Archive for Headlinese

Headline puzzle of the week

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Dophin sightseeing

Headline in the China Daily today (5/28/17):

"Dophin sightseeing in China's Taiwan".

As my colleague, Arthur Waldron, trenchantly remarked:  "They fear a dauphin. This may be an omen."

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Resisting reunification

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Headline abuse of the month

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British headlinese: Grammar lesson

From Eric Smith:

"Police appeal after teenage girls kissed and touched in alleged bus incident", Isle of Wight County Press, 3/24/2016.

In today's enlightened society, why shouldn't teenage girls kiss and touch?

I think this illustrates that, in a British headline

* if a verb form is ambiguous as between a preterite tense and a past participle, the past participle is probably what is meant;

* if the syntax is ambiguous as between a standard sentence and an abbreviated sentence, the abbreviated sentence is probably what is meant.

As a secondary point, I suspect that "appeal" is intended as a noun, so that "Police appeal" is a nominal and not a clause.

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Future in Headlinese

Funny headline on a Yahoo news story: "Ford stops using Takata air bag inflators in future vehicles". To me that says that they used to use Takata air bags in future vehicles. How did that work?

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