Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Persiflagic Comma

According to the leading headline on a recent issue of that college rag I occasionally read:

Quad rally denounces hate

Great, I'm glad to see opposition to hate, but I couldn't but laugh at how disingenuous the headline made the event sound. In fact, it was a demonstration against the cartoon riots, which is all good, but at a glance, I couldn't tell if it were something about global unrest or recent fallout from some school mascot controversy, or something as Earth-shaking as the dining services' beverage and catering contracts. For all I knew:

Quad rally denounces hate
Hundreds of students gathered on the Main Quad today to protest haters. Brief, spontaneous demonstrations broke out elsewhere on campus for such diverse causes as universal suffrage, an increase in scripted television, and not wearing underwear on the outside of your clothing.

Of course, there's only so much room on the page for a headline, and the folks who set the headlines don't always get the chance to read the whole article before coming up with a provacative and concise way of telling the reader to read the article, or at least, to help the reader decide whether reading the article would be worthwhile or not.

Plus I wanted to see if I could get away with a word like "persiflagic."

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