Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Brevity is definitely wit
These days no one has time to read big news articles. However journalists/editors have the tendency of reducing news to tiny bits that actually end up having undesired results.
For example, last day there was this news in the front page of a national daily:
"Attack on Airtel office:Two suicide bombers attacked the offices of Airtel and MTN in Kano, Nigeria, on Saturday. Only the duo was killed."
The last line actually made me laugh. What a bungling pair of terrorists! Now I am certain the paper's intent was not to evoke laughter on such a serious incident. But that was the end result.
Long back when the newspapers were still in its infancy, news used to come in bits and pieces because there weren't so many pages for filling in the details. I wonder if it produced the same comic effect back then. Here's an example of a funny last line from a 1921 UK newspaper:
"Divorce details may shock women jurors: Six women made legal history today when they were sworn in as the first female jurors ever to sit on a Divorce Court jury. The only tricky moment came when some abominable and beastly letters and pictures had to be shown to the jury. It was feared that they would terrify an unmarried woman, so the jury decided that only the men should see them. The women agreed not to look."
I mean the whole news is funny when you read it in this age ("beastly and abominable" letters?? hehehe) but the last line is especially funny.
P.S. - Brevity does have its uses, I admit. Did you know that the title Adolf Hitler first gave for his famous autobiography, Mein Kampf (My Struggle), was "Four and a Half Years of Struggle Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice". I wonder whether the book would have been a best-seller with such a long title!