Jones and Palin on noun-pile headlines

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From “Dr. Fegg’s Encyclopedia of All World Knowledge“, by Terry Jones and Michael Palin:

[h/t Don Porges]



9 Comments

  1. Sawney said,

    August 14, 2016 @ 12:42 pm

    Looks like a typical Private Eye spoof – although it’s usually continued on p.94.

  2. Jon said,

    August 14, 2016 @ 1:53 pm

    There’s a weird eggcorn in the 9th comment on the page about the book, linked above: “Maybe it’s me, maybe it just doesn’t stand the yes of time”. Presumably they thought of it as the verdict of history.

  3. David Marjanović said,

    August 14, 2016 @ 5:30 pm

    No, that’s an autocorrected typo: T and Y are next to each other on most keyboard layouts.

  4. Irene said,

    August 14, 2016 @ 7:51 pm

    It’s what I call a ‘noun sandwich’.

  5. Yerushalmi said,

    August 15, 2016 @ 1:05 am

    Bah. The meaning is obvious.

    The Amazon Basin has experienced a crime spree recently in which burglars enter the homes of drug dealers, break open their safes, and steal all the money inside. For no apparent rational reason, the Brazilian government has decided that this trend will be successfully curbed by instituting price controls on codfish – a move that is looked upon with disfavor by the opposition Liberal Front Party.

  6. Bonus Chicken said,

    August 15, 2016 @ 8:32 am

    If this were in the New York Times, it would be “Beset with Lingering Allegations, Front Raps Cod Freeze in Safe Smash Drugs Basin.” Because adverbials is sophisticated.

  7. Faldone said,

    August 16, 2016 @ 7:31 am

    The important question is not what it means but did it get you to read the article.

  8. Not a Supporter said,

    August 16, 2016 @ 7:55 am

    @Faldone, then every headline should contain the word “sex.”

  9. J.W. Brewer said,

    August 16, 2016 @ 1:08 pm

    If this goes all the way back to the first edition of Dr. Fegg’s work (published 1974), it’s an interesting bit of indirect evidence that the particular style of headlinese being parodied was already well-established at that date. Which may already be well-known among scholars, but since most of the discussions on LL about the “noun-pile” style have been more synchronic than diachronic (and it wasn’t a style I grew up with personal exposure to) it made me realize I have no personal sense even in a loose gut-instinct kind of way of how old or new a style it is.

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