Google fans crash blossoms

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Crash blossom of the week: Andrew Morse, "Google fans phone expectations by scheduling Android event", Total Telecom 1/4/2010.

And amazingly, it was only in June of 2007 that "Apple Fans Rush to Stores as IPhone Makes U.S. Debut".

[Hat tip: Rick Rubenstein]


  1. Ginger Yellow said,

    January 5, 2010 @ 7:20 am

    I quite like the idea of an Android inspired geek flashmob.

  2. Boris said,

    January 5, 2010 @ 10:59 am

    What's wrong with the second headline?

  3. Ellen K. said,

    January 5, 2010 @ 11:31 am

    I don't think there's something wrong with the 2nd headline… just that it's related in a couple different ways (topic and wording).

  4. Faldone said,

    January 5, 2010 @ 11:48 am

    And it gives us the template to crash our blossoms in sentence 1.

  5. Oskar said,

    January 5, 2010 @ 12:24 pm

    I swear, it took me ten minutes to realize that "fans" was a verb. I kept wondering if "phone" was the verb, and fans of Google were calling people with their expectations.

  6. Sili said,

    January 5, 2010 @ 4:27 pm

    Oh. I though "phone" was the verb as well – makes perfect sense that the fans (tele)phone their expectations by scheduling some sorta event before even having the product. Like camping out for a month to be first in he line for Twilight.

  7. John Cowan said,

    January 5, 2010 @ 10:15 pm

    I think the first headline is clearly meant to have fans as the verb: expectations is not a normal object of the verb phone(s)telegraph their expectations is a known metaphor, but (tele)phone their expectations is not. Nor does scheduling make any sense as the means by which phoning is done. But the second headline is perfectly balanced: there is no way at all to tell, short of reading the story, whether fans or rush is the verb.

  8. Andrew Pendleton said,

    January 5, 2010 @ 11:32 pm

    I don't know that this qualifies as a crash blossom, or, at least, doesn't fit what I had thought a crash blossom was. In other examples, the first part of the sentence leads the reader to parse the sentence one way, only to discover partway through that that parsing is ungrammatical, and to reparse. This does, indeed, have two parsings ("Google" as subject, "fans" as verb, etc.; and "Google fans" as subject, "phones" as verb, etc.), but I think these are both grammatical, though one is intended and another is not (where "expectations," in the unlikely parsing, labels the contents of the message being phoned, rather than the intended recipient). So I think this is more like the "British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands" headline, which is an instance of a related, but distinct, phenomenon.

  9. Rick S said,

    January 7, 2010 @ 6:53 pm

    @Andrew Pendleton: I think you have it backward. Headlines in which the reader "discover[s] partway through that the parsing is ungrammatical" are what have been called "garden path" headlines here, which post also endorses the term "crash blossoms" for those which are grammatical (within the restricted grammar of headlinese) in each of two analyses, yielding two meanings one of which is typically bizarre. The archetype of the latter, "Violinist linked to JAL crash blossoms", is indeed ambigrammatical, like the topic headline (and the Waffles one).

  10. Army1987 said,

    January 9, 2010 @ 5:39 pm

    Isn't it supposed to mean that Google blows air towards the expectations of telephones? :-)

  11. Army1987 said,

    January 9, 2010 @ 5:40 pm

    (uhm, by reading the previous comments I realize that what I intended as a joke was the actual intended meaning, although with a metaphorical meaning of "fan". Er…)

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