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    #1

    Shanghai reprieve for Apple [Sounds OK for a news article headline?]

    Dear teachers

    I understand that in news headlines, we tend to use present tense

    Active: Smith steps down as prime minister
    Passive: Smith fired by government
    Future: Smith to visit UK next month
    Adjective: China prone to recession

    However, I read a headline of a Hong Kong English-language newsapaper below:

    HEADLINE: Shanghai reprieve for Apple [Is the headline grammatically correct?]
    A Shanghai court yesterday rejected a request by a Chinese company to halt the sale of Apple Inc's iPad in China's biggest city over alleged trademark infringement. The Shanghai Pudong New Area Court ruled against an injunction filed by Proview Technology (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd., pending a final ruling on the iPad trademark case.


    I looked up the Cambridge dictionary for the meaning of "reprieve", which is a noun. I doubt if the headline is correct, as the word "reprieve" sounds like a verb here.

    Pleae advise

    Anthony the learning


    PS: meaning of reprieve from Cambridge
    reprieve noun - definition in British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionary Online
    Definition

    • an official order that stops or delays the punishment, especially by death, of a prisoner
    He was sentenced to death but was granted a last-minute reprieve.


    • an escape from a bad situation or experience
    The injection provided a temporary reprieve from the pain.

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    #2

    Re: Shanghai reprieve for Apple [Sounds OK for a news article headline?]

    The headline is not grammatically correct, but we wouldn't expect it to be.

    The point of a headline is that it's brief and understandable. The article following is grammatically correct.

    Rover

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    #3

    Re: Shanghai reprieve for Apple [Sounds OK for a news article headline?]

    Dear Rover

    So I am right to say the headline is grammatically wrong. In your opinion, why the headline is grammatically incorrect? And, what do you think if the headline is changed to "Reprieve granted to Apple in Shanghai"?

    Regards

    Anthony the learner

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    The headline is not grammatically correct, but we wouldn't expect it to be.

    The point of a headline is that it's brief and understandable. The article following is grammatically correct.

    Rover

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Shanghai reprieve for Apple [Sounds OK for a news article headline?]

    It is not grammatically correct in the sense that it is not a complete sentence, there is no verb, and the city of Shanghai did not reprieve anything. However, it is completely natural and acceptable as a newspaper headline - and more punchy than your rewrite.

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    #5

    Re: Shanghai reprieve for Apple [Sounds OK for a news article headline?]

    Quote Originally Posted by patran View Post
    Dear Rover
    So I am right to say the headline is grammatically wrong. In your opinion, why the headline is grammatically incorrect? And, what do you think if the headline is changed to "Reprieve granted to Apple in Shanghai"?
    Headlines are special cases- they are not just controlled by grammar rules, but also by the physical requirements of things like spacing. They happily omit words like articles, auxiliary verbs, etc. So, I would disagree when you regard it as grammatically wrong- it would be grammatically wrong in an ordinary sentence, but headlines are not sentences and we don't read them as such, and don't regard them as grammatically wrong- just different. Their aim is to pack as much information into as few words as possible.

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    #6

    Re: Shanghai reprieve for Apple [Sounds OK for a news article headline?]

    Quote Originally Posted by patran View Post
    And, what do you think if the headline is changed to "Reprieve granted to Apple in Shanghai"?
    PS That's still incomplete- you'd need to say something like A reprieve has been/was granted to Apple in Shanghai, but that doubles the number of characters required (including spaces), which would make the headline much smaller and less visible in a newspaper.

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    #7

    Re: Shanghai reprieve for Apple [Sounds OK for a news article headline?]

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    PS That's still incomplete- you'd need to say something like A reprieve has been/was granted to Apple in Shanghai, but that doubles the number of characters required (including spaces), which would make the headline much smaller and less visible in a newspaper.
    Dear Tdol

    So as a headline, "Shanghai [noun] reprieve [noun] for Apple" is fine, and "Shanghai reprieve" becomes a compound noun?

    Regards

    Anthony

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    #8

    Re: Shanghai reprieve for Apple [Sounds OK for a news article headline?]

    I don't think of it in those terms. The function of Shanghai there is to locate the reprieve- Apple have a number of cases that have been in the news recently- Germany, Australia. I wouldn't really think of it as forming a compound noun, because the instinct is to put the words that are missing back in and change the order. I don't read it and think There's been a Shangai reprieve for Apple, but Apple have got a reprieve in Shanghai.

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    #9

    Re: Shanghai reprieve for Apple [Sounds OK for a news article headline?]

    I understand what you mean, but my point of view is that grammar can be defined normatively -- what the community expects, and understands, is met by that headline.

    To me, it is grammatical in that sense. It's a perfectly normal, comprehensible, non-predicate headline.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    The headline is not grammatically correct, but we wouldn't expect it to be.

    The point of a headline is that it's brief and understandable. The article following is grammatically correct.

    Rover

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