LOW WORDPLAY | OCT. 24, 2003
nd the headline read:
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
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.
Do you have a question for The Slot? Bring it on.
Been here, done this? Get the T-shirt.