Monday, August 13, 2012

Here's the Kicker

To those without a writing background, a kicker is a person or thing that kicks, or perhaps an unsuspected, surprising turn of events. But here's the kicker: There is another definition.

In journalism circles, a kicker is a brief line of copy, located above a headline and set in smaller type than the headline, that draws a reader's attention. It's sometimes referred to as a teaser or an eyebrow.

The kicker you see here is KICKER GOES HERE. A kicker is a visual cue for a reader, and this particular kicker hints that the Connecticut Post article is about — and this is just a guess — a traveling soccer player.

I jest, of course. KICKER GOES HERE was not meant to be the actual kicker. In publishing, editors often put filler text, also known as dummy text, into layouts. It's for placement purposes only, and it gets replaced with final text prior to publication ... or at least that's the plan. It's not uncommon for the dummy text to make it to print, leaving readers with gibberish or nonsensical headlines, decks and kickers. Most editors could just kick themselves for allowing this to happen.

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