A headline in other words is the name of the article and its main purpose is to provoke readers' interest and make them read the article. A good headline should be accurate, clear, grammatically correct, strong, active, fresh and immediate. It should catch the reader's attention. The headline should sell the article to the reader. They should be accurate in tone, for example, it's abnormal to put a light headline on a serious story, or to use double meaning. So headlines are usually eye-catching, unusual, intriguing and in order to make them such journalists use different tricks.

First of all, newspaper headlines use a lot of distinctive vocabulary. They usually prefer words that are shorter and sound more dramatic than ordinary English words, and more often it is monosyllabic verbs and nouns (maximum 6 letters). For example, "axe" instead of "remove" or "dismiss", "a blaze" instead of "a fire". It is done in order to make words be more expressive and emotional, but at the same time short and compact.

Newspaper headlines try to catch the reader's eye by using as few words as possible, that's why articles, personal pronouns, this/that are omitted where there are no severe ambiguity results. For instance, "Queen opens new hospital" that sound in ordinary English as "The Queen opens a new hospital".

Journalists often use shortened verb forms to make headlines easier for reading. They usually use infinitive to express future, past participle instead of Perfect tenses, Present Simple to express past, etc.

It's also typical for headlines to use space-saving punctuation. Punctuation marks are often use to indicate questions, quotations, casual relations and connectives. It's easier to write "Brearley: "I Quit"? than "Mr Brearley has announced his resignation". It is made to make headlines shorter, but at the same time more expressive, and the second reason is to take the position of non-interference, it means that a journalist just quotes a famous person, but doesn't express his or her own thoughts and attitude.

It's normal when acronyms and abbreviations are used in newspaper headlines to save the space, for instance, "PM" instead of "Prime Minister" or "MP" for "Member of Parliament".

And he last but not the least is the use of puns. Some newspapers enjoy making jokes in their headlines. They do this by playing with words, or punning, that make headlines more peculiar and extraordinary.

And in the end I'd like to say that a headline is in some way the face of an article, that's why journalists have invented so many ways to make it brilliant and eye-catching. And I should say that the majority of journalists perfectly apply these methods to create wonderful headlines.


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