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The Twenty Most Hackneyed Headlines Of The Carpocalypse

Picking up the most recent issue of Harper's, we realized the Carpocalypse may be a bummer for automakers, but it's a boon for the world's most unoriginal headline writers. The twenty most hackneyed Carpocalypse headlines below.

Click on the next image to see just how many car/driving puns you can fit into 12 words. We'll give you a hint, it's going to be a "bumpy road."

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20.) Harper's Magazine
Headline: "Carjacked: After Detroit, the Wreck of an American Dream" - Harper's
Date: August, 2009
Why It's Hackneyed: With not one, but two auto puns you'd expect this to show up higher than 20th on our list. However, we had to subtract some serious points for the strange metaphor mix — "carjacking" usually leads to a strip shop, not a "wreck." So, if they'd gone with "Carjacked: After Detroit, the Stripping of an American Dream," Harper's might have made it higher up the hack list.

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19.) Detroit Free Press
Headline "Obama Turns Up The Heat" - Detroit Free Press
Date: March, 2009
Why It's Hackneyed: As far as cliches go, "turning up the heat" is exceptionally unoriginal. It also contradicts the kicker right below it. He's turning up the heat... but not that far!

Photo Credit: All About George @ Flickr

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18.) Toronto Star
Headline "Government Motors" - Toronto Star
Date: June, 2009
Why It's Hackneyed: It's rare that ongoing Internet forum complaints make it into a headline, but credit the Toronto Star for starting the trend! Next: Stephen Harper Can Has Cheezburgers?

Photo Credit: Sweetone @ Flickr

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17.) Wall Street Journal
Headline:"Detroit Bailout Hits A Bumpy Road" - Wall Street Journal
Date: December, 2008
Why It's Hackneyed: We're tired of the whole "bumpy road" thing. We get it, they make cars. They're on a road. It's going to be bumpy ahead. Hopefully, this is the last one of these we'll see.

Photo Credit: abn1 @ Flickr

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16.) Wall Street Journal
Headline: "GM's Lutz Makes Another U-Turn" - Wall Street Journal
Date: July, 2009
Why It's Hackneyed: Credit the Wall Street Journal for being on the forefront of road-related puns. The concept here is that Lutz is changing his mind, but the metaphor actually misleads the reader. He didn't make a U-Turn, he was forced to bow to higher ups and expectations. So it's more like Lutz chauffeuring GM CEO Fritz Henderson and having Fritz pull the e-brake on him. But we guess that doesn't translate well into a quick headline.

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15.) ABC News
Headline: "GM's 'Garage Sale'" - ABC News
Date: July, 2009
Why It's Hackneyed: Hah, they're selling things from their lawn and they're broke! You know, just like the rest of America!

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14.) The New York Times
Headline: "GM's Long, Hard, Bumpy Road to the Chevrolet" - The New York Times
Date: July, 2009
Why It's Hackneyed: The NYT has now outdone the WSJ in terms of bumpy road metaphors. Not only is it "bumpy" but it's going to be "long" and "hard." Our only question is this: where are headline writers driving? The road is hard, yet somehow bumpy. We think you're driving in someone's rock garden.

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13.) Santa Monica Mirror
Headline: "Money Matters Make Moody Moguls Mope" - Santa Monica Mirror
Date: July, 2009
Why It's Hackneyed: Alliteration Always Appears Awful

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12.) Reuters/The Big Money
Headline: "Automaker Bankruptcies, Turbocharged" - Reuters/The Big Money
Date: July, 2009
Why It's Hackneyed: Not since Gillette called the Mach 3 razor with extra protection strips "turbo" has the term been so casually, and incorrectly flung about.

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11.) New York Daily News
Headline: "Major U.S. Automakers like Ford, Chrysler hit brake on sales skid" - New York Daily News
Date: July, 2009
Why It's Hackneyed: When reaching for the metaphor they've created a "negative" headline for what is a positive event. Sales turned around. This is good. Also, if you're skidding you probably already were braking, or you're skidding way. In any event, you don't want to hit the brakes, you want to turn into it or lay off the brakes.

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10.) Detroit Free Press
Headline: "What GM, Chrysler need to speed ahead" - Detroit Free Press
Date: July, 2009
Why It's Hackneyed: If this were only pun-y, we'd maybe let it go. But the addition of assonance (the need to speed) is troubling. Enough!

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9.) Financial Times
Headline: "Pension pothole on GM's Road To Recovery" - Financial Times
Date: July, 2009
Why It's Hackneyed: It looks like the "long" "hard" and "bumpy" road to recovery now has a pothole. It didn't before? How did it get so bumpy? This is what happens when you have writers living in cities with awful, unkempt roads.

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8.) Dallas Morning News
Headline"Bumpy road lies ahead for General Motors" - Dallas Morning News
Date: July, 2009
Why It's Hackneyed: It's July already, we get it. The road is bumpy.

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7.) Times-Mail
Headline: "GM Starting Long Road To Its Future" - Times-Mail
Date: June, 2009
Why It's Hackneyed: We take it back, the Dallas Morning News was wrong. It's not bumpy, it's long. And somehow, the road was never started. Perhaps it's because this is the scariest, most daunting road ever.

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6.) The Toronto Star
Headline: "GM gets back in the driver's seat" - The Toronto Star
Date: July, 2009
Why It's Hackneyed: But Toronto Star, a month ago you said it was Government Motors. Now GM is back in charge? Oh well, props to you for referencing your old headline.

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5.) Reuters/The Big Money
Headline: "Report Puts Brakes on Slippery Auto Sales" - Reuters/The Big Money
Date: June, 2009
Why It's Hackneyed: Do we have to go over this again? If you're on a slippery road, don't hit the brakes, slow down. Also, how is the report actually changing the auto sales? The report isn't changing the auto sales, it isn't braking to stop them, it's merely shedding light on the condition of the U.S. auto market.

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4.) Romona Sentinel
Headline: "Gee! How The Mighty Have Fallen" Romona Sentinel
Date: July, 2009
Why It's Hackneyed: You just used "Gee" in a headline to make "Gee Mighty" sound like GM. Forgetting GM is still one of the largest automakers in the world, using the word "Gee" and an exclamation point in a headline is scary. At least there isn't a road metaphor in there

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3.) Reuters/The Big Money
Headline: "Holy Cr*p! Chrysler Sees Fleet Sales Crater in June" - Reuters/The Big Money
Date: You really can't say crap? You know what's Cr*p? Crap Chrysler Crater. Just saying anything "craters" at this point. Top it off with bad punctuation and this is the headline equivalent of the state of the auto industry — which is to say it's a bumpy, long, hard, potholled, oil-covered road.
Why It's Hackneyed:

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2.) AFP
Headline: "Cash for clunkers' may jumpstart US auto sales" - AFP
Date: June 2009
Why It's Hackneyed: Being wrong doesn't necessarily imply hackneyed. A car metaphor is closer. After driving on awful roads and hitting the brakes in skids, these poor auto companies/auto market/atuo execs are in such bad condition it's clear they need a jumpstart.

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1.) Jalopnik
Headline: "Daily Show Takes On Carpocalypse, Uses Silly Made-Up Word" - Jalopnik
Date: March, 2009
Why It's Hackneyed Oh, we get it, you're making fun of yourselves. Seriously? You think you're on the same level as The Daily Show and by showing how they made up a different word, somehow it shows they copied you. You're trying to rep your news credentials against a fake news show based on them maybe copying a word you made up and have been trying to push so hard into the lexicon you'd need a flashlight and a tube of KY to find it up Webster's ass? Weak.
Why It's Hackneyed:

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DISCUSSION

Matt, if you lose your job for making fun of Ray in that last one, I just want you to know, I thought it was funny.