Thursday, August 09, 2007

I Hate When Newspapers Are Dumb

So, over at the Star Tribune there's a story of a guy who cut off a rattlesnake's head, but was bitten by said rattlesnake anyway, after the head was severed. That's a weird story, and in this age of filling every space with information, no matter how banal or trivial, I suppose it qualifies as "news."

What irritates me about the story is the headline:


Rattlesnake's decapitated head bites man

To "decapitate" means to cut something's head off. I'm aware that the semifunctional drone at the Strib means to indicate that the head was cut off and then bit the man, but in the interest of packing as much drama as possible into the headline he's (or she's--women can be morons, too) mangled his semantics. The problem is, for a head to be decapitated, its head has to be cut off. But I'm not sure how you cut off a rattlesnake's head's head.

The headline writer had a couple of options to make sense: either

Decapitated rattlesnake bites man

or

Rattlesnake's severed head bites man

would work just fine. If they felt the need, they could have used some Sean--er . . . exclamation marks:

Undead Rattlesnake's Severed Head Injects Innocent Child With Zombie Venom!!!!

I prefer my understated versions, though.

3 comments:

Mike Fillbrandt said...

So, I clicked on the "undead" label, hoping to get some wacky old blogs, (perhaps mentioning Darryl and his non-approval,) only to find out that this is apparently the FIRST TIME you've ever blogged about the undead. You're slipping, friend.

Jess said...

So, how is it being moved and stuff? I'm getting cramps in my stomach about moving. At first it was just super exciting, but now it's just keeping me up half the night.

I've got the apartment, but I have no furniture, and I have to buy it after I move (I don't want to give U-Haul my organs to finance a freaking one-way truck rental), and so I am going to be there for a few weeks in a blank apartment. I won't feel settled, etc. Did you guys have furniture?

I don't know why I'm suddenly consumed by furniture. I should probably be more interested in the classes I start teaching in a few weeks. Oh man.

Jason said...

Being moved is great. Having the apartment almost squared away is even better.

Yeah, we brought furniture. Rented a 17' truck and had it 3/4 loaded before we realized our stuff wouldn't fit. Then we transferred everything to a 26' truck and it fit comfortably. Michele blogged about it a while ago. It was aggravating.

Probably won't cost you any more to furnish an apartment once you get there than it would to rent a truck--ours was over $1000.

You'll be fine.