The Sun is famous for its sensational, jokey, or punning front page headlines, and today's is a classic. The story involves a school in Essex which has taken flapjacks off its lunchtime menu after a boy was injured by a triangular flapjack that was thrown across the canteen. Read full story >>
Like many tabloid headlines, this one uses a rhyme, but what does it actually mean? Well, let's try and decipher it. We've already seen that a flapjack is a sort of sweet oat bar. If you whack someone, you hit them hard (the pupil was struck in the face). A rap is an act of criticizing or blaming someone. And if you describe something that someone says as claptrap, you mean that it is stupid or foolish. (In fact, The Sun gives this story its "Non-Sense Award".) So put it all together and you get something like "(A school has made) a stupid decision to ban flapjacks because someone was hit by one."
"We often come across half-baked decisions taken in the name of health and safety, but this one takes the biscuit. The real issue isn’t what shape the flapjacks are, but the fact that pupils are throwing them at each other – and that’s a matter of discipline" (HSE spokesman).