Please join us at

Get the posts on my new blog by e-mail. Enter your e-mail address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

New posts on

Friday, March 28, 2008

Name of Paper Withheld is BACK

Today's episode of Little Miss Know-it-All: Pull quotes.

It's been a while since I mentioned Name of Paper Withheld: they've been satisfyingly mediocre for the past couple of months and haven't deserved my wrath. However, this lovely pull quote on the front page of today's paper is just ridiculous.

Pull quotes are short quotes from the body of a story, presented in larger font as part of the overall page design. They're a great way to pull readers into a story, especially a story that's a bit hard to understand at first. They can also pull readers into the entire newspaper by featuring the best thing that's been said since the last edition hit the streets. They are the print equivalent of the quotes that air just before the TV news begins. They're dynamic and exciting, and can set the tone for the reader. The idea is to showcase your very best material in hopes of pulling more people into the paper. A really good quote on the front page can even convince people to buy the paper. It sums up the best story of the day in a handful of words. It can be a beautiful thing. Think "I am not a crook" or "We will be greeted as liberators".

Now, let's break down the best thing Name of Paper Withheld thinks it has: "I'd far prefer to honour them than these birds."

Hmmm. I'm not feeling it. Anyone else? For starters, there's no context here. I need to figure out what this person is talking about before I can decide if it's a good quote. That's a problem.

Never fear: It turns out that it's a quote from one of our city councillors, who apparently has a "preference for prominent [name of town withheld]er's over raptors for street names". Hold on. My eye twitch is acting up again. For a second there, I thought Name of Paper Withheld had gone back to using apostrophes as decoration. I'll just glance at it really quickly and look away, just to make sure.

Dammit, won't they ever learn how to use punctuation?

And what the HELL kind of English is that, anyway? Who prefers people over raptors for street names? That doesn't even make sense. The only way this could have been worse would have been if Name of Paper Withheld had used "then" instead of "than". (I have to find something positive in this. It's the front page, after all.)

Braving the story on page 10, I discovered that Councillor Brooks cast the only vote against a bylaw that would name streets in a new subdivision after birds. But don't worry! City Hall is still going to name streets after people! They just want to name a few streets after birds for a change.

This is the kind of hard-hitting news that requires a free press. Hold the front page.


Jackie S said...

Those are some special layout skillz.