Saturday, May 6, 2006

Yahoo's Headlines

• Dark-skinned foreigners in Russia blighted
• Amsterdam airport pilots high-tech screening

Ah, the wire services are at it again. Has anyone seen "blighted" used this way? The closest definitions that would allow this use are these, and they are both a major stretch:

An extremely adverse environmental condition, such as air pollution.

Something that impairs growth, withers hopes and ambitions, or impedes progress and prosperity.

To cause (a plant, for example) to undergo blight.
To have a deleterious effect on; ruin.

It is most likely a European usage on this AP story that we're not familiar with, appearing on the Yahoo site. That brings up some questions about the wisdom of using stories edited by people in other parts of the world for American readers.

And,"Amsterdam airport pilots high-tech screening" also on Yahoo, one of those heds confused by the attempt to play with the word "pilots" but complicated by the fact that the word can be either a noun or a verb, and the reader has to guess which. Note that the "pilots" headline ran on the main Yahoo page but read differently on top of the story.

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