Which is more correct to say in this headline: "Boring chit chat is the standard for most conversation (or most conversations) between friends, it seems"

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

By the fact that the word headline is used in the question, the assumption will be made here that the sentence provided is to be used for a journalistic article. As such, then, the headline should be as objective as the writer can make it, unless the article is to be an editorial.

With this objectivity in mind, then, here are some observations:

  • For one thing, the word boring is an opinion word, and a more objective word should be employed. 
  • "chit chat" is also an ambiguous phrase since it may carry different connotations for different people. (It is also a good idea to avoid connotative words.)
  • between should be changed to among as there may be more than two friends.
  • The phrase "it seems" again indicates an opinion and should be eliminated.
  • Since headlines function primarily as attention-grabbers, they briefly introduce ideas without suggesting any judgments. Then, they lead the reader to the body of the article. Here, however, the headline provides a completed thought/opinion which belongs in the body of the article.

Assuming that an article about the triviality of many conversations among friends nowadays is to be written, here is a suggested headline:

Conversations among friends in the twenty-first century have evolved from previous times.

The reader, hopefully, will then want to learn how these conversations have changed by reading the article that follows. In the article, opinions can best be included if they are quotations from people. Some research/statistics, etc. can also be included about things that people in other decades have discussed in their conversations; in this way, objectivity and value will be attached to the article. Of course, the influence of technology upon communication can also be a topic.

amysor | Student

Headlines don't have to be completly correct. Although, I would have written "Boring small talk is the standard for most conversations between friends". Although, even this is quite boring, I would reccommend a more dramatic headline to catch your reader's attention.

tyler-k | Student

If this is a headline that you are writing, it is totally up to you. If you mean for it to imply that multiple conversations are boring, then you should use the plural. But if it is directed toward a specific situation, then the singular version should be used, and you should also replace most with a singular word.