Bloomberg News headlines, as we've observed in the past, often sound like they've been written by someone with a bizarre journalistic strain of aphasia. Consider, as representative samples, "Ebola Fear Stalks Home Hunt for Quarantined Now Released" and "Madonna Addicted to Sweat Dance Plugs Toronto Condos: Mortgages." The latest specimen is especially inscrutable:
As usual, the reader is compelled to read the first couple of paragraphs before the headline begins to make a lick of sense.
(Bloomberg) — A U.S. appeals court upheld rules that make it easier for companies like Google Inc. and Apple Inc. to get rid of worrisome patent litigation on the cheap.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in an appeal involving a patent for a speed limit indicator, took its first look at reviews by the Patent and Trademark Office. The decision Wednesday may benefit many companies not directly in the case by upholding rules that patent owners say make it too easy to get their legal protections tossed and led a former judge to dub the agency board a “death squad” for patents.
So the head noun of the headline's subject is "rules," referring to rules that have been set up by the Patent and Trademark Appeals Board. Those rules have led a former judge to dub the board a "death squad," thus making it possible for Bloomberg to call them "patent 'death squad' rules." (I like the interposition of "death squad" between "patent" and "rules," which reminds me of interposed nicknames like Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini.) Furthermore, those rules are ones that patent owners denounce. And finally, assuming you've gotten that far, the headline's predicate tells us that those rules have been upheld by a U.S. court.
I consider myself pretty adept at parsing Bloombergese, but I got nowhere with this one, as I kept wanting to read "rules" as a verb and then got tripped up by the juxtaposition of "denounce" and "upheld." I really have to wonder if Bloomberg's in-house style guide contains explicit instructions on how to stymie the reader. Since the headlines kill any hopes of understanding them, perhaps they operate under "Bloomberg 'Death Squad' Rules."
(H/t Charles Duan.)