Monday, July 08, 2024

lookeylikey slash headline of the day

Is it just me who has trouble parsing this headline I saw the other day?

OK, so let's start at the beginning: "I'm a Wimbledon champion marrying fan" - well, OK so you're a fan; I might have hyphenated "Wimbledon champion-marrying" or even "Wimbledon-champion-marrying" just to make it clearer, but let's carry on ... wait, now the rest of the sentence doesn't make sense.

Back up all the way to the beginning and it becomes clear that the starting "I'm" relates to "champion" rather than "fan", and that it was the fan who stopped the champion for a selfie. It didn't help that I initially read "help run tennis" as "help ruin tennis", but that's the fault of my appalling age-related vision deterioration, not the headline writers. 

It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that assuming "fan" to be the subject of the first line is the more natural reading. It would really only have taken the addition of an "a" before "fan" to flip the default reading around, though. I'm not sure whether this is more properly classified as a garden-path sentence or a noun pile-up, or maybe even a crash blossom.

Anyway, the actual story relates to 2017 Wimbledon champion GarbiƱe Muguruza, the only player to defeat each of the Williams sisters in Grand Slam finals, and, and I hesitate to say this these days for fear of being LITERALLY CANCELLED, possessor of a very lovely pair of legs. The guy she was accosted by for a selfie in New York just happens to be a top model who was working for Tom Ford at the time, just in case you want to calculate your chances of being able to successfully pull off a similar manoeuvre on the top tennis star of your choice without getting your ass tased and ending up with an ASBO.

Anyway. it also struck me while looking through some photos of Muguruza for, hem hem, "research purposes" that she looks a bit like Imogen Heap, who I see I used the phrase "strange equine beauty" in connection with here, and also compared with Ronni Ancona. I actually think the Muguruza-Heap resemblance is closer, but I include all three anyway; make up your own mind.

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