Here are two entertainment news headlines that are difficult to parse without knowing in advance what they're reporting on. First up, from TIME, a headline on a May 31 piece by TV critic James Poniewozik:
Second, from Cinema Blend, a headline on a post earlier today by Mack Rawden:
Reading the TIME headline ("Fox's Megyn Kelly Alpha-Dogs Working-Mom Critic Erick Erickson"), you might at first have trouble recognizing that alpha-dogs is the verb in the sentence, with "working-mom critic Erick Erickson" as its object. It's much easier to parse if you've already seen the much-circulated back-and-forth between Kelly and Erickson, in which Kelly takes Erickson to task for inane statements about gender roles. (Erickson claimed that, in the animal world, "the male [is] dominant in strength and protection and the female dominant in nurture," and that therefore humans should follow suit.) Kelly easily dominates Erickson in the discussion, so she is, following Erickson's own appeal to sociobiology, the alpha dog.
OED has the relevant sense of alpha back to 1938:
Designating a dominant individual, esp. one dominant among others of its own sex in a mixed group of social animals; of or relating to such an individual. In extended use (sometimes with humorous or depreciative connotations): designating a person tending to assume a dominant role in social or professional situations, or thought to possess the qualities and confidence for leadership.
Alpha male also dates to 1938. Alpha dog doesn't merit its own entry, but it's a popular collocation, especially since a 2006 movie of that name. So, given all of that cultural knowledge, one can see how alpha-dog could be turned into a transitive verb to mean "dominate (someone)." But making that parsing on the fly is a lot to ask of the casual headline reader.
The Cinema Blend headline ("After Earth Lost To Both Fast & Furious And Now You See Me At Friday Box Office") is more of a classic crash blossom, with a humorously ambiguous reading. (Earth lost to both Fast & Furious? And what happened after that? I see you at Friday box office?) But those ambiguities would fade away if there were quotation marks around the movie titles "After Earth," "Fast & Furious," and "Now You See Me." It appears to be Cinema Blend's style to refrain from quotation marks (or italics) on movie titles, but one wonders if the headline writer was having a bit of fun and crafting an intentional crash blossom.