Who shot who in the what now?

Found this tragic story at the New York Daily News website, but I’m having a little trouble following this short headline link on their home page.

Boyfriend of woman found dead, wrapped in plastic charged with murder

Was the “boyfriend of woman” found dead and wrapped in plastic? Was the boyfriend found dead, wrapped in plastic and charged with murder? Was the woman charged with murder? Was the plastic charged with murder??

The headline actually on the story page isn’t much clearer:

Boyfriend of slain mother of two found dead and wrapped in plastic, charged with murder

It’s even worse since, well, it’s a bit redundant to find the “slain” mother of two “dead”.

Now, if you stop and take some time to think about it, it’s obvious that the boyfriend is the one charged with murder, and that the woman was “found dead, wrapped in plastic”. However, this is a fantastic example of a description that gets away from a writer because of the amount of detail that needed to be squeezed into it (i.e. the plastic). Otherwise, it’s a pretty generic headline when a boyfriend is charged with the murder of his girlfriend (a pretty sad commentary on life and the media).

If given the opportunity to copy edit (and depending on character limits), I might have changed the home page headline to:

Murder charge for boyfriend of woman found dead, wrapped in plastic

And for the article itself where there’s more leeway for headline length:

Boyfriend, of slain mother of two found wrapped in plastic, charged with murder

That might clear it up a little. No charge, Daily News.

Also, I hope the cops have found her murderer and have enough to put him away for good.

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This entry was posted in Dept. of Redundancy Department, Headlines and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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