When I first read the "killer bookworm" title I thought for sure it'd be some stupid story about someone who loves to read, or a librarian who killed someone. As it turns out the story was actually about bookworms, but it got me to thinking about just how important titles are to anything written. Choosing titles has got to be a tricky business for writers. Library stories in the popular press are often entitled using puns on the usual themes, quiet, book, stacks, and so on, some are actually funny, but for the most part they seem to be obvious and tired. More interesting, to me at least, is reading different titles for the same article. Wire stories get reprinted in many different papers and it's amazing how often the titles get changed in ways that seem to change the meaning of the story completely. For the most part when I post something to LISNews I'll retain the original title, I'm not quite sure why I do that, it just seems like the right thing to do. But it's funny to see an AP story, and read just how different a title makes the story sound, and then read the rest of the story and look at how much the story has been chopped down to fit, I assume, more ads. Important remember that newspapers, magazines, TV, all major sources of news are in the advertising business, not the news business. It's all about the ratings. A catchy title, whether or not it reflects in the story, will increase ratings/readership/views/hits/etc…, which in turn means higher ad sales.

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