Driver again dies

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Ultimate indignity; ultimate crash blossom.

Headline in electrek:

"Tesla Model 3 driver again dies in crash with trailer, Autopilot not yet ruled out", by Fred Lambert (3/1/19)

In this case, the repeat demise would have been much more rapid than the extraordinarily prolonged one reported by Jen Viegas:

"Death Happens More Slowly Than Thought", Seeker (7/23/13), one cell at a time.

[h.t. yanggueiny]



10 Comments

  1. Peter S. Shenkin said,

    March 2, 2019 @ 11:11 am

    Well, if you can be born again….

  2. Jerry Packard said,

    March 2, 2019 @ 11:52 am

    So the sentence makes perfect sense if the scope of 'again' is taken to be more than just the verb 'dies', an interpretation that is acceptable in English, but not in, e.g., Mandarin.

  3. KevinM said,

    March 2, 2019 @ 12:44 pm

    Every 90 minutes a man is run over by a car in New York City.

  4. TKMair said,

    March 2, 2019 @ 1:56 pm

    When it comes to driving crash probabilities, it's all about the weather. Gray, cold or wet conditions (particularly Gray) are more dangerous than night time driving. Also has to do with the volume of traffic but nevertheless, Gray = bad… Almost like the Chinese Gray symbolizing death! There is a Tao to driving. It is to find the middle road of getting somewhere quickly and also safely.

    I have to comment about the personally coincidental timing of this post with the local road conditions in North Texas area yesterday. We have accidents every day, but there were several particularly bad ones while I was out and about. Smashups seems to happen all at once. Same road, different day. Good day, bad day. It's not only about the reduced visibility, but the lack of good lighting makes people less alert and they drive more sloppily. It makes me wonder 2 things, 1 why don't people drive more cautiously in Gray weather? I think it's simply because we cannot, even if we are aware of the extra dangerous conditions. And 2, will computer controlled vehicles be affected by lighting conditions as we are?

    Anyhow, if you're having Gray weather where you are, I hope you muddle through or even enjoy a little down time, until the end of it, where the sun will again be cheerily shining.

  5. ===Dan said,

    March 2, 2019 @ 2:44 pm

    Would headline writers avoid "Another" at the front instead of using "again?"

  6. Philip Schnell said,

    March 2, 2019 @ 7:56 pm

    Reminds me of this fine headline from the BBC: "Spider bites Australian man on penis again." Still trying to figure out how they knew it was the same spider. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-37481251

  7. Andrew Usher said,

    March 3, 2019 @ 11:14 am

    This is not strictly a crash blossom, since there's no syntactic or lexical ambiguity involved. Instead it's the (semantic) de dicto/de re distinction. I suspect misreadings this way (de re for de dicto) are more likely than the reverse because headline readers are used to anarthrous noun-pile descriptors naming persons (de re) – especially British, of course – and that interpretation readily comes to mind.

    The last example is the same thing, but involving two different nouns, one of which is to be read in each way! Reversing them, it would be that the same spider bit different men on the penis! Perhaps this is more common than one would at first think …

    k_over_hbarc at yahoo.com

  8. TIC said,

    March 3, 2019 @ 12:28 pm

    Coincidentally, a discussion on NPR this morning of a new collection of "Florida Man" headlines got me thinking about crash blossoms and other headline maladies… Now I'll have to study up to see if the "Florida Man" thing is also a de re / de dicto malady…

  9. BZ said,

    March 4, 2019 @ 9:39 am

    What's with the peculiar placement of again? Do they think it makes the correct meaning more likely than the more grammatical "driver dies again"? Or better yet "Again: …driver dies…"

  10. Andrew Usher said,

    March 6, 2019 @ 6:50 pm

    Presumably they did see the alternative interpretation and for that reason avoided 'driver dies again', which immediately suggests it – but they failed to understand that it's still plausible with their wording. Yes, your second alternative fixes it, but headlines are rarely written that way, with punctuation, unless required – so it may not have occurred to do so.

    [The reason I used 'de re' and 'de dicto' is that I know no other way of unambiguously expressing this type of ambiguity. They're not very natural to me, either.]

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