In these days of rolling news channels and constantly-updated news websites, there is a never-ending race to be the first to report a news story.
"BREAKING NEWS!" they shriek, letting the viewer or reader know that they are on the very cutting edge of the day's agenda, and that they have not missed a thing.
Alas, the words "BREAKING NEWS!" are overused. While they were once the sole domain of politicians resigning or the indicator that some tragedy had befallen foreign shores, "BREAKING NEWS!" now covers anything from the appearance of the Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse over Downing Street to a cat getting stuck up a tree in Hertfordshire.
Worse than that, I have seen the BREAKING NEWS! Caption hours, even days, after a story has actually broken, reducing it to a mere punctuation announcing that some news story - however old - is to follow.
So, I suggest a new vocabulary for news editors which will make the news exactly 135 per cent more funner.
Yes, feel free to keep using "BREAKING NEWS!", but only when the story has actually broken.
Then, once the initial breakingness has subsided, leaving nothing but shock and surprise, how about switching over to "HOLY CRAP!", or, if space permits "DIP ME IN DOGSHIT!" in much the same way that The Onion reported on the moon landings
Other BREAKING NEWS! replacements may include:
HOLY CARP! - All your breaking news from the world of fishI am certain there are more. Help a man out.
SPANG! - For stories in which somebody is hit in the face with a frying pan
GOOOOOOOOOOOOL! - Sports, the longer the "GOOOOL", the bigger the story
FOOKING FOOK! - Gorsdon Ramsay news alerts
CH-CH-CHING! or CASHBACK! - Financial news
THAR SHE BLOWS! - Reserved for made-up stories about Katie Price, Kerry Katona, or the cast of The Only Way is Essex
DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD - Thatcher