crash blossoms

Now there’s a name for the phenomenon of ambiguously or bizarrely worded headlines: “crash blossoms,” as suggested by a poster at the Testy Copy Editors site in response to the headline “Violinist linked to JAL crash blossoms.”… Crash blossoms are a variation of “garden path sentences,” a type of sentence that leads the reader into grammatical or logical sinkholes that were not intended.

(via GOOD)

For someone who loves a good pun, crash blossoms, also known as garden path headlines, might just beat out the old standbys.  While I might not laugh out loud that easily, these had me chuckling at my desk a few moments ago, and so I just couldn’t resist passing them along.  Enjoy!

From whence the term came:

  • “Violinist linked to JAL crash blossoms” (“If this seems a bit opaque, and it should, the story is about a young violinist whose career has prospered since the death of her father in a Japan Airlines crash in 1985.” John McIntyre @ “You Don’t Say”)

And more!

  • McDonald’s fries the holy grail for potato farmers” (image above)
  • “Scientists Are at Loss Due to Brain-eating Amoeba”
  • “Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim”
  • “Child’s Stool Great for Use in Garden”
  • “Lawmen from Mexico Barbecue Guests”
  • “Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant”
  • “Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case”
  • “Eye Drops Off Shelf”
  • “Kids Make Nutritious Snacks”
  • “Stolen Painting Found By Tree”
  • “Complaints About NBA Referees Growing Ugly”

For more chuckles, see here and here.  Oh, what a little punctuation couldn’t solve!


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