Yesterday, we were having a late brunch at Sam's Log Cabin in Albany (which I'm impressed has received a Congressional Recognition from Barbara Lee - excellent taste, Barbara Lee eats for me!) & discussing the many differences between English newspapers & American newspapers. We were complaining about the smarmy style in many San Francisco Chronicle articles, coupled with such a dry taste in headlines - there's never any wit or levity, nothing grabbing you to the article, it's usually just an awkwardly worded statement of fact. I opened to a random page, & stumbled over the following headline:
I tried reading it three different ways & still couldn't make sense of it. The problem is, every single word can be either a noun or a verb! That's five for five, surely a record (at least for headlines). And a few words can be adjectives too. We tried punctuating it a variety of ways to conjure other implications:
DELAYS, PLAGUE POLICE: DISCIPLINE PROGRESS
DELAYS PLAGUE, POLICE DISCIPLINE: PROGRESS
&c. Any of those articles are sure to be more interesting than the original. Mr Gaskin tells us about the quest to make a sentence entirely from the word buffalo, which can be an adjective (buffalo gals), noun (tantanka), verb (outwit or to pistol-whip?) & a few other things. Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo!