Given the following headline at Bloomberg.com:

Verizon Explores Lower Price or Even Exit From Yahoo Deal

My questions are:

  1. Why in this case the definite article is omitted before Yahoo Deal? E.g., From Yahoo Deal vs From the Yahoo Deal.
  2. Why there is no article before Lower Price in this title? E.g., Explores Lower Price vs Explores a Lower Price.
  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it asks about the (largely, non-existent) grammar of "headlinese". Sep 18, 2017 at 15:51
  • @FumbleFingers, probably, this question should be moved to english.stackexchange.com once it deals with style & usage practice rather than a pure grammar.
    – Mike
    Sep 18, 2017 at 15:56
  • Hmm. ELU routinely rejects questions primarily concerned with headlinese. Sep 18, 2017 at 15:59

1 Answer 1


This is known informally as headlinese. In article headlines, it is common to use truncated grammar, such as omitting articles (as in your example) or altered verb forms.

  • 2
    "Headlinese" developed because there was limited space for the headline, and newswriters/newseditors wanted the headline to be as visible as possible within the space. Therefore, by removing words that don't actually add to understanding the headline, they are able to use a somewhat larger type size to set the headline. Sep 18, 2017 at 15:16
  • @eques, thanks for the clarification. Do I assume correctly, that the completely correct form of this headline will be something like: Verizon Explores a Lower Price or Even the Exit From the Yahoo Deal?
    – Mike
    Sep 18, 2017 at 15:40
  • The way it would be understood would be something like "Verizon Explores a Lower Price or Even an Exit From the Yahoo Deal". It is shortened to get the point across in less space, so there isn't really a "completely correct form"; it's more a matter of recognizing when it's headlinese and learning the convention
    – eques
    Sep 18, 2017 at 15:47
  • @MikeB No, to translate it out of headlinese you would have to shift the tenses (or adjust the aspect, rather). Headlinese routinely uses the simple present where normal English uses the present progressive. (In some cases it also uses the simple present in place of present perfect.) So it means something like "Verizon is exploring a lower price for the Yahoo deal or even an exit from it". But as eques says, there is no exact formula for performing such "translations". If you were reading the headline aloud to someone, you wouldn't fill in any of the missing words, if that's what you think.
    – rjpond
    Sep 18, 2017 at 18:28

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