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Ambiguities

Anything that is said to be ambiguous is open to more than one interpretation. Sentences and words that are ambiguous have more than one possible meaning. 

Ambiguous Newspaper Headlines

Newspaper headlines need to be as short as possible, so whilst they obey grammatical rules, they tend to omit little, unimportant words like the and is. But are these words unimportant? The result of leaving them out can result in highly ambiguous sentences, which are often quite amusing.

These real newspaper headlines – gathered from local, national, and international newspapers across the globe – are ambiguous; you can see what the journalist meant to say, but in each case there is a more amusing interpretation of the headline.

1-EYE DROPS OFF SHELF

2-KIDS MAKE NUTRITIOUS SNACK

3-STOLEN PAINTING FOUND BY TREE

4-LUNG CANCER IN WOMEN MUSHROOMS

5-QUEEN MARY HAVING BOTTOM SCRAPED

6-DEALERS WILL HEAR CAR TALK AT NOON

7-MINERS REFUSE TO WORK AFTER DEATH

8-MILK DRINKERS ARE TURNING TO POWDER

9-JUVENILE COURT TO TRY SHOOTING DEFENDANT

10-COMPLAINTS ABOUT NBA REFEREES GROWING UGLY

11-PANDA MATING FAILS; VETERINARIAN TAKES OVER

12-POLICE BEGIN CAMPAIGN TO RUN DOWN JAYWALKERS

13-12 ON THEIR WAY TO CRUISE AMONG DEAD IN PLANE CRASH

14-KILLER SENTENCED TO DIE FOR SECOND TIME IN 10 YEARS

15-SAFETY EXPERTS SAY SCHOOL BUS PASSENGERS SHOULD BE BELTED

16-2 SISTERS REUNITED AFTER 18 YEARS AT CHECKOUT COUNTER

17-MAN EATING PIRANHA MISTAKENLY SOLD AS PET FISH

18-ASTRONAUT TAKES BLAME FOR GAS IN SPACECRAFT

19-QUARTER OF A MILLION CHINESE LIVE ON WATER

20-INCLUDE YOUR CHILDREN WHEN BAKING COOKIES

21-OLD SCHOOL PILLARS ARE REPLACED BY ALUMNI

22-GRANDMOTHER OF EIGHT MAKES HOLE IN ONE

23-HOSPITALS ARE SUED BY 7 FOOT DOCTORS

24-LAWMEN FROM MEXICO BARBECUE GUESTS

25-TWO SOVIET SHIPS COLLIDE, ONE DIES

26-ENRAGED COW INJURES FARMER WITH AX

27-LACK OF BRAINS HINDERS RESEARCH

28-RED TAPE HOLDS UP NEW BRIDGE

29-SQUAD HELPS DOG BITE VICTIM

30-IRAQI HEAD SEEKS ARMS

 

 

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