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Headline noun pile length contest entry

"Ministers mull volcano ash cloud flight chaos measures", BBC News, 4/18/2010.

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Brit noun pile heds quizzed

Fev at Headsup: The Blog has followed up his post on Britosphere headline culture ("Hed noun pileup of the morning", 2/24/2009), and my comments ("UK death crash fetish?", 3/1/2009), with "Nude pic row vicar resigns", which features great noun strings like "Blast Kelly" (a girl named Kelly involved in an explosion), "George row doc" (a […]

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Flop oil

Ruki Sayid & Ben Glaze, "Boris Johnson returns from Saudi Arabia empty handed after flop oil beg trip",  The Mirror 3/17/2022: Boris Johnson is landing back in Britain empty-handed this morning after his oil begging trip to the Gulf flopped – and Vladimir Putin lashed out at the West. Russia ’s invasion of Ukraine has […]

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Headline writers, crash blossom victims need your help

A headline from today's BBC News: "Knife crime: St John Ambulance to teach teens to help stab victims."

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Chris Waigl helps fire managers

Chris Waigl is a longtime friend of Language Log — among her many accomplishments is the creation of the Eggcorn Database in 2005 (with contributions from Arnold Zwicky and me). These days she conducts post-doctoral research in the Boreal Fires team of the Alaska EPSCoR Fire and Ice project at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, […]

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What is Trump demanding now?

Here's a nice crash blossom (that is, a difficult-to-parse ambiguous headline) noted on Twitter by The Economist's Lane Greene, with credit to his colleague James Waddell. In The Financial Times, a promotion of an article inside (a "reefer" in newspaper-speak) is headlined: "Trump demands dog 'Dreamers' deal." Via @james_waddell, a perfect example of headline ambiguity, including […]

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Headline abuse of the month

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Misleading headline

When you read this Radio Free Asia headline, what do you think? "China Holds Two Activists Linked to Heilongjiang Shooting Death" (5/20/15) Here's the photograph that accompanies the article: Activist Wu Gan stages protest outside Jiangxi High Court, May 19, 2015. Photo courtesy of Boxun.

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Missing woman remains found

From the Hackney Gazette:

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Today's headline harvest

"Blindfold sex knife attack ex-wife jailed for murder attempt", BBC News 12/8/2014 — Although the five-noun pile-up doesn't give us any syntactic help, the facts are more or less what you'd guess by putting all the words on the table and making up a story about them: A woman who tried to murder her ex-husband after blindfolding him […]

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Clause attachment ambiguity

The newspaper headline interpretation confusion problem is usually associated with noun piles: "Coin change 'skin problem fear'", ""Ben Douglas Bafta race row hairdresser James Brown 'sorry'", "China Ferrari sex orgy death crash", and so on. But here's one that depends on ambiguity in the attachment of a pile-up of three headline-final subordinate clauses — Richard […]

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Ebola fear stalks Bloomberg headlines

Bloomberg News is notorious for its bizarre, impenetrable headlines. There's a whole Tumblr blog devoted to strange Bloomberg headlines, and Quartz last year ran an article looking into "how Bloomberg headlines got to be so odd." Here's a new one, spotted by David Craig and Brett Wilson:

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British headlines: 18% less informative shorter

Chris Hanretty, "British headlines: 18% less informative than their American cousins", 11/29/2013: I’m currently working on a project looking at the representation of constituency opinion in Parliament. One of our objectives involves examining the distribution of parliamentary attention — whether MPs from constituencies very concerned by immigration talk more about immigration than MPs from constituencies […]

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