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Letters to the World


Garden path sentence of the day

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 1:46 pm

First of all, if you’re not familiar with what a garden path sentence is, go read the Wikipedia article on them.

Now that that’s out of the way… this was an actual headline in today’s issue of USA Today (though interestingly, it was reworded in the web version), of which I’ve reproduced the spacing exactly as it appeared in the paper:

Obama’s ad
buys dwarf
TV presence
of McCain

I had to read that two or three times before I realized it had nothing to do with little people starring in Obama ads.


  1. Thanks for introducing me to the term “garden path sentence.”

    Comment by Adrian — 28-Oct-2008 @ 2:53 pm

  2. Here via TV Tropes, where I’m known as Momonga… another Cloudcuckoolander and neuro-atypical.

    Anyway, that made me laugh. I didn’t look at the article, but I could figure out what the terms means from the context. The character Al from the show Quantum Leap often does something very similar when he’s reading information from the mini-computer Ziggy. “Two years later, he ended.” (Pause as Al scrolls down) “His career in the Navy and retired.”

    If you ever get bored drop me an e-mail; I really want to talk to other tropers (besides the ones I know in (Sur)Real Life). Except, paradoxically, my desire to talk to people I don’t know probably makes me seem scary.

    Comment by Momonga — 01-Nov-2008 @ 10:10 pm

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