Today’s headline

Not actually a crash blossom, but the headline did give me a moment of puzzlement. In today’s (Palo Alto) Daily News:

Eastside’s press does in Castilleja

Some of the puzzlement is cleared up by noting that the story appeared in the sports section of the paper, and that it was about a (women’s) basketball game between two local prep schools, Eastside and Castilleja. That tells us that press refers to a style or strategy of play in basketball, the full-court press. Context is crucial.

Then we’re left with does in, which could have the noun form does, plural of doe, in it, but that’s really unlikely. So we’ve got the verb form does, 3sg pres of do. The final decision is between the parsing

[ does ] [ in Castilleja ]

and

[ does in ] [ Castilleja ].

I went initially for the first, but realizing that didn’t make sense, finally settled on the (intended) reading with a form of the verbal idiom do in ‘kill, conquer’.

Sports fans, especially local ones, probably had not a moment of indecision in reading the headline.

One Response to “Today’s headline”

  1. The Ridger Says:

    You’re right: I got “does in” right away, and that led me to figure out that it was on the sports page.

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