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Lapsing Into a Comma
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THE SLOT: Like this logo?
A VANITY FOR A COPY EDITOR
SINCE 1995

By Bill Walsh


Slot? WTF are you talking about?

LOW WORDPLAY | OCT. 24, 2003

A
nd the headline read:


Pachelbel's Canyon
What do you get when you cross a white-water rafting trip in Utah with a string quartet? Listen to this one.

That kind of headline is one reason I like working at the Washington Post.  It's a headline that will make sense to people looking at a coffee-table book of section fronts in a century or two. It's not idle wordplay, although it is obvious. It's the kind of  headline that screams out to be written, no matter how many times it's been written before.

I've been passing that headline in the window of the Travel section office on the fourth floor, on my way to the men's room, for years. I wish I knew who wrote it. "Not much use for that stuff in Business," I thought. "But I won't be in Business forever."

No, National can't compete with Style or Travel or Sports for cleverness. Yes, readers have seen it all before, somewhere else in the paper. So what? Does that mean we can't try? I need the "Pachelbel's Canyon" copy editor by my side on the National copy desk. Can you imagine what he or she will be able to do with a coast-to-coast palette? Forget "City of the Big Shoulders." Chicago can once again be "Hog Butcher for the World."

As I've said before, the big headline on Nov. 23, 1963, should have played off "grassy knoll" somehow. We should have known.



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ANOTHER BILL WALSH WEB PRODUCTION Fake New Yorker quote


Cool Site of the Day THE SLOT was selected as Cool Site of the Day for July 20, 1996.
(It would have been sooner had I used animated GIFs.)


 








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