Understated Headlines (Subtitled: Really?)

How many moronic or entertaining headlines do we see on the internet? Way to many? Lazy reporting with electronic assistance.

My favourite of the day: Another Tesla Model S unexpectedly catches fire

They stop short of trying to explain what an expected vehicle fire is.

Any more worthy of mention?

edit: fair go - link added


You would ideally provide the URL of the headline - so that we know that the headline is legit and not a work of your imagination. :slight_smile:



… amazingly, Google was able to find a plethora of local renditions of the allegedly alleged news story from parts afar with exactly that headline …

“Another Tesla Model S unexpectedly catches fire”

… and the link that gave the screenshot … yes, the link prefetch below isn’t exactly that headline, but the page itself is …


OK, added to my post, and thanks @draughtrider for the follow-up.


More than annoying?
It could easily be a headline inspired by Tesla’s PR team. In this instance it also appears a poor attempt at a clever euphemism to say Tesla’s do not catch fire?

Tesla Model S unexpectedly catches fire

Something reflective of another marque and the suggestion that a Rolls Royce never breaks down, it simply fails to proceed.

Certainly Tesla are not lost for a response, just understanding.

Per the report.
Tesla is currently investigating the Shanghai fire and responded to the San Francisco fire saying it was “always learning from our fleet”.

Or am I giving Tesla’s PR team too much credit and it is all down to ‘Dumb and Dumber’ reporting and editing?


This is why I never read news.com.au. My favourite news and opinion sources are The Guardian (Australia), the ABC, SBS, Michael West. The Murdoch “press” is always full of hyperbole. Its rubbish, most of the time.


I decided to do a test (using DuckDuckGo’s search engine, as I like my privacy):

Another Ford unexpectedly catches fire? Yep (although Tesla appears first, courtesy of News (extremely) Ltd)
Another Holden unexpectedly catches fire? Again, the silly Tesla headline. It appears that no local Holdens of note have burst into flames, although the Chevrolet Volt which was sold in NZ as a Holden apparently had a habit of doing so during development and testing.
Another Toyota unexpectedly catches fire? Right - I’m going to stop mentioning the first result (Tesla) after this. RAV4 models are apparently burning up spontaneously, and there’s a report of a Toyota Corona burning.
Mitsubishi? Surprisingly flame-free.
Hyundai and Kia? Share several articles - apparently catching fire more than ‘typical’ vehicles.
Suzuki? Nothing of note.
Jaguar? Famous for it, especially in the 1970s but also recently.
Porsche? Yep, in Bangkok while charging and in Memphis (Tennnessee) - twice!

So thank you Rupert for your scares about electric vehicles, but a little balance is in order.

Final mention goes to the Ford Pinto. A rather average US ‘sub-compact’ car sold through the 1970s.

Ford knew the Pinto was liable to burst into flames after being hit in the rear, but calculated that the cost of a recall would be greater than the cost of compensating the grieving families of those unfortunate enough to have learned this the hard way. Ford’s cost-benefit analysis turned out to be erroneous once jurors hearing damages claims learned of it, and governments also issued fines.


The legions of satires on it get honourable mention. There were many like this one.


A quiet thread, but Newscorop gets a mention contradicting their headline in their byline. The world’s busiest airport is apparently only one of the busiest. Space management and automation are easily blamed for this one but on first glance it appeared there was a crash at ATL (Atlanta).


and not to be outdone


Not a headline in print, but one we have all heard.

Your call is important to us.


It appears that there are several ways to measure 'busiest airports, and Dubai does manage first place for ‘most international passengers’.

I seem to remember several decades ago Canberra Airport claiming to have the highest number of aircraft movements - not sure whether it was claiming the international, national or state/territory title.

A language police ‘snap’

Mom of 2 and school district worker vanishes

Without reading the story, does that mean a Mom of 2 vanishes with a school district worker? Maybe a spicy story of intrigue and love or a possible abduction?

The tantalising possibility is echoed by Police are searching for a Miami school district employee and mother of two. Did a school district worker abduct a mother of 2?

No, the Mom of 2 is a school district worker as well as a mom. Maybe so-called journalists and their AI / electronic assistants should have exams for English competency?


An article regarding corporate euphemisms.


The language is fine. If the headline was referring to two people, it would be “Mom of 2 and school district worker vanish” (not ‘vanishes’). It is somewhat abstruse, but does make sense.