Hans Hollein, Architect of Witty Designs, Dies at 80
Don Reitz, Who Made Dirt and Salt Into Art, Dies at 84
Randolph Thrower, IRS Chief Who Resisted Nixon, Dies at 100
If you read The New York Times, you already know this familiar headline style—and maybe even these recent obituaries.
Day after day, gifted NYT writers condense an entire person's life into four to seven words wedged between two commas.
I like to call that middle phrase—the part between the commas—"the death clause." A bit like a morbid Mad Libs game, without the "game" part:
Every day, people condense who we are to four to seven word descriptors, whether we like it or not. But the final statement about our lives—and what we choose to bring to the world and to other people—is up to us to write.
What do want your death clause to be?