Headline analysis

I am an avid student of headline jerkery. One of the things I notice done over and over is the omission of any kind of qualifier.

“Why the Samsung Galaxy 45b Stroke 10 Mega AMAZE is an iPhone Killer”

“Why Tim Cook’s Use of the term ‘Customer Sat’ Spells Apple Doom”


This one, on a ReadWrite piece by Matt Asay, is pretty good, though.

“Why Market Share Trends May Favor Apple, Not Android”

Note the use of the very simply and short word “may”. This one little word, that is so rarely used in technology punditry, makes a somewhat extreme viewpoint more palatable. Asay’s not saying this will happen, he’s identifying a factor that many pundits don’t consider. That is:

…very few people dump their iPhones for Android smartphones. The iPhone remains aspirational. Android phones? Not so much.

Now, even I don’t think Apple is going to take a market share lead from Android any time in the foreseeable future, even with a cheaper iPhone. So the degree to which the headline makes the tacit implication that that’s possible is overstating things. But at least this is qualified. I don’t get why sites feel the need to have their headlines take the most bombastic stance possible for the cost of three letters and a space.

Well, OK, I do get it. It’s because of pageviews. But that’s not an answer I want to hear.