Headline turns an Etta James song into a kick in the teeth

This was not the way to say goodbye to Etta James.

“At Last,” of course, is the title of one of James’ most famous songs.

By using it this way, though, the headline writer turned the song into an expression of relief over James’ death.

Ouch!

That’s not what the headline writer meant – at least I hope it’s not – but that’s the way it comes across.

Three lessons here: First, there’s a reason we usually put the titles of songs, movies and TV shows in quotation marks or italics. It helps set them apart from other words and phrases, making the meaning clearer.

Second, it’s often dangerous to stack adjectives like this, with or without quotation marks.

Third, it’s always good to look over headlines one more time. And then once more after that. And then, just to be sure …

Thanks to Emily Ryan for sending this in.

And just for the record, here’s the real “At Last.”

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