How not to write picture captions, by a leading UK newspaper … episode 5


Were they conversing with
the parrots or the hyenas?

Here’s the first round for 2014, of hilarious picture captions from one of the UK’s most loved/hated newspapers and I’m delighted to see their sub-editors have not put “how to get our syntax right” down as one of their New Year’s resolutions. [Read more…]

News headlines that make news in themselves…

There’s something about the large letters used in newspaper headlines that can make their writers blind to what they actually say. Here are some examples of headlines where someone, somewhere, should have read them again before hitting “publish..”

Something went wrong in jet crash, expert says

Miners refuse to work after death

Juvenile court to try shooting defendant

War dims hope for peace

If strike isn’t settled quickly, it may last a while

Cold wave linked to temperatures

Enfield couple slain; police suspect homicide

Red tape holds up new bridges

New study of obesity looks for larger test group

Kids make nutritious snacks

Hospitals are sued by seven foot doctors


Many thanks to my good friend Angelika Davey for bringing these to my attention…

Now, let’s get you  making the headlines:

“Super Speeches”…how to write and deliver them well

“How To Write About Yourself”…how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write

“Business Writing Made Easy”…everything you need to know about writing for business in Englishget it published

Images borrowed with thanks from itTHING

Whoops, I’ll write that again

Normally I start the week with a post about serious business writing, but this time I can’t resist sharing these hilarious captions from – would you believe it – one online edition of one “popular” British Sunday newspaper.

Maybe they run the weekend editions with a skeleton crew of staff, but come on, folks. Take 30 seconds to read them back before you hit the return key, OK? In the meantime, here’s a laugh and a lesson in how important it is to proofread your writing…

Loving arms: Bill Hudson with a young Kate in the early eighties. He describes himself as a one-man woman who was desperate for a family …I suspect he was probably desperate for gender reassignment surgery, too.

Solemn occasion: Kate Middleton stands between the Duchess of Cornwall and Countess of Wessex as she attends the Whitehall event for the first time …er, Kate has a title now, guys. Duchess of, what was it again?

Father and son: Prince William, left, and Prince Charles follow the Queen up to the Cenotaph to lay wreaths, wearing their uniform from when they served in the Army …uniform must have been a bit smelly by now, especially as they shared one between them

X Factor ‘fix’ fear after Amelia is announced the winner an hour earlier than voting had closed wouldn’t “before voting had closed” be clearer?

Taking the lead: Zara Philips walks to her car to drive to an area to exercise the boxer and black Labrador …struggling to say “take her dogs for a walk” in a different way, aren’t we.

Elegant: Despite not coming top of again, Chelsee Healy scored an impressive 36 for her Foxtrot with Pasha Kovalev …not coming top of… what? Never mind, I expect Pasha was appreciative of her impressive foxtrot.

Keeping busy: The star performed at the Bambi Awardsy in Wiesbaden, Germany on Thursday …aw, cutesy wootsey

Write caption here oh can I, please? Please?

Get me out of here! Freddie is forced to find stars amongst the maggots to win meals for the group you just can’t find any decent stars to audition these days, can you.

Following in Antony’s footsteps: Crissy looked ready to cry as it was her turn to fly through the sky especially as Antony had been flashing a pair of scissors near her parachute straps just before he jumped.

Wealthy: Michael Moore, pictured addressing Occupy Denver protesters two weeks ago, bought a 2,500 sq ft plot and expanded it to create the mansion, sources say I wonder if he’s just as good at expanding loaves and fishes?

Humps: Fergie showed off her lovely lady lumps in a revealing dress her WHAT?

Make sure you never need to rewrite your captions!

“How To Write About Yourself”…how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write

“Business Writing Made Easy”…everything you need to know about writing for business in English

“Banana Skin Words and how not to slip on them”…over 1,500 spelling and grammar tips to perfect your written English