have a sex attack on Lorry Death Girl?’ mused Sex Attack Deportation Man, ‘No, probably not.’

Mountain peak fall man ‘to keep climbing’

‘I’m sick of being the fall guy,’ explained Ben Nevis, despite being in peak condition.

Fire death jockey named by family

And despite this, he’s still referred to as Fire Death Jockey.

Wheelie bin man crushed to death

His powers weren’t enough to save him this time.

Stab man ‘sorry’ his cousin dead

Pidgin English man regret his headline no make sense.

Stab man showed girlfriend wounds

Is Girlfriend Wounds the deadly sidekick of Stab Man? What did he show her?

Stab man guilty of manslaughter

If only there were some kind of word for a ‘stab man’. Still, better than ‘Manslaughter man guilty of stab’.

Buttocks stab man hurt outside bar in Cowley

Presumably they were trying to get the cash out.

Pregnancy teen rape man jailed

What’s his superpower? [OK, I think we’ve crossed the line now. –ed]

Written by Tom and Statto

January 31, 2011 at 09:00