I don't understand how headlines of Newspaper articles or any story is written.

For example- X humiliated by Y in Z reality show. Four killed in a car accident.

'Kill' and 'humiliate' are perhaps transative verbs here,....and X and Four are objects, as the action is done on them.....so, it should be written as 'X is humiliated by Y' and 'Four were killed in a car accident'. And if we think 'humiliated' and 'Killed' past participles working as an Adjective....so, how can there be a sentence without finite verbs and only having non-finite verbs.

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    Google the term "headlinese". Headlines are usually written in a very specific style with somewhat different rules, in which the verb to be is usually omitted (among other changes). – stangdon Mar 31 at 1:20
  • @stangdon It means they don't follow standard grammar? – RADS Mar 31 at 3:45
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    Yes, it does. "X [has been] humiliated by Y." "Four [people have been] killed in [a] car accident." – Kate Bunting Mar 31 at 7:55
  • @kate Bunting It would be very helpful to me if U write an answer.....I don't get what u wanna say.......r u saying 'yes, they do follow' standard gramma and then u showed that 'has been humiliated' is reduced to only 'humiliated'........but reducing r generally done when we form reduced clause' – RADS Mar 31 at 8:28
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    I was answering your last question - yes, it does mean that headlines don't follow standard grammar. The words I put in square brackets are my suggestions for those which have been omitted for the sake of brevity. – Kate Bunting Mar 31 at 11:52

Headlinese is an informal term for the abbreviated style of newspaper headlines — a register characterized by short words, abbreviations, cliches, noun stacking, word play, present-tense verbs, and ellipsis.

Headlinese combinations are not in themselves sentences,"...

Thinnernyms "Headlinese might be defined as words that no human being would utter in context but that headline writers use because they fit into tight spaces."


We hence should not expect grammatical sentences from headlines. They are written in a compact way to fit into tight spaces and usually also constrained by the need to use large fonts to capture attentions.

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