Joe Donatelli was procrastinating one day. So he combed through The Atlantic in search of stories about “the end of” something. He found more than 75 examples.

But The Atlantic’s not the only culprit. Here’s a list of things Slate has declared done:

The End of Roementum

The End of Facts

The End of a Played-Out Ad Campaign?

The End of Moore’s Law

The End of the BSD

The End of Fukuyama

The End of Welfare Reform

The End of Summer Vacation

The End of “Anthony Weiner, Front-Runner”?

The End of Retail

The End of Dixiecratic Louisiana

The End of New York’s Gilded Age

The End of North Korea?

The End of History

The End of Republican-Muslim Outreach

The End of Mystery

The End of the Nuclear Age

The End of the British Invasion

The End of the World as We Know It?

The End of White Southern Democrats in the House

Is it ever okay to use “the end of” in a headline? Perhaps in those rare cases when something truly has ended. Even then, though, the phrase is played out, a hyperbolic cliché that provides little clues as to what the story’s about.

The Atlantic and Slate are but two examples. Publications new and old use “the end of” to appeal to our interest in things going away. On Google, the phrase garners over 18 billion search results, including a piece on Slate about how declaring things dead is dead.

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  • Joe Donatelli

    Of all of them, I have to say I miss Facts the most.

    • cfrech

      In a similar fashion, if history has ended, is there such a thing as the past? And, with no past, can we have a present? Cue the sound of one hand clapping…

      • Joe Donatelli

        Good points. That WOULD explain why Fukuyama ended, though.