zompist bboard
http://www.incatena.org/

Confusing headlines and other trips down the garden path
http://www.incatena.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=38085
Page 1 of 43

Author:  linguoboy [ Mon May 16, 2011 12:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Confusing headlines and other trips down the garden path

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

Author:  Travis B. [ Mon May 16, 2011 12:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confusing headlines

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.

Author:  linguoboy [ Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confusing headlines

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?"

Author:  Travis B. [ Mon May 16, 2011 1:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confusing headlines

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

As was mine.

Author:  dhok [ Mon May 16, 2011 1:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confusing headlines

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

Author:  linguoboy [ Mon May 16, 2011 1:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confusing headlines

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".

Author:  Radius Solis [ Mon May 16, 2011 10:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confusing headlines

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

Author:  Radius Solis [ Mon May 16, 2011 10:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confusing headlines

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...

Author:  patiku [ Mon May 16, 2011 11:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confusing headlines

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

Author:  Drydic [ Tue May 17, 2011 2:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Confusing headlines

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.

Author:  bulbaquil [ Tue May 17, 2011 9:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Confusing headlines

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?

Author:  linguoboy [ Tue May 17, 2011 9:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Confusing headlines

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?"

Author:  HandsomeRob [ Tue May 17, 2011 9:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Confusing headlines

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

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

Author:  linguoboy [ Wed May 18, 2011 9:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Confusing headlines

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.

Author:  Rui [ Wed May 18, 2011 6:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confusing headlines

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!

Author:  Shrdlu [ Wed May 18, 2011 6:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confusing headlines

Sqad helps dog bites victim.

Author:  Drydic [ Wed May 18, 2011 9:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confusing headlines

Shrdlu wrote:
Sqad helps dog bites victim.


Link, because that isn't even sensical.

Author:  Mbwa [ Wed May 18, 2011 10:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confusing headlines

a victim of dog bites?

Author:  MisterBernie [ Wed May 18, 2011 10:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confusing headlines

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.

Author:  Cathbad [ Wed May 18, 2011 11:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confusing headlines

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.)

Author:  pharazon [ Thu May 19, 2011 12:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Confusing headlines

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)

Author:  Bob Johnson [ Thu May 19, 2011 12:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confusing headlines

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

though the actual article uses an "and"

Author:  HandsomeRob [ Thu May 26, 2011 2:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confusing headlines

Policeman suspended over lap-dance

Author:  Viktor77 [ Thu May 26, 2011 2:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confusing headlines

HandsomeRob wrote:
Policeman suspended over lap-dance


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

Author:  linguoboy [ Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Confusing headlines

"Weiner resignation calls louden, wife's pregnant"

Page 1 of 43 All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
https://www.phpbb.com/