Thursday, December 24, 2009

Crash blossoms: Christmas edition

Over at Headsup: The Blog a few days ago, fev found a headline from the Columbus Dispatch confusing:
Children's major player in tumor war
Having lived around Boston for decades, I had no trouble interpreting it; I'm sure there have been plenty of Globe headlines that referred to our Children's Hospital the same way. But it reminded me of a headline that did mystify me, several years ago, in one of the suburban weeklies:
Fate of Infant Jesus unclear
Wait, what? Isn't the fate of Infant Jesus one thing Christians of all stripes have pretty much agreed on, at least in its broad strokes?

But reading on, I found that Brookline had a Catholic church called Infant Jesus-St. Lawrence, one of the churches the archdiocese put on the list for closing in 2004, and one whose parishioners were putting up a fuss. If the church had been St. Paul's or St. Mary's, there wouldn't have been even a whisper of ambiguity. As it was, the paper produced one of my all-time favorite crash blossoms.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

btw, Jan, the word "unclear" could also have been written by mistake of course as "nuclear" and the spellchecker would not have spotted it. Why? This is what copy editors call an "atomic typo". Google it. There is even a dedicated blog for them now. You might want to blog on this one day. Other examples are sedan and Sudan, Gov. Crist and Gov. Christ in Florida, and many more. Fun!