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Ever since World War II, I've been reading and writing headlines, but I look at my newspaper every day and don't understand more than half of them. Some of the headlines are written more to intrigue potential readers than to inform them. but still, we ought to know what they're talking about. Here are some recent examples from newspapers that are either puzzling or a mystery to me:
STIMULUS JOBS ON STATE'S BILL IN MISSISSIPPI
Does everyone else know what a "stimulus job" is?
I've had a lot of different jobs but I don't think I've ever had a stimulus one. If I had one and didn't know it, my employer should have told me. I'd have asked for more money.
ELDERS OF WALL STREET FAVOR TIGHT REIN
I'm glad. No one likes a loose rein. (The word "reign" with a g in it is easy to confuse with "rein." It is by me, anyway.)
MERGERS MAY INCREASE AS BIG ENERGY COMPANIES SEEK RESERVES
I wonder how the headline will read if mergers don't increase?
MISSTEPS WEIGH ON AGENDA FOR CLIMATE
Really? I'll be darned. What won't they weigh next.
OBAMA TO HELP PICK LOCATION OF TERROR TRIAL
"Help?" What do you mean by "help"? If President Obama says, "let's have it here," they may decide to have it somewhere else? I don't think so.
MORE MOMS ENTERING WORKFORCE, reads a Washington Post headline.
Another Post head says, KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY: WRESTLERS' DYNASTY IS BORN
The Post doesn't say more kids will be left home without their mothers but they will be.
The second story said that Matt and Frances Cannon had 15 children. It was about wrestling but I didn't finish it because I couldn't stop thinking that 15 is too many children for one couple to have.
Didn't Frances get tired of being pregnant?
I often see stories in the newspaper about people I don't understand but I'm glad I'm not them. Here's a headline:
SECRET JOINT RAID CAPTURES
TALIBAN'S TOP COMMANDER
I love the name "Taliban" for an enemy, but I'm glad I'm not that commander. If it was cold, do you think they'd give him an extra blanket in his cell after they captured him?
CHINA BUILDS, INDIA FRETS, another headline reads.
So what else is new? China has always built and India has always fretted, but it's hard to say which country has made the most progress. Or why they haven't made more. They both have more people than they need. Of course, we have plenty ourselves.
INSURER WARNED U.S. OF TOYOTAS
I'll bet the presidents of other car companies feel terrible about the bad luck Toyota is having. They'll have to take on Toyota's business. Luck didn't really have anything to do with it, of course.
DISTRICT REPORTED 220 INSTANCES OF ABUSE BY TEACHERS
We'll never know but I'll bet at least half the kids had it coming to them. Not only that, I don't think what came from teachers was probably much. I went to school for about 16 years including college and I never saw a teacher hit a kid.
We abused the teachers when I was in school but they never struck back. We didn't have many bad teachers. This was during the Depression and I suppose they were glad to have work. Mr. Crowe threw erasers at kids who were talking but it was mostly for fun.
AFTER YEARS OF QUIET, EXPECTING A SURGE IN U.S. MEDICAL SCHOOLS
Well, I hope so. There are 308 million people in the United States and 800,000 doctors. That's OK with doctors but the rest of us would like one each.
(Write to Andy Rooney at Tribune Media Services, 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, NY 14207, or via email at email@example.com)
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