Archive for Crash blossoms

Major who?

From Andrea Comiskey, a crash blossom on the National Weather Service's site: "Major to record flooding continues over portions of Mississippi River Valley".

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Minister Morneau hiked down … what?

Faith Jones writes:

I live in Canada, where even our Prime Minister goes canoeing and snowshoeing and stuff, so when I saw this headline on the CBC:

… I assumed the Finance Minister was hiking down an actual mountain somewhere in or around Ottawa. Then I got to "payment" and, because of my previous confusion, I still had it in my mind that the verb was "hikes down" but now I thought it was meant metaphorically, and tried to figure out what these "payment rules" were and what "hiking down" such a rule would entail.

Yeah. Minister Morneau has increased the minimum DOWN PAYMENT needed on houses over $500,000. Took me a good minute and a half to get there.

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Dog economy

Sue-lin Wong, "China Nov inflation edges up, but deflation risks dog economy", Reuters 12/9/2015. When I saw that headline, I wondered whether dog economy was a Chinese idiom for "recession". Or could the story really be about the economic sector dealing with dogs?

Of course what's really going on is that risks is a plural noun and dog is a verb, meaning "to bother or pester persistently".

But there really is a dog economy, even if Chinese deflation isn't risking it: Teresa Bradley and Ritchie King, "The Dog Economy Is Global—but What Is the World's True Canine Capital?", The Atlantic 11/13/2015.

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Cloud Conversations

David Donnell writes:

My initial thought was that there was a climate-related "cloud conversation" that the French were oppposing — Michele Kelemen, "Paris Attacks Cloud Conversation At Summit Of World Powers", NPR 11/15/2015.


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Trump fights to break what?

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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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