Sunday, November 5, 2006

The Grammar of Capital Punishment

Before I fell asleep last night, I checked the Drudge Report in order to poison my dreams with a biased view of the news. I hadn’t checked news all day, to be honest, so I was unaware that the Saddam Hussein trial had reached a verdict. This was what I saw last night:

It’s still up today. In my half-awake state, I didn’t understand what the story was trying to express. “Faces Hanging After Baghdad Verdict,” to me implied that people were upset with the verdict, and that their “faces hanging” was some idiom Matt Drudge was using to express that people were downcast. It wasn’t until I checked this morning that I understood what the headline actually meant: Saddam Hussein is going to be killed by hanging. The odd thing is that when I explained the situation to Spencer in terms of the Drudge Report headline, he also interpreted it as people being upset, not Hussein hanging from a rope.

This all reminds me a bit of the garden path sentences I learned about when I was going through that “Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo” phase. Like “The horse raced past the barn fell” and the like.

Hopefully news of his imminent death was clearer for Saddam himself.

1 comment:

  1. "The Grammar of Capital Punishment" is almost too sexy of a title for a blog post. That's book worthy. Dissertation worthy. Album title worthy. You should copyright it.