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Deficit balloons are the new crash blossoms

New York Times, October 26, 2018:

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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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A bouquet of crash blossoms

Well, two, anyway. From reader AH, who wrote "Even though I've been following the (deeply disturbing) story, it took me at least three tries before I parsed the headline correctly": Amount cheerleader who refused to cheer rapist required to pay reduced And from reader DM: Snakes in underwear smuggler fined $400

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Today's crash blossoms

Here's one sent in by Jeffrey Kallberg:

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Crash blossoms and product hazard warnings

Although recent Language Log posts about crash blossoms have focused primarily on newspaper headlines, this phenomenon is even more important in messages written to warn customers about immanent hazards, where the same readability problems exist, but with heightened significance. For example, this one recently appeared on a Montana gasoline pump dispensing unit. STATIC ELECTRIC SPARK […]

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Google fans crash blossoms

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

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Crash blossoms

From John McIntyre: You've heard about the Cupertino. You have seen the eggcorn. You know about the snowclone. Now — flourish by trumpets and hautboys — we have the crash blossom. At Testy Copy Editors.com, a worthy colleague, Nessie3, posted this headline: Violinist linked to JAL crash blossoms (If this seems a bit opaque, and […]

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Crashless blossoms

Before reading further, consider the following newspaper headline, and make a mental note of what you think the article is about:

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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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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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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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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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Rare Finnish Crash Blossom

From Miika Sillanpää: A Finnish tabloid presented this beautiful crash blossom today: Disregarding the tragic subject, it can be read either as "Father kills his daughter's dog with hammer" OR "Father kills his daughter with dog's hammer" Well-tended crash blossoms such as this are exceedingly rare in the Finnish-language media, so it was a pretty […]

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