Confusing headlines and other trips down the garden path

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linguoboy
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Confusing headlines and other trips down the garden path

Post by linguoboy »

I've had a couple of complaints that the old topic was pruned, so I'm starting its replacement here.

This first one should be perfectly comprehensible to the Brits, but it had me genuinely puzzled for a bit:

Woman's boobs weigh nearly 4st
Last edited by linguoboy on Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Confusing headlines

Post by Travis B. »

linguoboy wrote:I've had a couple of complaints that the old topic was pruned, so I'm starting its replacement here.

This first one should be perfectly comprehensible to the Brits, but it had me genuinely puzzled for a bit:

Woman's boobs weigh nearly 4st

They could have simply written four stone there - not that we North Americans would have gotten how much weight that is.
Dibotahamdn duthma jallni agaynni ra hgitn lakrhmi.
Amuhawr jalla vowa vta hlakrhi hdm duthmi xaja.
Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro.

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linguoboy
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Re: Confusing headlines

Post by linguoboy »

Travis B. wrote:They could have simply written four stone there - not that we North Americans would have gotten how much weight that is.

IME, most Americans don't even realise that that is a measure of weight. So even that would read like surrealism.

Of course, my initial reaction was, "Well what weighed 2st and 3st?"

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Re: Confusing headlines

Post by Travis B. »

linguoboy wrote:Of course, my initial reaction was, "Well what weighed 2st and 3st?"

As was mine.
Dibotahamdn duthma jallni agaynni ra hgitn lakrhmi.
Amuhawr jalla vowa vta hlakrhi hdm duthmi xaja.
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Re: Confusing headlines

Post by dhok »

Even more puzzlingly, how can you walk around every day with an extra 25 and a half kilos on your chest?

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Re: Confusing headlines

Post by linguoboy »

I should've known.

I create a thread for confusing headlines in Ephemera, people post confusing headlines to it.
I create a thread for confusing headlines in NotA, it turns into an unedifying discussions of Americans' perception of the word "stone".

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Re: Confusing headlines

Post by Radius Solis »

Discussing units of measurement is perfectly reasonable in ephemera. This thread is for discussing confusing headlines! :)

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Re: Confusing headlines

Post by Radius Solis »

On to an actual garden-path headline: ICC requests Gaddafi arrest warrant. Seriously, all I had to do was visit Google News with the intention of finding a garden-path headline so as to add something topical to this thread, and there it was, right in front of me.

Not that it's necessarily a very confusing headline, but it is most certainly a garden path: only when you get to warrant do you discover that the intended structure can't have been "ICC requests [that] Gaddafi arrest [someone]".


Another fun one that appears to have been corrected in the interval while I wrote this post:
Queen makes historic Ireland trip. This certainly gives the impression of the Queen sticking out her foot in front of poor historic Ireland as it walks by...

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Re: Confusing headlines

Post by patiku »

The old thread died because it was boring, so now it's being reposted in NotA just so it'll linger for months?

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Re: Confusing headlines

Post by Drydic »

patiku wrote:The old thread died because it was boring, so now it's being reposted in NotA just so it'll linger for months?


No, it's being reposted to annoy you.

Good to see it's working.
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Re: Confusing headlines

Post by bulbaquil »

Schwarzenegger had child with staffer, report says

So there's a genetic or infant disease called "staffer" now?

Bill O'Reilly and Jon Stewart Debate Common Controversy

So is the debate between O'Reilly and Stewart a common controversy, or is the thing they were debating a common controversy?
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Re: Confusing headlines

Post by linguoboy »

bulbaquil wrote:[Bill O'Reilly and Jon Stewart Debate Common Controversy

So is the debate between O'Reilly and Stewart a common controversy, or is the thing they were debating a common controversy?

Or were they debating a Common controversy, as in, "What fool thing has Common gone and said now?"

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Re: Confusing headlines

Post by HandsomeRob »

Radius Solis wrote:On to an actual garden-path headline: ICC requests Gaddafi arrest warrant.

I was like, OMG, what has Warrant done now!?

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Re: Confusing headlines

Post by linguoboy »

Language Log has an all-time classic today: "Sack rape row Clarke - Miliband".

And it's not a headline, but I caused a parsing problem for my friend Lee when buying a copy of his book on the Mississippi for a friend. I told him to inscribe it to "Ken, who like the river never sleeps" and because I didn't pause sufficiently after "who", he could make neither head nor tails of it even after three repeats.

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Re: Confusing headlines

Post by Rui »

I found this article via cracked.com: "Science fingers natural bullies"

Oh dear. That was too much information about the intimate relations between science and natural bullies!

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Re: Confusing headlines

Post by Shrdlu »

Sqad helps dog bites victim.
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Re: Confusing headlines

Post by Drydic »

Shrdlu wrote:Sqad helps dog bites victim.


Link, because that isn't even sensical.
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Re: Confusing headlines

Post by Mbwa »

a victim of dog bites?
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Re: Confusing headlines

Post by MisterBernie »

Drydic Guy wrote:
Shrdlu wrote:Sqad helps dog bites victim.

Link, because that isn't even sensical.


Apparently, it's "Squad helps dog bite victim". Don't know if it's actually attested though.
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Re: Confusing headlines

Post by Cathbad »

Chibi wrote:I found this article via cracked.com: "Science fingers natural bullies"

Oh dear. That was too much information about the intimate relations between science and natural bullies!


I've read a bit of the article but I still have no idea how the hell the headline is supposed to be parsed. "Science: Fingers Natural Bullies"...? (Not to mention that I appear to have female-style finger length ratios, which I guess is not all that surprising.)

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Re: Confusing headlines

Post by pharazon »

Cathbad wrote:
Chibi wrote:I found this article via cracked.com: "Science fingers natural bullies"

Oh dear. That was too much information about the intimate relations between science and natural bullies!


I've read a bit of the article but I still have no idea how the hell the headline is supposed to be parsed. "Science: Fingers Natural Bullies"...? (Not to mention that I appear to have female-style finger length ratios, which I guess is not all that surprising.)


http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/finger#Verb (please avert your eyes from definition #3, it is quite shocking)

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Re: Confusing headlines

Post by Bob Johnson »

Bin Laden raid was humiliating to Pakistanis, Gates, Mullen say

though the actual article uses an "and"

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Re: Confusing headlines

Post by HandsomeRob »

Policeman suspended over lap-dance

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Re: Confusing headlines

Post by Viktor77 »

HandsomeRob wrote:Policeman suspended over lap-dance


That policeman really needs to learn the appropriate uses for a real uniform and a novelty uniform.
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Re: Confusing headlines

Post by linguoboy »

"Weiner resignation calls louden, wife's pregnant"

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