https://www.duolingo.com/csi

English-language fun with poorly written headlines :)

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What is wrong with these headlines? :)

Arson Suspect is Held in Massachusetts Fire

British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands

Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case

Enraged Cow Injures Farmer with Ax

Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks

L.A. Voters Approve Urban Renewal By Landslide

Lack of brains hinders research

Lawmen from Mexico Barbecue Guests

Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half

Milk Drinkers are Turning to Powder

... and more at: http://littlecalamity.tripod.com/Text/Newspaper.html

2 years ago

22 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/IceAly
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My personal favorite experience with this was in a church newsletter, which contained the following sentence (recreated to the best of my memory):

For those of you who have children and don't know it, there is a daycare available during service.

Precision of language, please!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/csi
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LOL! funny :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ifphigenia
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And they say grammar and punctuation don't matter LOL :-))))

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CodyORB
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Wow!

  1. Sounds like he's on fire
  2. What a waste
  3. 9 months stuffed in a violin case???
  4. Rebel cow :3
  5. Proof of aliens!!
  6. Shooting in the court?
  7. Must be delicious little children.
  8. Urban renewal or urban destroyal?
  9. Zombie apocalypse!!!
  10. Grilled humans, hot off the grill!
  11. Blehhh
  12. Harry potter spell???
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/csi
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Exactly! lol

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PolyglotCiro
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I didn't get them... My native language is Spanish...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/csi
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Ohh... they're hard, some even for native speakers of English. So...

Arson Suspect is Held in Massachusetts Fire
What they mean: An arson suspect was arrested for setting a fire in Massachusetts.
What it sounds like: They physically held an arson suspect in a fire, in Massachusetts. The punishment fits the crime.

British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands
What they mean: The British political Left (i.e. Liberal party?) is unable to come to a decision with regards to the Falkland Islands. (to waffle is a verb meaning, "unable to come to a decision".)
What it sounds like: Some British people went to the Falkland Islands and left some delicious breakfast-food there.

Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case
What they mean: An alcoholic was sentenced to nine months in jail in connection with a crime that involved a violin.
What it sounds like: An alcoholic was sentenced to spending nine months crammed into a violin case.

Enraged Cow Injures Farmer with Ax
What they mean: A cow got angry and attacked a farmer who was holding an ax.
What it sounds like: A cow got angry and used an ax to attack a farmer.

Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
What they mean: There are some hospitals that are being sued by doctors who are foot specialists (also known as podiatrists). There are seven podiatrists suing the hospitals.
What it sounds like: There are some hospitals that are being sued by doctors who are 7 feet tall.

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
What they mean: There is a defendant in a shooting case that is on trial in Juvenile Court.
What it sounds like: The Juvenile Court is trying to shoot the defendant.

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
What they mean: Children are making the nutritious snacks.
What it sounds like: The children are the nutritious snacks.

L.A. Voters Approve Urban Renewal By Landslide
What they mean: A large majority of L.A. voters voted in favour of a plan for urban renewal. (When something is put to a vote and is won by an overwhelming majority, we say "won by a landslide". It's an expression.)
What it sounds like: L.A. voters are in favour of using an actual landslide to renew an urban area. Which would mean that all buildings, roads, etc would be flattened and everything would have to be re-built from scratch. Kind of extreme.

Lack of brains hinders research
What they mean: Probably this refers to research being done on actual brains. But there is a lack of actual, physical brains to conduct the research on.
What it sounds like: The researchers are not too smart, so they are unable to do their work.

Lawmen from Mexico Barbecue Guests
What they mean: There are some lawmen visiting from Mexico, and they are guests at a barbecue (which is like an outdoor summer party where food is being barbecued.) What it sounds like: There are some Mexican lawmen who are barbecuing the guests. Maybe they got tired of snacking on the nutritious children and wanted to eat something more substantial.

Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
What they mean: The number of high school dropouts has decreased by 50%.
What it sounds like: They are taking high school dropouts and physically cutting them in half.

Milk Drinkers are Turning to Powder
What they mean: People who drink milk are starting to use milk powder instead of fresh milk for whatever reason (fresh milk is too expensive, unavailable, contaminated, etc.)
What it sounds like: People who drink milk are turning into powder.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PolyglotCiro
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hahaha! :) Thank you very much! I understand them now. :D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jjd1123
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Thanks for your great explanation, but allow me a small comment:

The British political Left (i.e. Liberal party?)

While I'm no expert on British politics, I'm pretty sure that the Liberal Democrats (if that's the party you're referring to) are in no way part of the political Left. Identifying the terms "liberal" and "leftist" is mostly a thing in the US (and maybe some other countries like Canada) but not so much in Europe. Our liberal parties are for the most part liberal with respect to economy first and to social issues second (ymmv). An American might use the term "libertarian" in this case. Left-leaning parties in the UK would be Labour or the Scottish National Party (Edit: according to Wikipedia they're "centre-left"), for example (as well as many smaller ones probably).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/csi
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oh ok, I was just guessing, I have no idea about British politics. The Liberal party in Canada is considered more left than right, that's why I guessed that. Thanks for the info!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IceAly
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They are really ambiguously worded. For example, "Arson Suspect is Held in Massachusetts Fire" could mean

a) that the suspected arsonist who started a fire in Massachusetts is being held [in prison]

-or-

b) that an arson suspect is being held prisoner inside of an ongoing fire in Massachusetts. (Presumably while being burned alive.)

There are two very different interpretations!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joedoolz47
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I always like "doctor who aided bin laden raid in jail"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Th4V7
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Scroll down and you can find more like 'Bill's septic cleaning "we haul American made products"'

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sialia2
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Thanks for the laughs!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexanderM288777

One of my favourites is from a Chinese newspaper in translation: "Chinese authorities plan spontaneous celebrations"

You may have to read it twice...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Iron.Duke

I got the ones in the OP, but I can't understand this one. Probably because I'm laughing too hard from the ones above... Could someone explain it?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Delta1212
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Think about the meaning of the words "plan" and "spontaneous."

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Iron.Duke

Oh... rofl! I get it now! XD

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/csi
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lol good one!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/-BellaLuna-

lol this is funny! Oui très vrai!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WildSage
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Wow, and I thought the lower job opportunities was a high price to pay for high school drop outs.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/csi
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haha Pretty good incentive for finishing high school if you ask me.

2 years ago
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