Thousands of twitter users are voting on their favourite headlines of the year, a collection curated from two dozen goofy tales.
The annual contest is run by a University of Calgary researcher and includes some obvious newsmakers – the rise and fall of NFTs, for example, was easy fodder for copy editors everywhere.
The list is rounded out by stories of art gone astray, eight animal stories (nine, if you include the 40 rotisserie chickens eaten by a Philadelphia man), and two in which the derriere plays a prominent role.
The top headlines, as of Friday morning, are:
The City of Ottawa wants to hear your garbage opinions
Man who paid $2.9m for NFT of Jack Dorsey's first tweet set to lose almost $2.9m
Coffey urges staff to be positive, be precise, and not use Oxford commas
Monkey that was flushed down toilet, fed cocaine now has a boyfriend
Paul Fairie, a researcher and lecturer at UofC who goes by the handle @Paulisci on Twitter, has been curating a year-end headline contest on the platform for the last five years. So far this year, more than 25,000 votes have been cast.
The contest: Quarterfinals
The headline leading this year's pack of 24 is even a bit of an homage to the social media service, which users often term a "dumpster fire."
"The leading contender certainly is the City of Ottawa wants your garbage opinions," says Fairie. "I think what I like about it is, it's just such a boring story. Any attempts at glamorizing municipal infrastructure, I appreciate."
Fairie keeps an eye out for headlines throughout the year, and as the contest has gotten more popular people routinely flag their top picks. When finalizing his list, he aims for a variety of appeals.
"There is obviously the pulling at the heartstrings one, the cocaine monkey, who was flushed down the toilet, finding love."
The bracket begins: Best of 16
The ones that will do well aren't the same as his personal favourites. For those, Fairie says he goes for the nicer ones. This year, he says the "space chorizo" fits that bill, with the bonus that the star angle of the story adds a bit of Christmas flair.
"The weirdest part is that I now in my head associate this as a Christmas activity, I'm like 'OK, it's Christmas time, clearly it's time for a collection of amusing headlines'," says Fairie.
Headline of the year nominees: 2022
Fairie says the contest started in 2018 just as a way to entertain himself. That year 1,300 people voted for the winner: Plumage a trois: Thomas the blind bisexual goose who was stuck in a two-decade long love triangle with two swans dies aged 40.
Other past winners include:
To make Fairie's "official" bracket, the top headlines earn points through RTs (one point each), likes (one point each) and views (every 1,000 views count as a point, which helps to break ties, says Fairie).
To vote, or see the daily results, head to Fairie's Twitter account. The winner will be announced New Year's Eve.