We’ve discussed the importance of titles in the past, but I recently came across an article which was so badly titled that I had to say something on the subject.
Generally speaking, there are several reasons why a title is important- Firstly, it serves as a small sample of the whole so that a reader can decide whether to read the whole thing, based on the title. Basically, the title works as a sort of blurb. Secondly, the title also bears the weighty task of drawing people in, and for that, it has to be interesting.
To explain that point, allow me to draw your attention to a title which you’ve read recently. The title of this post. If you’ve forgotten, I’ll refresh your memory – “Regarding The Subject Of Boring; A Title”. Now, I know it’s a bad and uniteresting title, but why? What makes it bad?
Well, first of all, it sounds like it was written by a dusty, staid old professor who has written a larger number of articles than the the number of people who have ever read an article of his. It sounds like a discourse, a lecture. That’s bad. A title should pull you in, should catch your eye and interest you. A good title is an appetizer for the literary meal ahead. And if the appetizer is a stale cracker, who would want to eat the meal?
Incidentally, I had a hard time deciding whether I should give this post a bad title on purpose, since I was afraid it would work, and then nobody would read this. Maybe nobody will. If, however, you are reading this, then congratulations, my trust in you as a reader was well-placed. Thank you for reading despite a bad title.