A Twitter meme that trended Thursday morning rewrites books titles in the style of New York Times headlines. #NYTbooks has much in common with the Twitter account @nytprepositions, started by journalists Robinson Meyer and Nick Castele, who said on Twitter that they didn’t start the hashtag (but they like it). A tweet from Meyer’s account:
On Day Ten Page Paper Is Due, Viral Success Arrives for Silly Joke
— Robinson Meyer (@yayitsrob) November 1, 2012
The meme was started by Mother Jones’ Timothy Murphy, who suggested following @nytprepositions then submitted several excellent rewritten book titles of his own (highlighted below).
Murphy confirmed starting the meme in an email to Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon: “So far as I know, I did. I think I tweeted ‘In Brooklyn, a Tree Grows’ and then it basically went from there, because basically everyone who ever reads the Times has this same impulse to make fun of their headlines. (We tease because we love.)”
The Atlantic’s Jen Doll asked New York Times Standards Editor Phil Corbett about the paper’s headline style. “In certain cases, starting with a prepositional phrase can be effective for emphasis. But when you start seeing more than one on the same page, it’s probably time to dial back,” Corbett said.