Not long ago, I was chatting with a friend about the importance of titles for pieces. In my mind, there is nothing like a good title. It entices the reader, clues them into what the piece is about, tantalizes the imagination. It’s all good.
But what about the poor writer who just isn’t good with titles? The piece may be fascinating, jam-packed with action, adventure and compelling characters, make an outstanding argument, reveal amazing facts – but the title just doesn’t encourage people to read.
I’m not the best at coming up with titles, but I like to think that I sometimes come up with some good ones. To be honest, sometimes, the title just doesn’t jump out at you. Sometimes you have to dig. In fact, I’ve been known to spend more time coming up with a title than I did in writing the piece. Yep, I’m that anal about it. I’ll dig through quotation books, books of cliches, g**gle lists, dictionaries, thesaruses, whatever I can get my hands on. Sometimes I fall flat, but I really do give it the ol’ college try.
However, there are some folks who don’t seem to share my enthusiasm for finding just the right combination of words to enshrine their work. Following, are a few examples. Whaddaya think?
- How Can I Get Over You if You Won’t Get out From Under Me? (My question is, how did he manage to write the song under these conditions?)
- I Don’t Know Whether To Kill Myself or Go Bowling.(Sports vs suicide, always a tough choice)
- I Spent my Last 2 Dollars on Birth Control and Beer. (Where can you get birth control and beer at those prices? Walmart?)
- If the Devil Danced in Empty Pockets, He’d Have a Ball in Mine. (I think I’ll let Evyl comment on this one.)
- One Day, When you Swing That Skillet (My face ain’t gonna be there.) (Someone should tell him that plastic surgery is much easier)
- You Ain’t Much Fun Since I Quit Drinking. (Isn’t it funny how people change based on our alcohol consumption?)
- Feeling Minnesota (But what part of Minnesota are you feeling?)
- Snakes on a Plane (Is this racial profiling?)
- Bounce (A movie about drier sheets?)
- Waterworld (Good for an amusement park, not so much a movie)
- Crash (Boom?)
- Death to Smoochy (I think they should kill the parent who named their child smoochy)
- Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (Talk about a lingering scent)
- The Earth, a Small Man, His Dog and a Chicken (WTF?)
- The Serpent is Rising (Don’t tell me, tell your wife!)
- Fungus Among Us (Bad puns aren’t punny)
- Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness (The life of a sad Lassie and a zen poodle?)
- Meat is Murder (I’m pretty sure it isn’t)
- Bleak House (There’s a place I want to read about)
- Smilla’s Sense of Snow (Why is Smilla sensing snow?)
- The Horse Whisperer (Mr. Ed with strep throat?)
- Woman Are From Venus, Men Are From Mars (Where’s your official study on this?)
- Don’t Pee on my Leg and Tell me it’s Raining (A little too straight from the hips if you ask me)
- All My Friends Are Dead (Did you kill them?)
- My Mother the Car (At least she’s not a sheep)
- The Biggest Loser (WTF?)
- Cop Rock (Throwing rocks, blowing rocks, rocking rocks???)
- Manimal (Forerunner to cloning?)
- Baa Baa Black Sheep (A real man’s show)
- Different Strokes (Again, over to you, Evyl)
- Leave it to Beaver (Many do)
So there you have it, lots of bad titles. Anybody want to add, feel free.