Misinterpreted Headlines

rynner2

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#94
On 17 January, another triumph of do-it-yourself surgery was aired
on the Web site of Channel 6, an Indianapolis TV station:
"Boy's Condition Improves After Father Shoots Him In Head".
Many thanks to Barbara Uhrig for that.
The headline has since been changed to the
more anodyne but also legally safe and accurate,
"Condition Of Boy Allegedly Shot By Father Improves".

http://www.worldwidewords.org/nl/rlov.htm
 

rynner2

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#99
On Friday morning, Lesley Beresford spotted a headline on Google
News which came from The Brisbane Times, Australia: "Drink driver
caught 19 times over the limit
". Lesley commented, "I was amazed
somebody with a blood alcohol level of 0.95 could still breathe,
let alone drive. Closer examination of the story revealed that it
was the nineteenth time the same chap had been caught!"

http://www.worldwidewords.org/nl/ctgw.htm
 

colinbaker32

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I was reading the paper the other week and caught the words 'jordan took harvey to the london eye', I thought this is very strange I read it again, and thats what it said. I then noticed that the first word on the next line was 'hospital'.
 

rynner2

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A Cornucopia of Crash Blossoms!

The 10 most confusing newspaper headlines?

The New York Times recently ran this, excellent article on ambiguous newspaper headlines. What, it asked, is to be made of these?

Giant Waves Down Queen Mary’s Funnel

MacArthur Flies Back to Front

Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge

British Left Waffles on Falklands

"For years, there was no good name for these double-take headlines”, wrote Ben Zimmer.

Last August, however, one emerged in the Testy Copy Editors online discussion forum. Mike O’Connell, an American editor based in Sapporo, Japan, spotted the headline “Violinist Linked to JAL Crash Blossoms” and wondered, “What’s a crash blossom?”

… Another participant in the forum, Dan Bloom, suggested that “crash blossoms” could be used as a label for such infelicitous headlines that encourage alternate readings, and news of the neologism quickly spread.

I’ve been collecting my favourite crash blossoms for a while now. Though some are likely to be apocryphal, the list includes:

Grandmother of eight makes hole in one

Drunks Get Nine Months in Violin Case

William Kelly was fed secretary

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant

House passes gas tax onto senate

Farmer bill dies in house

http://timesonline.typepad.com/comment/ ... lines.html
 

GNC

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rynner2 said:
MacArthur Flies Back to Front
I always heard this as the British version "Monty Flies Back to Front". Urban myth or adaptation to American version?
 

wembley9

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Copied by Simon Hoggart in the Guardian today -

http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2 ... sh-blossom

Is one of us the Dan Bloom who emailed him? Or has this gone viral so everyone's picking up on it now?

There's also this dedicated web site -

http://www.crashblossoms.com/

with gems like

Bolton’s Cahill hit by blood clot

US Eyes Boom in Nuclear Reactors

Portage Woman Cooked at Academy

McDonald’s fries the holy grail for potato farmers
 

rynner2

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Last week I emailed the link on Crash Blossoms to the editor of World Wide Words, thinking it was something new.

But his reply was Thanks, but I covered that in the newsletter last year!

(Since I can barely remember what was in last week's newsletter, there's no chance I'll remember something from a year ago...! :oops: )
 

amyasleigh

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Yesterday, a couple of entertaining “misleading-headline jobs” from Yahoo’s British “home page”, which gives a very brief-and-skimpy abstract of the news in Britain – with links to follow, if interested.

One such thereon read, “Clock change triggers snow”. My immediate thought was – much controversy about climate change, and the extent to which mankind’s activities are responsible for same. Some of the “doomsaying” sounds crazy, but what does the ignorant layman know? We’re being told that mankind’s messing around with the clocks to get a bit of extra daylight, is affecting the climate?? – well after all, it’s lately been advanced, that the recent earthquake in Chile has slightly shortened or lengthened – I forget which – the day...

Intrigued, I clicked on the given link, and found that it was a case of a catchy but misleading headline – “post hoc, but not propter hoc” – the meteorologists are forecasting a brief highly-cold snap in Britain on Tuesday and Wednesday, by chance shortly after the clocks going forward at just-gone weekend.

On the same Yahoo “home page” – a headline: “Seaweed bread ‘key to obesity’ “. Had me immediately thinking – so the problem is, so many of us weird Brits being addicted to seaweed bread, eating which makes people fat. Immediately after (no need to go to any link), things were amplified: “Seaweed bread could be the answer to obesity epidemic, scientists have said” – pretty-well-undoubted interpretation: if you switch from ordinary bread to seaweed bread, you’ll get less fat.

One sometimes feels, though: if headline-telegraphese is more likely to be misunderstood than not, is there a case to be made for, initially, more words = less zappiness but more immediate correct comprehension?
 
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Three boys held over fire in Carlton-in-Lindrick field
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-no ... e-11213176

When I saw this I thought it was about a vicious assault but...

Three teenagers have been arrested following a suspected arson attack in a Nottinghamshire field.

Fire crews tackled the fire in a crop field at Boot Hill, Carlton-in-Lindrick, on Monday evening. There was also a fire in a field on Sunday.

The boys, two aged 15 and a 14-year-old, were arrested nearby on Monday.

They have been questioned by police about both incidents and have been released on police bail pending further enquiries.
 

therealficolley

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Every time I pass the clothing store Warehouse I read Whorehouse. I wonder if that's where Wayne Rooney has been going wrong.
 

rynner2

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Air rescue after bus stop collapse

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/fp ... _collapse/

Having an imagination like mine, I immediately imagined a bus shelter collapsing on a crowd of people, or perhaps a bus stop sign falling on some unlucky passenger... :shock:

But no:
An air ambulance was called this week when a Falmouth man collapsed at a bus stop on Boslowick Road.

The man, who has been named locally as Dave Evans, needed medical attention following his fall at 11am on Monday.
 

rynner2

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I met a neighbour on a bus today, and I mentioned the bus stop story to him.

Not only did my neighbour know the man involved, he was there when it happened! :shock:

Sadly, the man died.
 

Mythopoeika

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I remember when I was a student in Sheffield (about 1983), I was on a bus driving away from the bus station.
I looked out of the window and saw an old lady at the end of a queue suddenly collapse, falling backwards.
Nobody noticed! So I tried to shout out of an open window to attract the attention of other people in the queue...unfortunately without success.
I never did find out what happened to that old lady.
:(
 

rynner2

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Mythopoeika said:
..I was on a bus driving away from the bus station.
I looked out of the window and saw an old lady at the end of a queue suddenly collapse, falling backwards.
Nobody noticed! So I tried to shout out of an open window to attract the attention of other people in the queue...unfortunately without success.
I never did find out what happened to that old lady.
:(
Clearly, waiting for a bus is a hazardous occupation! :shock:
(And it doesn't help the blood pressure when the bus is late... :evil: )
 

rynner2

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Link on the BBC News web page today: Sharp shares slump as losses grow

..which I took to be about a sharp fall in share prices.

But the actual article has the headline
Sharp shares fall 30% after it warns losses will grow

It's about the Japanese television maker Sharp! Doh! :oops:
 

JamesWhitehead

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The Guardian's front page currently has the headline:

"Gary Glitter Arrested by Jimmy Savile Police"

What a horrible image that gave me for a moment, "Now then! Now then! Now then! Just put your hands in these chunky gold cuffs . . . "

:?
 

Cyclops

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Aaargh! What a horrible thought!

You're right, though - I can just see it! "Now then, now then, now then - as it 'appens, I want a word with you..."
 

rynner2

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Some 'Smart' parking in Helston to avoid kennels

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/10 ... ls/?ref=mr

Nothing to do with animals that bark and wag their tails! In Helston, 'kennels' is the local name for channels that run down the side of the street and carry running water. They're more than just gutters, as they seem to channel small more-or-less permanent streams, and as the story suggests, they are a bit of a hazard to cars (and tipsy pedestrians).

Truro has something similar, and a canalised stream also flows down part of a street in Troon. I imagine that kennels, canals, and channels are words that derive from the same original root.
 
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