Another way to misunderstand headlines

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MedPage Today is an excellent source for medical news — but recently their email service has started juxtaposing headline-fragments in a way that takes me aback:

Those e-cigarettes for kids are neither a morning break nor a medicare fraud, despite what I thought at first. And the fix to the Sustainable Growth Rate has no connection with Richard III's genome, whether upside or down:

And porn addiction doesn't actually involve fluoride for babes, mythical or otherwise:


  1. Rod Johnson said,

    February 17, 2014 @ 8:29 pm

    Gricefail. I guess we shouldn't interpret feeds as if they observed the cooperative principle.

  2. ===Dan said,

    February 17, 2014 @ 8:41 pm

    Fake Bloomberg News Twitter feed:

  3. Mark Mandel said,

    February 17, 2014 @ 9:13 pm

    Anybody point that out to them?

  4. Haamu said,

    February 18, 2014 @ 2:45 am

    Is the first one always a question, or have they simply decided that "?" makes a good delimiter?

  5. David Morris said,

    February 18, 2014 @ 4:50 am

    What kind of 'babes' are we talking about here?

  6. Alex said,

    February 19, 2014 @ 2:44 am

    Maybe it's a problem with the HTML. It's like there's supposed to be a br-tag in between the headlines that isn't being read by email readers. It can be frustrating for whoever's doing those headlines, thinking that there's a proper separation between them.

    [(myl) Sorry, no. The Subject line of the email:

    Subject: Morning Break: E-Cigs for Kids? A $12 Million Medicare Fraud

    The relevant bit of html:


  7. maidhc said,

    February 19, 2014 @ 5:54 am

    E-Cigs for Kids? A $12 Million Medicare Fraud

    That there is poetry. Deserves to go on T-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags and other media of expression.

  8. John said,

    February 27, 2014 @ 7:05 am

    Is the use of "babes" for (presumably) "babies" normal in this context? Seems a bizarrely poetic choice of word, as if they were more worried about counting syllables than characters.

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