12.01.2005

Draggin' The Line

Read this headline:

Spoof paper proceeds to buy shoes for needy kids




I think since headlines tend to put verbs early, I read it proceeds.
Then got to the end... then had to go back to the beginning. The spoof paper is buying shoes? Oh. proceeds.
How about you? Anyone else get the same reading?
Is this confusion reason enough for the head to be rewritten, or should people figure it out?

the story

5 comments:

Bridget said...

Oh yeah, definite garden path! I would change it to something like "Proceeds from spoof paper..."

polyglot conspiracy said...

Agreed - BUT, you could argue that people should know that a headline would never use a "proceeds to Verb" construction, because it's wordy - it'd just say "verbs."

pc said...

By "verbs" I meant that the verb form would be third person singular, not the plural of the noun "verb."

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but I just read the headline, after having been warning it was tricky, and could only come up with the "proceeds" as verb reading.

Eric "Babe" Morse said...

Right on, anon.

pc: you're right. I start arguing what people should think, who knows where I'll end up.

bridget: if the garden path led to a garden party, tho... that'd be sweet. Cuz if you open a door, out'll step Johnny B. Goode. And that'd be cool.