Briefly: a demented p.r. pitch, an off-the-rails headline

In the past few days, some tidbits from Facebook friends: from Margalit Fox, another demented p.r. pitch in her mail; from Jean Berko Gleason, an unfortunately ambiguous headline.

Must-have cannabis app. You’ve probably been casting about aimlessly in potworld, but now there’s rescue. From Margalit’s mail, reproduced without editing:

With LA Weekly, naming PotBotics’ PotBot App ‘One of the Five Must Have Cannabis Apps for Tech-Savvy Stoners,’ the company is gearing up to bring the app to the east coast this week at the 4th Annual Cannabis World Conference & Business Expo, starting tomorrow, June 15th.

The comparison class is especially notable: it’s one of the five must-have¬†cannabis apps. Who knew the field of must-have cannabis apps was so crowded?

Rabid raccoons and bare hands. From Jean Berko Gleason, this CNN head, which apparently went by on a crawl:

Woman Drowns Attacking Raccoon With Bare Hands

My first reading was that¬†Woman Drowns was a main clause, followed by a subjectless predicational adjunct Attacking Raccoon With Bare Arms, understood as ‘while she was attacking a raccoon with bare arms’, an adjunct modifying the entire main clause. (There’s a secondary ambiguity, as to whether the woman used her bare arms to attack the raccoon, or whether she had bare arms while attacking the raccoon, or whether the raccoon had bare arms.) In this reading, Attacking is a verb with Raccoon as its direct object.

As it turns out, the intended reading was one in which Attacking Raccoon is a NP, the direct object of the verb Drowns.

Other reports of the event, including one from CNN in print, make it clear that this was indeed the intended reading. From CNN:

Woman uses bare hands to drown rabid raccoon

And from Fox News:

Maine raccoon drowned by woman jogger in scary encounter

 

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