Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Our 300th Post - Crash Blossoms?

“Crash Blossoms” are ambiguous headlines that can be quite funny. They result from the space-saving technique of leaving out articles, conjunctions, and sometimes even verbs.

For years, there was no good name for these double-take headlines. Last August, however, one emerged in the Testy Copy Editors online discussion forum. Mike O’Connell, an American editor based in Sapporo, Japan, spotted the headline “Violinist Linked to JAL Crash Blossoms” and wondered, “What’s a crash blossom?” (The article, from the newspaper Japan Today, described the successful musical career of Diana Yukawa, whose father died in a 1985 Japan Airlines plane crash.) Another participant in the forum, Dan Bloom, suggested that “crash blossoms” could be used as a label for such infelicitous headlines that encourage alternate readings, and news of the neologism quickly spread.

One of my favorite examples is “British Left Waffles on Falklands.”

Here are a few more - all true! Enjoy!

Relatives charged in murder of 10-year-old found locked in box

From CNN 29 July 2011

2 tubers killed, 1 critical after lightning strike

From The Detroit Free Press 25 July 2011

Tsunami alert sparks evacuations from Hawaii to Easter Island

From The Guardian 11 March 2011

Germany E.coli cucumber death toll rises to 14

From Reuters 30 May 2011

Celts to build Russell statue pushed by Obama

From 4 May 2011

Airline drops salads from Europe flights

From CNN 3 June 2011

Irish priest makes history by marrying own son

From 1 May 2010

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