When I saw the headline "Muralitharan will Lara challenge" on the sports page of today’s TOI, my first thought was that the story was about Lara challenging Muralitharan, and that the copy editor had Master Yoda affiliations. That would have been a reasonable explanation. But no, it turned out the story was about Muralitharan saying he would miss the Lara challenge. Clearly headline-givers have progressed from being mere article-bowdlerizers to randomly doing away with all sorts of words.
T’was a time when the golden rule would be "If the headline doesn’t fit in the allotted space, remove one or all of the articles." (In my first copy-desk job, I remember this sagacious senior sub coming up to me and saying "Don’t ever use words like ‘the’ and ‘a’ in the headline." This was to be a blanket rule, even when it made nonsense of the story - ‘a few’ becoming ‘few’ for instance.) But now all words, regardless of their pedigree, are in danger. Soon, perhaps, in the tradition of Orwell’s Newspeak, we'll be able to say simply "Muralitharan Lara" for a story like this one.
P.S. My favourite headline anecdote involves a mistake I made late one night when I was in charge of releasing a page. I was feeling grumpy and tired and there was a story I couldn’t think of a headline for. So I wrote "give head give head" in the space, packed the page off to Design, and then forgot all about it until I saw the thing in printed form the next morning. Remarkably no one in office seemed to notice (or maybe they just thought it was the right headline; it made about as much sense as many of the others did, and it was more exciting).