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I realize that coming up with titles is difficult, but come on, Reuters.

Yahoo!’s RSS feed will often send me the same story several different times, as the title is changed or the article is altered. The funny thing is, often there are two versions of the same story on their server at the same time.

For example, there was a study in Norway that found that worms on fishhooks share something in common with lobsters and crabs that are boiled alive: none of them have complex enough nervous systems to register the pain of those experiences. (Eat your hearts out, animal rights activists…) Here are two versions of the story. One of them has a picture, and the other doesn’t.

Worms hooked on fishing feel no pain

Worms on a Hook Don’t Suffer?

I guess these are Reuters articles. I don’t know why Reuters tries to be so “clever” with their titles. That first one is just stupid. The worms are not “hooked on” fishing. They are captured, impaled, and flung into the water, where they are then eaten alive! Invoke that, and then tell me they feel no pain, and you will have made your point. The second title, while rather boring, does a much better job.

My friend Troy emailed me a bunch of hilarious headlines yesterday:

THE YEAR’S BEST [ ACTUAL ] HEADLINES OF 2004

Crack Found on Governor’s Daughter

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers

Is There a Ring of Debris around Uranus?

Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over

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 Awhile

Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures

Enfield (London) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges

Man Struck By Lightning Faces Battery Charge

New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks

Chef Throws His Heart into Helping Feed Needy

Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half

Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors

And the winner is….

Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

Now, most of these are funny because they have unintentional double meanings. (“Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant”! Yeah, that’ll show ‘im! :D) Reuters, on the other hand, tries too hard and invokes too many cliches. I’ll take unintended humor over their failed attempts any day.