October 11, 2009

"Brit Fans Nuts For Squirrel."

Hmm.

That's one of those bizarrely ambiguous headlines they call "crash blossoms" over at Language Log:
"[C]rash blossoms" [are] "those train wrecks of newspaper headlines that lead us down the garden path to end up against a wall, scratching our head and wondering what on earth the subeditor might possibly have been thinking." Indeed, when such infelicitous headlines have come up here on Language Log, they have typically been discussed as examples of "garden path sentences."

16 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

What a strange non story.

But running with:

Don't the Brits have an invasion of grey squirrels that are wiping out the native red squirrels? So eating some grey squirrels might help, no?

And we can save the feet for Althouse earrings.

Ann Althouse said...

The intended subject is headlines.

ricpic said...

The headline - Brit Fans Nuts For Squirrel - is immediately followed by the first sentence of the body of the story - POP princess Britney Spears has sent sales of squirrel meat soaring - which clarifies the headline. So what's the problem? The headline is a grabber but the reader is not left hanging.

Ann Althouse said...

It's not a problem. I enjoy the picture of an Englishman fanning the testicles of a small mammal.

I have no interest in the article.

Paco Wové said...

Funny, I assumed he was fanning his own nuts. I just wasn't sure what kind of nuts we were talking about (filbertish, or Rocky-Mountain-oysterish).

Paco Wové said...

Or why either type would need fanning. Overheating, I suppose.

Beth said...

I enjoy the picture of an Englishman fanning the testicles of a small mammal.

There's probably a MySpace with lots of those pictures. Every fetish has its community on the internet.

EDH said...

"How are going to get it up Gramps?"

Viagra?

No, Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!

traditionalguy said...

Very punny.

michael farris said...

"I enjoy the picture of an Englishman fanning the testicles of a small mammal."

Our non-human testicle blogger!

verification: beartat

I wouldn't touch that anymore than I'd fan a squirrel's nuts. Sorry, Ann, but then I'm not English either.

blake said...

Could not parse that to save my life there.

Nuts!

blake said...

I'd say it was 'cause I was too clean-minded, but I was trying to use "nut" as a verb.

"Bit Fans Nut For Squirrel"?

Rodent bukake?

Paul Zrimsek said...

I don't care how much squirrels enjoy seeing mental patients strike out. Baseball is our game, and the Brits should stick to cricket.

miller said...

Thanks for giving me a new term "crash blossom." I'd never heard of this term, but I've been aware of the condition for years - those phrases that you read, and then stop and re-read saying, "Did I read that right?"

"Crash blossom." Lovely.

Peren said...

No one else thought of Brit Hume?

Dave Cornutt said...

Well, at least they've finally located Maine.