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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Criminal Sentence 224: Puzzling Headline

A New York Times print headline:

"Plane vanishes carrying 228; cause puzzle"

That cause a puzzle with me. The subject is "Plane," so the verb after the semicolon should be singular, as is "vanishes."

Perhaps the headline writer was so traumatized by the terrible news that his or her grammar flew away, too.


Bill Simoni said...

not that it's any better, but I think "cause puzzle" was meant as shorthand for "the cause is a puzzle".

Anonymous said...

I agree with Bill Simoni. I was just about to post the same thing. Not that it makes the sentence any better!

The Sentence Sleuth said...

I agree that the headline writer might have meant "the cause is a puzzle," but it sure was confusing, don't you think?