Reader challenge: Shorten this phrase

Prosecutors Hope Verdict Will Be a Deterrent to Others,” says the headline about Raj Rajaratnam’s conviction in this morning’s print edition of The New York Times.

What grabbed me about the headline is how easily I could shorten it.

I know what I’d do, but what about you? Please post your answer below.

6 replies
  1. tom
    tom says:

    I see this all the time in editing: when you have a word that is both a noun and a verb, go with the verb.

    So, “deter” rather than “as a deterrent”…

  2. Harriett Magee
    Harriett Magee says:

    Tom’s reminder to choose a verb rather than a noun–this is especially true for “tion” words–was a good fix. Headline writers, however, have to consider space and layout as much as meaning.

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