Does a split make a difference?

Headline purists would recoil at this example from a newspaper Web site. The crime? A bad split from line to line. But do readers notice or care?

This advice, from a University of Missouri tip sheet, is typical:

“Don’t split nouns and modifiers or verb forms and prepositional phrases over two lines unless space is main consideration. Write “Faculty to vote (first line) on tenure policy” (second line).”

In this example, the headline would be more graceful if the “$1” and the “million” were together on the same line. Separating them invites a split second of misinterpretation. Did he win a dollar?


One Comment

  1. Reminds me of that truly old example:
    Russian Virgin
    Lands Short
    Of Goal Again

    Referring to a failed Russian program to preserve virgin lands, as it should have been:
    Russian Virgin Lands Fall Short of Goal Again

Comments are closed.