Saturday, November 06, 2010

Ambiguous Headline

This headline (Straits Times web, 6 November 2010) is probably baffling to the reader, until she or he works out that police is not a noun but a verb.

Because headlines need to be brief, words that are understood or recoverable from context are usually omitted.  Function words are usually the first casualties, such as the underlined definite article: Peer pressure to police the deal.

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