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Crash blossoms

Posted by ESC on February 01, 2010 at 13:31

Crash blossoms -- News headlines "that encourage alternate readings." Example: "Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge." The term comes from the following: "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.)" Source: New York Times, January 31, 2010, On Language: Crash Blossoms by Ben Zimmer.