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Monday, May 12, 2014

3

The TMZ Style Guide

1. HEADLINES: Font size in headlines should be completely arbitrary. Sometimes the name is emphasized (JAY Z) sometimes the event is emphasized (SUFFERS SEIZURE AT REHAB) sometimes a random phrase (MERCIFUL JUDGE) is emphasized. Whatever is emphasized is not as important as the fact that something is emphasized.

2. PUNCTUATION: Whenever possible, ellipses should be used instead of periods and commas. Two dashes (–) can be used in exactly the same way an ellipse might be used. Both an ellipse and a dash can be used in the same sentence, like here: "In the photo ... Willow Smith is in bed — fully clothed and on top of the covers — and an actor named Moises Arias is sitting next to her sans shirt."

3. CUT-OUT PHOTOS OF CELEB HEADS: Cut-out photos of celeb heads should have at least six sides. Bald celeb heads should have nine or ten sides. Chris Brown's head should look like he has a tent on top of it.

4. CUT-OUT PHOTOS OF WILLOW SMITH'S HEAD: Willow Smith's head should be flat enough on top that readers will believe it is possible to pitch the tent on Chris Brown's head on top of it.

5. CUT-OUT PHOTOS OF TYRESE GIBSON'S HEAD: No time should be wasted trying to make Tyrese Gibson's head look weird.

6. TIME: "P" is an acceptable substitute for P.M.

7. ENDINGS: Ideally, articles should end with a sentence that shows what pieces of shit TMZ readers/employees are ("We called them and they didn't call back," or "You'll never be in an elevator with people this hot" both carry the right message). When this is impossible, a quote like "The Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day" ... this refers to Kanye West's legendary grumpiness — will work. Bottom line, the reader should end the piece thinking, "What the fuck?"

8. BEYONCE: Beyonce should always be first referred to as Beyonce and afterwards as Bey, and then afterwards as Beyonce. Or whatever. Her sister, Solange, is always accompanied by her surname (Knowles). If she tries to beat up Jay-Z one more time, she may be referred to as "Solange," but only if this occurs in the next six months.

9. THE-DREAM: Rapper The-Dream, is "The-Dream" for a first mention, then simply "Dream," for all subsequent mentions. Articles exceeding 150 words in length may once more refer to him as, "The-Dream."

10. THE-DREAM AND COMMAS: Articles about The-Dream should use commas instead of ellipses. This is not because Dream loves commas, but because by accident a whole bunch of articles about Dream have used commas instead of ellipses. So we're just going to keep them... for consistency.

H/TSarah Miller is the author of Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn and The Other Girl. She lives in Nevada City, CA. Follow her on Twitter @sarahlovescali.



3 Comments / Post A Comment

Lucienne

I have never been on TMZ so this reads like a delightful and surreal version of a college newspaper's style guide.

DangerDangerDanger

I believe you mean ellipsis where you have used ellipse.

Pooja Patel

It is good. I have never been on TMZ so this reads like a delightful and surreal version of a college newspaper's style guide

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