Today’s crash blossoms

by | Apr 30, 2013 | Grammar

Today’s crash blossoms is from The Hindu.

TV shows jailed IPS officer visiting home

You might be tempted to believe that an IPS officer was jailed by a TV show. Our mind parses “TV shows” together as the subject of the sentence and the verb as “jailed”. This is because the term “TV shows” is commonly heard.

However, “shows” is the verb here and “jailed” is an adjective.

Any sentence that our brain parses wrongly, blinks for a while and rereads the sentence correctly is called a garden path sentence. Crash blossoms are a special type of garden path sentences in that these are news headlines.

Arnold Zwicky has been documenting garden paths and crash blossoms in from Language Log and the topic is so interesting for linguists and smart readers like you.

 

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