ECONOMIC CRISIS HITS HOME: Times-Standard lays off headline verbs–with update!!

In a sign of deepening financial turmoil, Humboldt County’s oldest daily newspaper confirmed Tuesday that it has laid off virtually all of its headline verbs.

Times-Standard Managing Editor Kimberly Wear additionally warned that gerunds and present participles could be next.

“Of course it’s sad whenever any part of speech loses its job,” Wear said, “but we’re adding slots in other departments. For example, while we’ve had to let our news headline verbs go, we’re employing an obscene number of colons in sports.”

[Hey sports dudes–lighten up. You’re writing sports stories, not doctoral dissertations.]

The effect of the layoffs was immediately noticeable. One story Tuesday was entitled simply “Economic politics,” while another, called “Columbus Day?” similarly skimped on both verb and object but managed, in the end, to find work for an odd but fortunate question mark.

In the Times-Standard’s top story, “County unemployment at highest rate in decade,” the cash-strapped fish-wrap couldn’t afford even one little form of be.

But tough economic times may have temporarily cooled the usually white-hot rivalry between the Times-Standard and the Eureka Reporter.

In an unprecedented show of support, Eureka Reporter Publisher Judi Pollace offered to loan her competitor a dysfunctional website, three car-wreck photos, and an entire issue filled with other stories no one gives a shit about.

UPDATE: Pleads, Goes, Faces and the Draws twins return to work Wednesday!! Insiders say the county’s paper of record dipped into the Fat Guys’ Emergency Donut Fund to pay the bill. Way to take one for the team, guys. Now if only we could get the sports colons to cut back a little. (Dressage? Really?? Is that even a sport?)

9 Responses

  1. Fuck me running, bugs. Another classic.

  2. Bugs you have way too much time on your hands. Who sits around and thinks up this sh*t? Pretty funny, but geez.

  3. I think the layoff has been a gradual one. I’ve noticed verbs disappearing from headlines for some time now. But today an entire online news section without a single verb. Or wait…. Is “reflecting” in that one story a verb or a gerund? My 5th grade teacher would be pissed that I still don’t know.

  4. So awesome. Thanks for the laugh.

  5. Sometimes I worry that you guys aren’t quite right in the head. Of course I mean that in a good way.

  6. Bug, you’re a dork.

  7. Maybe the ER should also throw in a couple dozen right-wing commentaries as part of the aid package. Or, you know. Throw in or throw out. One or the other.

  8. Ouch, more Bugbites!

    Clever and Funny! I couldn’t stop snickering.

  9. Journalism 101: Minimize the use of verbs in headlines. If you had ever taken a journalism class you would know that.

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