Though a tragic murder took place over the weekend. A small child was brutally murdered-by a wayward and remorseful teenager- before they were even given a chance at life. Trisha Dorian, the journalist assigned to the grueling task of reporting the story to the general public, decided to take an alternate approach. Rather than sticking to boring, regular descriptions of murder, she wrote, “Teenager bamboozles infant in city home,” making the story both eye-catching and not nearly as heinous.
When asked about her curious word choice, Dorian said, “The reality of the story was too much for even me to handle. I had to make sure people would want to read the information, and not just turn them off by describing the scene in plain and simple language.” She claims to have gone through many different unusual and playful words, including cooky, nutso, fatso, lolly gag, aurora, and idiosyncratic, to name a few.
Eventually, bamboozled stood out from the crowd. Dorian explains, “Not only is it fun to write-what with it having two b’s, two o’s in a row and a z, it’s also fun to say. It makes it sound like you’re chewing on honey and a couple bees got stuck in it and want to get out. But in a friendly and fun way.”
Dorian has a history of taking tragic stories and softening them for a general public. A year ago, when writing about a mass murder at a local youth hostel, her headline read “Snore-phony Turns to Scream-phony then Silence.”
She says she plans on continuing to water down her tragic stories with wacky headlines as long as her readers wants. As for the actual content of the story, she remains completely apathetic.