Although I write many things in many styles, the one thing I have always had difficulty with has been titles.  Technical articles are easy, with such examples as “Comparison of Anatomical Landmarking of Positron Emission Tomography Between Multi-Slice Computerized Tomography and Single Slice Computerized Tomography.”  Of course if you were promoting the multi-slice CT it would be “Benefits of Anatomical Landmarking of Positron Emission Tomography Of Multi-Slice Computerized Tomography Over Single Slice Computerized Tomography.”  The title is descriptive and pretty much negates the requirement to actually read the article.  That is unless you are a fellow researcher whose ego is demanding to know if you are quoted or at least included in the bibliography.

When I wrote for a couple of magazines, the editors happily discarded my proposed titles in favor of far superior ones they created.  After a while I didn’t worry about titles because I knew they’d take care of it.  Besides, for some reason I believed that I’d be better served by concentrating on the content of the article and let them worry about the title.  They already picked any illustrations, so it made sense – after all the illustration could influence the article title.  If a picture can say a thousand words, it can surely suggest an appropriate title.

On blogging, though, the title is not only up to the author – it’s critical to attracting readers.  I admit, I’ve been tempted just to resort to something like “READ ME!” (think Tommy Lee Jones going back for his favorite gun in “Men in Black”….)  However, that would only work once or twice.  I’ve also considered the way that the military names certain operations – having one list of random adjectives and a second list of random nouns.  However, that leaves the possibility of having a blog inadvertently named something like “Logical Salami” or “Bodacious Kitty Litter.”  While these would have made great names for rock groups in the late sixties or early seventies, they don’t fit well with today’s expectations.

I would like to borrow some tabloid titling styles; can you imagine “ALIENS RETURN ELVIS ALONG WITH WEIGHT LOSS SECRETS” or “PRINCE CHARLES AND CAMILLE CAUGHT SHOPPING AT THRIFT STORE”?  It really wouldn’t matter what the rest of the blog said because it just couldn’t compare to the title.

So I guess you’ll just have to bear with me as I try to come up with the best excuse for a title that I can.  Although you may not be able to tell from today’s blog, I will continue to concentrate on the blog content rather than the title.


3 responses to “Entitling

  1. Thanks for posting this! Titles are my nemesis! I can write a chunk of paragraphs in no time flat, but the piece will sit for days as I try to think of a title. The problem only intensifies when it comes to poetry. I have three poems sitting in my draft queue because they are “untitled.” Ahhh!

  2. Your titles have done right by you so far. Looking forward to the title of your next post!

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