Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Colons: The vestigal appendix of the title? (or: Paragraph-and-a-sentence of the day, title selection edition)

Jeff Ely, writing in Cheap Talk:

The absolute worst thing you can do with your title is to insert a colon into it. (quiet down beavis!) As in, Torture: A Model of Dynamic Commitment Problems. Or Kludged: Asymptotically Inefficient Evolution. In the first case you have just ruined a seminal-signaling one-word title by adding spurious specificity. In the second, you just took an intriguing one-world title and turned it into a yawner.

The second worst kind of title is the question mark title.

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