Wednesday, May 4, 2011

BETTING SUSPENDED ON HEADLINE OF THE YEAR: Via @KenTremendous and others, I don't really see any competition in the next eight months for the exquisite headline/sub-head combination of German throws puppy at Hells Angels bikers then flees on bulldozer: A German student created a major traffic jam in Bavaria when he made a rude gesture at a group of Hells Angels, hurled a puppy at them and then escaped on a stolen bulldozer.

Incidentally, double-bonus Grammar Rodeoids:

(a) I never noticed this, but according to both the Telegraph and the patch on the back of the leather vests, it actually is "Hells Angels." Those gentlemen have forgotten their apostrophe. When they read this, they will be so embarrassed.

(b) The sub-head needs a comma after "them." Or perhaps a Hells Angel stole it to use as an apostrophe.


  1. Joseph J. Finn8:42 PM

    A)  Hells Angels or Hell Is Angels?  I'll stay with Hells Angels.

    B)  I fail to see a missing comma.  Clause, comma, clause, and, clause.  Looks right to me.

  2. isaac_spaceman8:54 PM

    You're just being contrarian.  The name connotes angels of Hell, not angels of Hells.  It therefore requires a possessive apostrophe.  Certainly nobody would read the punctuated version as Hell Is Angels.  It's worth pointing out that the name appears derived (though through one generation of an identically mispunctled name) from the film Hell's Angels.  Film folk are not necessarily the world's most careful grammarians, but I'd rank their proofreaders ahead of those employed by motorcycle gangs. 

    As for the serial comma, I understand that there is a difference of opinion about whether it is necessary.  I think it superior for its clarity, elegance, and consistency.

  3. Jordan9:01 PM

    (a) Officially, the name of the club is sans apostrophe, although HST added one.  Not sure why the article presents it both ways.

    (b) The AP Style Book frowns upon the Oxford comma, and I don't think there is any ambiguity it would solve in this case.

    (c) While on my way to what would turn into an utterly surreal and nationally broadcast baseball game last Sunday, I got stuck in gawker traffic due to at least half a dozen Pagans pulled over on the side of the road with a host of cops surrounding them.

  4. J. Bowman10:14 PM

    I'm just glad the puppy is okay.

  5. isaac_spaceman11:12 PM

    <span>But Orange Bible prefers (or preferred, in my edition) the serial comma.  Which we do NOT call the Oxford comma.</span>

  6. Joseph J. Finn11:32 PM

    But what does the Orange Catholic Bible say?  (Sorry, watching Children of Dune right now.)

  7. Ah, but I am currently reading the Game of Thrones and reading the word "hell" in plural no longer throws me off.  Perhaps, the Angels have risen from more than on hell?

    Carry on.  :-)

  8. ChinMusic7:01 AM

    Serial comma, Oxford Comma and Harvard Comma are three names for redundancy.

  9. isaac_spaceman11:00 AM

    Larry, Moe, and Curly are funny.  Larry, Moe and Curly are funny.  The first sentence says something about the Three Stooges.  The second says something to the First Stooge about the other two. 

  10. Hey, does someone else want to write Grammar Rodeo this week?  (Please?)