Saturday, 25 September 2010

Noun, noun, noun, noun, noun, noun, noun, verb

News headlines naturally need to be compact and punchy, and they have a certain distinct grammar which is recognisable at a glance. Often a noun is used as an adjective, or a verb elided, as in "Labour leader vote close".

But the headline I saw on the BBC website today takes this principle just about to its outer limit. Six nouns are converted into adjectives one after the other, each one raising the stakes of an extraordinary portmanteau noun phrase:
MS charity respite home closure protest vote fails
The story is here, if you can figure out quite what it means.

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