Stamatakis: Attention grabbing headline

By Nick Stamatakis

Catchy sentence consisting of a sexual innuendo, some dumb witticism or a statement seemingly… Catchy sentence consisting of a sexual innuendo, some dumb witticism or a statement seemingly absurd and false.

But really think about it. Another sentence to encourage further reading. The same sentence repeated differently — we have to follow our rule of threes. Now a sentence to tell you what it is about. Genuinely interested readers continue, those mildly interested continue at lower rates, and even a few completely bored continue out of a lack of other viable entertainment before class. The other quarter migrates quietly to the sudoku.

According to Pitt, Harvard, Columbia, CCAC professor Dr. Vilderschmit, it is a problem. After all, it is more than it was before, and it will probably keep increasing. Decreasing is very unlikely, so says Dr. Vilderschmit. Study from another university confirms this. Interesting, gross simplification of experimental procedure from study. Further proof of rightness.

Vindication seeps forth from the page. See how that first sentence has now acquired new wittiness? Clearly, that was not just a throwaway attention-grabber, but an ingeniously crafted sexual innuendo, dumb witticism or absurd statement to provide dead-on insight.

In your life, you experience it when you do this mundane task or when you perform this daily activity. It’s the same as with the government/campus-administration/sports-figure/useless-celebrity. He/she/it is just doing what you do everyday. See how simple this version of the world works?

Here begins a boring paragraph where I say what I wanted to say all along in the most simple, straight terms I can. Another sentence elaborates and expands on the previous. Now I am writing the way I was actually taught. Furthermore, I say. Finally, I finish.

But such directness comes at a price. Those only interested in the sexual innuendo, dumb witticism or absurd statement migrate beyond this page to the sudoku to join their follow deserters. A few near a computer move to ESPN.com or to cats playing piano on YouTube.

To remaining readers, a well-timed analogy makes the point clearer. It’s like when you drop a piece of buttered toast and the butter hits the ground. Like when you get home and the dress looks way worse on you than it did in the dressing room. Like when you are trying to cut a tomato and it just gets squished into the cutting board.

Some readers have never cut a tomato before and are confused, another large proportion doesn’t understand the analogy at all. This is looking like it will be a miss. Nonetheless, determination comes glaring out from the page to continue. This real-life thing is like the knife and this other thing is the tomato. Get it now? Probably not.

Another percentage becomes sick of tomatoes — now the sudoku looks like Atwood on a Friday night. Meanwhile, the column toils with the smaller Hillman crowd — an angry group of readers who most likely either disagreed from the start or find this column’s logic worthy of nothing more than the rubbish pile. A small minority is still reading and maybe agreeing.

Yikes, the column is only at 3000 characters! Google for examples. In Minnesota, it is like this. A woman in Kentucky demonstrates further. Sudoku gains another 10 readers.

Still not enough characters. Up the Google intensity. Daresay — is a trip to EbscoHost in order? Nah. But now somebody is doodling on the paper’s margins.

Time for a short paragraph prescribing some solution to problem. Clearly, this was not fully thought-out. The gross simplifications of earlier are showing up. But hey, this isn’t a public policy/education-policy/cooking/relationship scientific journal and this is just a college student writing. It is only a college newspaper. Small admission of not being an expert rectifies shortcomings.

On the other hand, Dr. Shoffenhagen of Synergy Think Tank thinks the opposite. But think about it. That isn’t what Vilderschmit says. Listen to Vilderschmit. Listen to me.

Closing arguments commence. Somewhat unnecessary summary of the column. Bringing it home for the six people still reading who might have had their opinions changed. A gentle sigh from the writer who looks at column and thinks it is pretty darn decent. Those six readers should enjoy it, at least.

Of course, when published five days later, writer is displeased with how it turned out in the end.

Final reference to original sexual innuendo, dumb witticism or seemingly absurd statement. Better yet, to create an even more memorable final line, a reference to some running thread existing throughout the entire piece.

Go do the sudoku.

E-mail Nick at [email protected]