Adjectives in headlines [was: ire: n,v,a,adv,?]
Joel S. Berson
Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Jan 4 23:51:50 UTC 2007
At 1/4/2007 05:51 PM, Michael H Covarrubias wrote:
>Forgive the possible repetition.
>I remember some discussion of "ire" as a transitive verb. The use
>by the OED though it's called obsolete and rare. And one quotation
>is all it earns.
>c1420 Pallad. on Husb. II. 361 Her brethron & her owne kynde hit
>ireth [L. irritat].
>A recent AP headline reads
>"Italy ire over kids seeing 'Apocalypto'"
>What use of 'ire' is this? If it is a noun (as in "there is ire in Italy") I
>would expect the modifyer to be "Italian". I would expect a coined participle
>to be "ired". I can't (in good conscience) parse any non-transitive
>I raise my hand feebly to vote for the noun-sense (nonsense?).
This has nothing to do with "ire". Rather, the explanation is that
newspaper headline style uses nouns for country-names instead of the
adjectives one would expect in normal text. (I can only guess, to
reserve the adjective for the people of the country--which of course
is a confusion of adjective with noun.) So this should be read as
the noun-phrase "Ital[ian] ire over kids seeing 'Apocalypto'".
Reflect on the following image (NYTimes, August 25, 1994):
China Cabinet Orders a Drive Against Inflation
Bejing, Aug. 24 (Reuters)--The Cabinet ordered a new drive against
inflation today ...
(Presumably a kitchen cabinet uprising against rising food prices.)
See the ADS-L archives for my "Adjectives vs. nouns in headlines",
June 22, 2005 -- to which there was never any response.
My personal favorite such headline (although I haven't seen it in the
flesh yet--but one can perhaps rely on continued inflation of
tensions in the Middle East) would be:
"Turkey Army invades Greece".
Especially at Thanksgiving time, more appetizing than the other way around.
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