Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Times' tricky tongue-twister

Lately I've come across many headlines I just can't parse. There's an art to writing them and I have a feeling a lot of the artists have been laid off in recent years. I just came across a headline that seemed innocuous at first, but my brain just couldn't pronounce it, even in my head! Am I crazy?

From The New York Times, November 16:

"Most Students in Big Cities Lag Badly in Basic Science"

Try saying it out loud five times fast and see if your tongue trips over it. For me it's the two "short i" sounds followed by the two "short a" sounds, with those "g"s thrown in, that bring me to a screeching halt.

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