How Not to Write a Headline

MM HMMTom Scocca: Here is a headline from Sunday’s Washington Post:
Tom Scocca: In art we lust
Tom Scocca: “At second blush, classic works are allowed to rise to their full erotic potential.”
Tom Scocca: The Post is plagued by bad, amateurish, would-be-snappy headlines these days, and this one epitomizes the problem.
Tom Scocca: If you have to change two parts of a stock phrase to make your headline, you are making a dumb and clunky headline.
Tom Scocca: “In God We Trust” has nothing to do with the permeability of the barrier between “nude” and “naked” (aka “art” and “pornography”).
Tom Scocca: So it’s “In [WHOLLY UNRELATED WORD] we [SEMANTICALLY UNRELATED, BUT RHYMING WORD].” Half the phrase is swapped out.
Tom Scocca: If you can’t do it in one step, don’t do it.
Choire Sicha: Ha.