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Regarding the July 15 Kyodo article “Police to grill 300 pupils, parents over boy’s suicide“: Police to “grill” pupils? Seriously? Are they going to deny them cigarettes and really give them the third degree? Inappropriately dramatic headlines like this always make me visualize gray-haired editors fondly recalling the tabloid days.

Last month The Japan Times had an Aum suspect being “collared” by police. I often see people being “nabbed” as well. Recently an article said foreigners were being asked to take their “mug shots” to immigration authorities. And how many headlines use the word “mull” and “eye”?

What’s wrong with ordinary words like “arrest” or “question”? I know from experience that it’s not easy to write a solid headline on deadline given the space limitations. It is an underappreciated art. The Japan Times can do better.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

francis boyd

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