Language Log » François Mitterrand crash blossom

From Language Log:  Here’s an example of why it’s important to understand the basics of syntax, structural ambiguity, and proper punctuation.  The first line of the New York Times piece has seemingly added to Mitterrand’s sins! Interesting commentary at the Language Log link’s combox.  –psm

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“François Mitterrand crash blossom”

Under the heading “the benefits of paired em dashes, part 57″, Mark Swofford sent in the following screen shot from yesterday’s New York Times:

The main part of the caption under the most prominent photo in the screen shot reads:

“Mazarine Pingeot, the daughter of François Mitterrand, the former French president, and his longtime mistress, has published a diary.”

As Mark says, “It took me several readings before that stopped sounding incestuous.”

December 2, 2012 @ 11:09 pm · Filed by Victor Mair under Crash blossoms, Punctuation

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via Language Log » François Mitterrand crash blossom.

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