Archive for Crash blossoms

Why the sudden need?

And what sort of factory? That's what Stephen B. wondered when he read the Guardian headline, "German factory orders slide unexpectedly".

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So WHAT rolls to the UK again?

[h/t Ian Preston]

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Baby tracks down a nurse

Several people sent me links to this headline. One submitter wrote "I’ve enjoyed many ambiguous headlines in my few years of following Language Log. Today I ran across this one, which I read entirely wrong at first (how does a baby track down a nurse?):"

"Woman burned as a baby tracks down nurse who cared for her", Chicago Tribune 9/30/2015.

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A really big sinkhole

J.C. send a link to Justin Hyde, "Chevy Unveils The Restored 1 Millionth Corvette Pulled From A Kentucky Sinkhole", Yahoo! Autos 9/3/2015, with the comment "This must be some big ass sinkhole".

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Trump insults his rattle rivals

FML writes that a headline in this morning's WSJ print edition "totally garden-pathed me":

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Trailing modifiers can be dangerous

Lamiat Sabin, "Man rattled by python found coiled up and hiding in his box of cornflakes", The Independent 3/9/2015.

A man claims to have had a real-life kitchen nightmare after he saw a long coiled-up snake poke its head out of his box of cereal.

Jarred Smith, 22, was making lunch on Tuesday when he spotted the two-metre diamond python hiding inside the open cornflakes package – according to the Daily Telegraph in Australia.

Yuxi Liu writes:

I thought it meant a man was so rattled by python that he coiled up in his box of cornflakes.
I hope this can provide some laughs on Language Log.

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Take off that broccoli!

From Stephen Dodson:

It took me a minute to parse this headline correctly: 
Bill Pennington, "‘Like Putting on Broccoli,’ or Cauliflower, and Results Are Bumpy", NYT 6/20/2015.


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Secret Dracula Star

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Prompt Angst

Emily Cahn, "Sanchez Stumbles Prompt SoCal Angst", Roll Call 5/20/2015 — Linda Seebach writes "I lived in LA for a couple of years, and can readily believe that SoCal angst is unusually prompt to appear."

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Shooting all members of biker gangs

A headline writer is apparently economizing on punctuation: Nomaan Merchant, "Police: 9 dead in Texas shooting all members of biker gangs", MyFoxDetroit (AP).

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Slut shames students

Jen Chung, "CT High School Slut Shames Students Over "Inappropriate" Prom Dresses", Gothamist 5/12/2015:

Female students at a Connecticut High School are furious that dresses bought for this weekend's prom are being banned because they have exposed shoulders, backs, sides and legs. One mother—whose daughter had two dresses rejected—said, "They've suggested the girls wear T-shirts under their dresses. My daughter won't wear a T-shirt. She would be mortified."

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Dead and marching

Neil MacFarquar, "A Parade Hailing Russia’s World War II Dead and Marching Further From the West", NYT 5/7/2015.

This should be easy, given the parallelism "hailing … and marching", but parallelism isn't always enough.

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Crash blossom roundup

"Crash blossoms" — those ambiguously phrased headlines that encourage absurd interpretations — are flourishing like never before. Here's a roundup of the latest specimens spotted in the wild.

1. "Matt Cassel trade a simple, cheap bandage for Bills QB problem" (CBS Sports, Mar. 4, 2015)

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