Illogical and Misleading headlines & expressions

Maybe I'm just in a bad mood tonight. But maybe I'm really tired of headlines and expressions that do not in any way remotely convey the writer's thoughts. It has to be laziness or ignorance on the part of the writer.

What set me off was that I just read a headline that said, "Israeli aircraft hits car in Gaza." My first thought was that a private plane crashed trying to land on a highway and hit a car. My next thought was, wait a minute, this is Gaza. Must be a Hellfire missile. And, of course, it turned out to be a military airstrike and no airplane hit a car at all, despite the headline. I see this kind of stuff all the time.

Sometimes, a headline is so elliptical that you have to read it several times just to figure out where the verb is and then you still can't figure it out. My favorite is, "Clown Ducks Sink Bathroom". Looks straightforward, right? Well, think about it. Is a circus clown ducking a sink that was thrown at him in a bathroom or are ducks dressed up like clowns sinking a bathroom? We won't know until we read the article.

A great one is, I could care less. Well, it can't be that bad if you can care even less than you do now.

Another all-time great is "advocate", as in, "I'm an advocate for drug addiction". Are you REALLY advocating drug addiction or are you trying to help drug addicts? Words really do matter.

But that's o.k. We all understand what the writer/speaker is trying to say. Or do we?

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