Archive for December, 2007

Links gone wild!

Friday, December 21st, 2007

The New York Post is justly famous for its headlines, and this one may be among its best. If you’re like me, you’ll have a moment of disbelief until it clicks, and you understand the wordplay. But for that nanosecond of time, you’ll have a classic WTF reaction.

If you’re in the mood for both good deeds and vocabulary tests, visit this site. For every word you get correct, 20 grains of rice is donated to the United Nations World Food Programme. (I’m not being pretentiously BBC-ish, by the way. That’s how the organizations web site spells it.) Be forewarned, however: An hour can go by before you realize it.

Everyone’s got an opinion on what newspapers are doing wrong these days, but this piece from The Atlantic magazine is particularly interesting. The author asserts that newspapers have lost their way because they continue to believe that important is the same thing as interesting. To test his theory, he compared a week’s worth of the front pages of three big American daily papers — which is to say, he determined what editors had decided was important — and compared that against the stories on the papers’ web sites that had been most frequently emailed by readers, which is to say the stories they’d found most interesting and wanted to share. Those two lists rarely matched up. Curiously, the stories on the “interesting” list weren’t of the Britney-Paris-Lindsay variety, so maybe we’re not as celebrity-obsessed as you might think. The author’s advice to editors? “Stop being important and start being interesting.”