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Deficit balloons are the new crash blossoms

New York Times, October 26, 2018:

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Crash blossom roundup

"Crash blossoms" — those ambiguously phrased headlines that encourage absurd interpretations — are flourishing like never before. Here's a roundup of the latest specimens spotted in the wild. 1. "Matt Cassel trade a simple, cheap bandage for Bills QB problem" (CBS Sports, Mar. 4, 2015)

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Oscar crash blossom

Attachment ambiguity strikes again! Originally the headline was "Screenwriter Graham Moore reveals he tried to commit suicide during 2015 Oscars acceptance speech for 'The Imitation Game'". Now it's "Screenwriter Graham Moore reveals during Oscars acceptance speech for 'The Imitation Game' that he tried to commit suicide at 16", Daily News 2/23/2015.

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Double crash blossom

Jonathan Falk writes: I rarely get an email where my first two interpretations of the subject line [in this case, "AYA Burns Supper at Mory's"] are wrong.  The first, obvious interpretation is that the Association of Yale Alumni for some reason was cooking the meal at Mory's and they weren't very good at it.  My second […]

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A black-belt crash blossom

Posted by Alex Bledsoe on Twitter: Copy editors…I miss them. pic.twitter.com/oTpDhpi6Wf — AlexBledsoe (@AlexBledsoe) October 9, 2014

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Newsworthy crash blossoms

The current BBC home page has some breaking news about Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond: My first thought on reading this was that it's rather late in the day for Salmond to be going after the No vote, considering No already won handily. Then I realized it's not go after as in "pursue," but […]

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The most awkward crash blossom ever?

This: BREAKING: Dutch military plane carrying bodies from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash lands in Eindhoven. — The Associated Press (@AP) July 23, 2014 [h.t. Omri Ceren]

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A zeugmatic crash blossom to torment Mets fans

As if New York Mets fans don't have to suffer enough, what with the five straight losing seasons and the embarrassing bullpen meltdown in yesterday's home opener, this headline (tweeted by Mark Fishkin) appeared in today's Wall Street Journal: One lucky fan, surely. #Mets pic.twitter.com/xymPstjVSE — Mark Fishkin (@MarkFishkin) April 1, 2014

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Offensive crash blossom

Steve Kleinedler spotted this crash blossom on the home page of the New York Times today: "G.O.P. Critics of Immigration Bill Plan Offensive." Screenshotted for posterity: The article itself has the less interesting headline, "G.O.P. Opponents Plan Immigration Bill Attack."

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Infant involved in crash blossom

A commenter on FARK noted this headline on the website for KMOV St. Louis: Infant pulled from wrecked car involved in short police pursuit …adding, "No word on how far his short little legs took him before the police caught up with him." The headline was quickly edited thereafter, and it now reads: Infant pulled […]

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François Mitterrand crash blossom

Under the heading "the benefits of paired em dashes, part 57", Mark Swofford sent in the following screen shot from yesterday's New York Times:

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Newborn searches for crash blossom

Amy Reynaldo spotted this crash blossom currently featured on the home page of the Chicago Tribune:

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Another unfortunate crash blossom

"KOMO headline editor, your phrasing needs work," tweeted CJ Alexander regarding this deeply regrettable crash blossom (KOMO North Seattle News, July 11, 2012):

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