Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Throw another Mouse on the Barbie!

As a result of spending more time reading the news dispatches on the BBC News Web site, I am beginning to believe that the British either have much stricter rules of acceptable grammatical structure (which I do not know) or are far less sensitive to the subtleties of syntactic ambiguity.  Consider the lead sentence from a story by Science Reporter Leila Battison:

A socially active lifestyle can dramatically speed up weight loss through the burning of fat in mice, a study shows.

It took me a bit of extra thinking to get at what she was really trying to say.  My initial impression was that Weight Watchers would be starting a new social activity program based on barbeques that would be serving overweight mice!

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