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Re: noun compounds

From:Tristan Alexander McLeay <conlang@...>
Date:Tuesday, March 7, 2006, 3:55
On 07/03/06, Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...> wrote:
> On 3/6/06, Sally Caves <scaves@...> wrote: > > This is far more infuriating: the use of the comma to mean "and" in American > > newspaper headlines. > > Huh. That's never bothered me; I just automatically translate it from > "headlinish". Is that really a recent change? It seems like > headlines have read that way my whole life. Which is admittedly > shorter than the lives of some folks on this list, but I have been > reading newspapers for 25+ years.
I've always found headlines to be difficult and ambiguous. They're useful in an established new story, but in a completely new topic (or branch of an old one) I often have to read the byline before I can understand the headline. Maybe _The Age_ uses more cryptic headlines then what you're used to.
> > What happened to the old ampersand? Just too difficult to get in all those > > squiggles? Are we that hard pressed (so to speak) for paper? > > It does seem to have fallen out of use. About the only ampersands I > see anymore are in HTML entities, or between parameters in a URL query > string - and even in that use seems to have been largely replaced by > a semicolon.
That's one thing I like about Roger Mills' posts: He makes use of ampersands quite liberally. I think the problem with them is that they are to some extent considered informal. You don't use them in the *body* of an article, so it must be wrong also to use them in the title. Still, the sort of person who finds it quicker to type numbers in as digits in an IM also finds it quicker to type & then "and", and so often do it. (Me, I find it quicker or at least easier to type out short numbers in full when touchtyping Dvorak. Though I'm touchtyping this in qwerty and it's less than quick ;) -- Tristan