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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » Headlines don’t work when you write them like this.

Headlines don’t work when you write them like this.

Interesting headline:

Panda moved after China quake gives birth to twins

So I’m wondering now, how exactly an earthquake gives birth and how moving a panda is relevant to said situation.

Obviously the two independent clauses (“Panda moved” and “China quake…”) have been joined in a patently inappropriate manner. I’m no studied linguist and won’t attempt to dissect this fully.

The first sentence of the article gives some insight as to how they might have concocted this zany headline:

A panda who was relocated after China’s deadly earthquake damaged her home gave birth to twin cubs on Sunday, a state news agency said.

Some cutting:

Panda relocated after China’s earthquake gave birth to twin cubs

A little to long. Let’s do some streamlining:

Panda moved after China quake gives birth to twins

The who was seems pretty important now, doesn’t it? Otherwise the subject of the sentence is lost and I’m left wondering about baby earthquakes.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see this pop up at Language Log in the near future.

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