Writer avoiding crash blossoms

I just read a great post on the New York Time’s On Language blog about misleading headlines. I’ve always loved those humorously ambiguous headlines such as “Man helps dog bite victim,” or “Local high school dropouts cut in half.” It turns out there’s a term for these bloopers, and they’re called “crash blossoms.”

Mike O’Connell, an American editor based in Sapporo, Japan, spotted the headline “Violinist Linked to JAL Crash Blossoms” and wondered, “What’s a crash blossom?” (The article, from the newspaper Japan Today, described the successful musical career of Diana Yukawa, whose father died in a 1985 Japan Airlines plane crash.)

Check out the rest of the piece for more info, including the dangers of removing “little words.”