A continuing series on this blog, with at least 9 postings before this under the heading “The news for penises” (plus a great many other penis postings not under that heading). Four items that have come to me in the past few days: an ad for gay porn with some phonological play in it; horse penises in Kyrgyzstan; beef whistle as a slang term for the penis; and the celebrated candiru fish of the Amazon.
Archive for the ‘Headlines’ Category
From Chris Waigl, this headline in the Alaska Dispatch News politics section:
No gas-line veto override vote in sight
The headline is entirely accurate and grammatically impeccable, but the combination of three negative-tinged elements in it — veto, override, syntactic negation with no — makes it hard to understand.
I don’t usually pass on postings from other blogs, but on the 5th Ben Zimmer blogged two notable things on Language Log that are worth drawing attention to: one on an amazing headline from Bloomberg News and a death notice for Suzette Haden Elgin.
From a public service announcement on television about the closing of the Golden Gate Bridge this weekend:
(1) The bridge is closing to install a moveable median barrier
I wasn’t entirely comfortable with this wording, which sounded danglerish to me (though its intent is clear). The version on the bridge’s site uses a subjectless nominalization (which is impeccable) rather than a subjectless purpose adjunct:
(2) Jan. 10-11, Golden Gate Bridge CLOSED for Installation of Moveable Median Barrier
My speculation is that subjectless purpose adjuncts (at least the sentence-final ones) are less obtrusive when they are more telegraphic in form, especially when they are framed as headlines; the idea is that readers are accustomed to supplying omitted material in headlines.
Today’s Calvin and Hobbes, in which Calvin shows his mastery of tabloid headline writing:
Calvin’s doing well on the headline register (simple present tense for reporting events, omission of articles) used with other stylistic features (lexical choices in ichthyoid, grim melee, devours) and a breathless framing of the report, to reproduce the genre of tabloid headlines.
From Emily Rizzo in sunny Florida, an especially nice error from the website of television station WWSB. It started with this report:
Manatee County, Fla. — The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a missing and endangered elderly man.
According to reports, around 7 a.m. on December 27, Wendell L. Dain got into his 2007 light green Toyota Rav4 and drove away in an unknown direction of travel.
Family members believe that he took a gun with him and they believe that he is on his way to Nevada. They were planning on moving there to be closer to family.
and then the resolution in an update on December 27th:
Missing Manatee County found in Arizona
According to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, Dain has been located in Phoenix, Arizona, and is doing okay.
The notable point is the update headline. And what’s so nice is that a head about a missing man is missing the word man.
On April 25th, on ADS-L, from Pat O’Conner (of Grammarphobia.com), under the heading “A crash blossom for the ages”:
Dare you to decipher this one, from Reuters (London) on April 16th:
“Stuttering Man City Held by Bottom Side Sunderland”
“Man City” is Manchester City, a football (soccer) team (or “side”). Sunderland is another; it plays in the lowest league (“bottom”).
From Chris Waigl on Facebook, this image of a headline.
Among the most common functions of initial caps are marking the first word of a sentence and marking proper names. Both are, at least at first, here. But the ‘annoying memorabilia’ interpretation is very unlikely. Then you need to know that Johnny Pesky was a baseball player — a fact immediately made clear in the body of the story,
An enormously entertaining headline, from the Plymouth (England) Herald on January 23rd:
Ghost ship full of cannibal rats could be about to crash into Devon coast
(Plymouth is in Devon.)
The story sounds too delicious to be true, and apparently it’s not. Still, the image of a ghost ship full of cannibal rats is haunting.