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The grapefruit gaffe

March 9, 2013
By Cindy Votruba , Marshall Independent

In this field, it can be difficult to come up with a clever way to write or present a headline.

You try different fonts, bigger fonts, bolder colors and maybe a photograph or some piece of art.

Or in Mankato Free Press' case, a photo of grapefruit slice, which in retrospect, probably wasn't a good idea.

On the food page in Tuesday's edition of the Free Press, whoever designed the page wanted to do something that would be creative. So on the front page of the section, to go along with a recipe for Spiced Grapefruit Compote, was the headline "Grapefruit Good for every meal." The grapefruit slice was supposed to represent the letter "g." But it really doesn't. And if you drop the "g" from grapefruit, you get, well, something that you don't want to necessarily associate with a breakfast food.

The "unfortunate" headline went viral of course, hitting the social media sites. That's how I found it, someone on Facebook posted the Huffington Post link. "Obviously, in hindsight, we would have done this differently," said Jim Santori, publisher of the Free Press. Yes, it definitely can be tough in this industry, especially in a technical world.

I'll admit that I panic about creating headlines, trying to string together a short phrase of sorts that would want to interest readers. Sometimes it can be obvious; sometimes I'll have to spend half an hour trying to come up with something, anything. I just won't use fruit slices to illustrate it.

And heaven forbid if you should spell something wrong or word a headline the wrong way. That's happened more than once around here, and I'm sure it will continue as long as print newspapers are still around. My eagle eye has gotten older in the last few years.

So in the wake of the Free Press debacle, I looked up some strange, funny and obvious headlines. Here are a few examples:

Study shows frequent sex enhances pregnancy chances

Utah Poison Control Center reminds everyone not to take poison

Homicide victims rarely talk to police

Jobs remain the best insurance against unemployment

State population to double by 2040: babies to blame

Federal agents raid gun shop, find weapons

Health officials: Pools, diarrhea not good mix

Man accused of killing lawyer receives a new attorney

Man eats underwear to beat breathalyzer

Bugs flying around with wings are flying bugs

17 remain dead in morgue shooting spree

Threat disrupts plans to meet about threats

Midget sues grocer, cites belittling remarks



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