Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Metro's Shagtastic Headline

I had to check if I my eyes were deceiving me when I saw the headline of METRO this morning. It read THE REAL DANGERS OF A QUICK SHAG. Something to do with birdwatching, perhaps? No, it was as I thought, about sex - more specifically the rising tide of sexually transmitted diseases.

As you know, dear reader, I am as broad minded as the next person, but part of me was really quite shocked that a newspaper would write such a headline. But when I thought about it I could see the logic. If you look down a tube carriage at who read METRO, you can see that a hell of a lot of 20-30 year olds do, and they are the ones most likely to be targetted by a health campaign to prevent STDs. The headline would have certainly grabbed their attention. I'd love to have been a fly on the wall at the METRO editiorial meeting when they discussed which word to use.

32 comments:

Tony Kennick said...

It would have been more shocking for a newspaper to have that headline, but comics like the Metro can get away with it.

Paul Linford said...

According to the Metro story, "shag" in this context is an acronym for syphilis, herpes, anal warts and gonorrhea,

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

Our society becomes coarser by the day.

Roger Thornhill said...

Talking of diseases, could you do something to stop that awful pop-up of slackjaw? It is beyond an infestation of my screen.

Matt said...

Might I suggest you urge some readers to offset the leftie bias of the Guardian with this poll:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/poll/2008/jul/15/margaretthatcher

Noelinho said...

I'm loving the fact that this post follows directly after your post entitled "Darling pops in for a swift one". Brilliant!

conscious robot said...

The best thing about the article was after a whole front page of scaremongering about the rampant spread of STD's and the decay of youthful morals, they casually mention in the last sentence that actually the rise has everything to do with an increase in people going to get checked up and nothing to do with an overall rise in STD infections.

Still nothing like a slow news day to bring out the questionable headlines. My favourite was the Mail a few days ago proclaiming 'Public Outrage at Google plan to spy on every home in the UK' which in reality was the new plan by Google to provide ground level photographs of main streets and highways to better help people find their way with Google Maps. Can't of been a very public outrage since none of the other papers mentioned the story!

I get the distinct feeling at this slow time of year that hacks just take any old titbit of irrelevant news and spin a 'panic' story out of it. Shame they won't give foreign affairs a time to shine while all is quiet on the home front. We might actually learn something about the world outside our front doors; surely the whole point of newspapers.

Anonymous said...

Independent headline, page 6:

'Casual shag culture' leads to record STDs

Hannibal said...

But did you read the article? There was a very specific reason the word SHAG was used.

Apparently in GUM clinics it now stands for 'Syphilis Herpes Anal warts and Gonorrhea', and that's what people should be thinking when indulging in quick and meaningless shags.

p.s. Bet I'm the first person to post about anal warts on your blog.

johnny acacia-avenue said...

I knew I was suffering from a mid-life crisis when I started reading the Metro.

Anonymous said...

Yes and when you actually read the article it says shag stands for

Syphilis
Herpes
Anal warts
Gonorroea

tapestry said...

why quick? take your time. you might as well enjoy the upside given all the downsides.

Newmania said...

The shag is also a dance. BTW see that Ronnie Wood .See where he met his Russian teenage blonde companion. It was the Capricorn club a well know whore market.
'Barmaid' my arse , he will soon bet getting a nasty itch.

Anonymous said...

STDs are rising most rapidly in the over-60s. Highlights the definite need for shock tactics.

Penfold said...

Good God Iain, i thought it was all about birds and the like; that they where referring to a bird of the name SHAG.

wrinkled weasel said...

A lot of people cannot tell the difference between a cormorant and a shag. And they get their tits mixed up.

In order to alleviate this problem, my friend, the lovely Samantha, has turned her garden into a birdwatcher's paradise. She frequently gets the twitchers when trimming her box or picking her lobelia.

dearieme said...

14 comments and no-one has yet mentioned a "pox doctor's clerk" - what is the country coming to?

Newmania said...

Anal warts ? Ouch .... I caught mine sitting down at the swimming pool honest.Why it should remind me I cannot say but I notice that Mr. Dale is awfully silent on the subject of his teeny pink mafia confidante Mr. Duncan whose oily activities stink to high heaven .

Mr. Hopi Sen has managed to tie in Aitken and Kevin Maxwell. I think the water is about to get hot for the pint sized talisman who , it is said , formed a fetching wedding cake decoration on the day of the wedding of the year( Mr.Dale`s)

Not defending the diddy Conservative Iain ?

Noelinho said...

hannibal, you don't appear to be the first to mention anal warts on this blog. There's also this.

I would, however, be confident that I am the first person to search for anal warts on this blog! Oo-er.

Anonymous said...

Who the hell does that Nick Robinson think he is - he has said on Andrew Neill's show that he thinks Cameron was wrong in calling the Prime Minister USELESS!

Can I say that I, for one, agree with Mr Cameron 100%. We have got a USELESS Prime Minister. He is quite USELESS and I do hope everyone will agree!!!

I just feel quite sorry for his holiday destination. What ill is it going to suffer now, from the Brown Curse?

Hannibal said...

Damn - so I wasn't first.

Anonymous said...

being someone obsessed by trivia i can tell an expectant world the expression'to shag' is from the 1940's '50's, very common in new york criminal circles and meaning 'to follow' usually with no good intent.
it is used in a movie 'the dark corner'being run to exhaustion on film 4. not sure about the alternative meanings being posted - can they be accurate ???

barrie ireland said...

Iain's always talking about Anal warts - mainly cabinet ministers...

Jilted John said...

I'd rather have that sort of headline than the ridiculous situation in papers like the News of the World, which talked about Mark Oaten performing 'a sex act too depraved to mention in a family newspaper' but will happily devote pages 18 through 94 to a footballer's proclivities discussed on nauseating detail. (I don;t mind that latter, merely the hypocrisy). Or the classics in the Sun which stars out the 'i' in 't*ts' [thusly]. Despite having an actual photo of an actual pair of naked bristols. On page 3. Every single day.

(again, not complaining. But what's the logic there?)

Dick the Prick said...

Ho ho - what a very clever accronym. Did the editor go to the the Central University of North Tyneside?

Zeddy said...

***I am as broad minded as the next person***

Iain was only able to say that because he was standing between the Marquis de Sade and Sacher Masoch at the time.

archroy said...

dearieme said... 14 comments and no-one has yet mentioned a "pox doctor's clerk" - what is the country coming to?

Don't you mean Senior Administative Officer in the Genito-Urinary Clinic?

Dave H. said...

Somehow I don’t think ‘frightful sordidity risks horridness of the unmentionables’ would be quite as effective. I wonder how the Telegraph would have run the same story. The offence caused by coarse language comes and goes.

Hamlet’s ‘Do you think I meant country matters?’ must be fun to explain to a group of schoolkids. While on the subject, should Milton Lane in the City revert to its medievial name of Gropecunt Lane? Could our sensibilities cope?

In my own experience, the origin of the strange common name for Arum, Cuckoo Pint, is an ordeal to explain to an elderly couple (in modern english it would be Cuckoo’s Prick). The alternative Lords and Ladies is not much better.

In certain company, some of the language in Clue or the News Quiz makes me wince. I expect better from a quality channel at prime time. It should be square and boring. Dear BBC, why oh why...

(gawd Iain, the word verification has become a headache)

canvas said...

The term 'shag' is so 90s. It's hardly shocking - just old fashioned.

Anonymous said...

Iain . get that horrific picture of gordon off your adverts. i will not return to your blog until this grotesque picture is gone

mutleythedog said...

What does it mean?

North Briton Hunter said...

Surely it was a very decent headline.
Anyone who thinks it was overly crude is suffering from overbearing prudishness, especially considering it was an acronym.