A CARDINAL RULE of headline writing: Don’t end the first line of a headline with a preposition. I learned that rule during my first hour on the desk as a copy editor. Certain headline rules are “musts.” That’s one of them.
So, I was disappointed when I saw the headline above on Page 1 of The Herald, our hometown newspaper here in Rock Hill, SC. But I wasn’t disappointed for long. In a few days, I saw another headline (“Clemson students…”), with the first line ending in an article (“a,” “an,” “the). Another cardinal rule violated.
My disappointment turned into a slow burn.
And then, yesterday’s (11.11.16) front page carried another headline (“Parents react…”) ending in a preposition.
“Geez,” I thought, “Don’t they teach the people on their desk even the basics of headline writing?”
And I’m left with the sinking feeling that no one at The Herald really cares…that they’re just going through the motions.