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Adjectival Reticules

The subject of parsing and how difficult it sometimes is to parse English sentences has come up a couple of times in this blog. One of the most annoying things when translating English text (and perhaps only American English, I don’t know) are compound structures where it is not clear which element defines which. I now found out that The Economist calls them “adjectival reticules.”

“Vilest of all is the habit of throwing together several nouns into one ghastly adjectival reticule: Texas millionaire real-estate developer and failed thrift entrepreneur Hiram Turnipseed…

The article is interesting to read for other reasons as well. It may help tighten your English writing.

I first slotted adjectival reticules in with those headlines prone to mis-parsing and called Crash Blossoms, but crash blossoms are actually quite different – and funny. Example:

Woman accused of raping teen in court


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