NPR: Rules Grammar Change

I was reminded of one of my all-time favorite Onion articles when I read and puzzled over this bizarre headline on NPR:

Plan To Stop Right Whale Ship Strikes Stuck

Upon first read, it’s hard to tell where the nouns stop being used as adjectives, and on second read you see that happens amid the agricolae-agricolarum of “strikes struck” (or “strikes stuck” on third reading). Hal Young pointed out that this headline particularly suffers the lack of a verb of being, which is typical in headline writing.

Edited: I see an editor realized the problem; it’s now “Plan To Stop Right Whales From Striking Ships Stuck.”

Jon Sanders / Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...