So we’ve come to enjoy Cupertinos, eggcorns and snowclones, and now the Society for Found-Object Internet Sociolinguistics (SFOIS) has acquired a new member. What is this all about? Well, there was no word for it! What, you’re asking? Those train wrecks of newspaper headlines that lead us down the garden path to end up against a wall, scratching our head and wondering what on earth the subeditor might possibly have been thinking.
A particularly eyebrow-raising specimen was posted by Bessie3 on the Testy Copy Editors forum:
Violinist linked to JAL crash blossoms
Confused? It may help to know that JAL means Japan Airlines, that there was a crash in 1985, that “blossoms” is the verb of the sentence, and that “linked to” means the violinist in question is a child of one of the crash’s casulties. Be that as it may — the testy copy editors had no problem decoding the mess — the discussion spawned by the oringinal post turned to the “we have no word for this” problem, which was resolved by the excellent suggestion that crash blossom would make an excellent term for referring to this kind of infelicitous headline.
A site was put up on Blogger, and the staff of the Eggcorn Database extends our most heartfelt welcome and wishes a long life to the new endeavour.
Here come the crash blossoms: welcome to the party!
Hat tip: John McIntyre and Elizabeth Herrington, first seen on Facebook.
P.S.: The same thread notes the mindboggling Man held for attempted murder of policeman after detention for confining girl expires, which while not containing a snappy term, is an even more egregious example.
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4 thoughts on “Let 1000 crash blossoms bloom”
Wow! A new journalism term is born: crash blossoms…..
and they are apparently blossoming all over. Somebody should put them in a book or a blog devoted to them…… hey, that’s a good idea! Nessie3, with your permission, and giving full credit to you for coming up with this great “catch” and the coinage too, I will create a blog right now called “Crash Blossoms” and start cataloguing these things above and more as they come in. My crash blossom secretary will handle the details.
Nessie3, I set it up here:
now there are crash possums, google it