March 14, 2009

I Didn't Expect That

From the blog (what, you don't read a blog devoted to HP sauce?), try reading this aloud:

Police officers rushed to hospital after a suspicious substance was thrown through a car window were released when it was identified as HP sauce.

I was completely and utterly garden-pathed by that sentence. It may not help that it's in journalistic shorthand; I think outside a newspaper "Police officers who had been rushed to hospital" would be more likely (though I don't say "to hopsital" either). Applying this to my previous ruminations about garden-path sentences will be left to the reader.

It's a shame; the sentence would've been deadpan funny if I hadn't had to spend so long figuring out what the main verb was.

Posted by Matt Weiner at March 14, 2009 03:16 PM