Meaning of zero article in headlines: "Man has serious injuries after being rescued"


Man has serious injuries after being rescued from a "deep hole".

This is a headline in a newspaper and I am wondering why there is no article before "Man".

Why it is not "A man" as the sentence speaks about one and a specific man (although he is unknown to us yet) and not about "man" in general.

The sentence seems to me that it speaks about man in general or mankind because there is no article.

Thank you

Gamal Thomas

Posted 2016-02-09T05:11:40.213

Reputation: 1 641

Question was closed 2016-02-09T11:12:01.533

This is an example of "headlinese". – user3169 – 2016-02-09T05:57:42.407

2Headline writer makes full sentences, gets fired – Jim Reynolds – 2016-02-09T06:39:46.233

That is actually quite long for a headline, I would have expected "Man Suffers Injuries From Deep Hole" or "Man Rescued From Deep Hole" or "Injuries For Man In Deep Hole". – Peter – 2016-02-09T08:56:11.607



Headlines are a special form of writing where word count, and therefore page space, is very important. Often minor words are omitted.

How to write headlines

and this one talks about how ambiguous headlines can be here

Violinist linked to JAL crash blossoms
Sir Vivian Fuchs at palace

You sense of using Man to mean mankind is correct for normal writing, but headline writing is a different beast


Posted 2016-02-09T05:11:40.213

Reputation: 63 575


This is a special style of newspaper headlines. Articles, auxiliary verbs and "be" are often left out to save space.

Actor dies. (An actor has died.)

There's no generalization at all.


Posted 2016-02-09T05:11:40.213

Reputation: 6 933

In your example it is not just omitting, the verb has different form also. – Anixx – 2016-02-09T09:35:13.393

The question was about articles. – V.V. – 2016-02-09T09:38:00.533