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    #1

    "in blow"

    Dear teachers,

    Could you explain to me the usage of the expression "in blow" in the following title of an article of International Herald Tribune?

    "Iran Receives Nuclear Fuel in blow to U.S."

    I know the meaning of the following expressions:

    at one blow / in one blow = at the same time, with one forceful or quick action
    by-blow = an indirect or change blow
    a child born out of wedlock
    blow in = arrive, especially unexpectedly
    blow (n) = an unfortunate happening that hinders or impedes; something that is thwarting or frustrating
    blow (n) = an unpleasant or disappointing surprise

    Thank you in advance for your efforts.

    Regards.

    V.

  1. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
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    #2

    Re: "in blow"

    This is an example of headline English.

    A newspaper headline doesn't follow the same grammatical rules as prose, because the function of a headline is to express as much information as possible with as few letters as possible. This is done by, amongst other things:

    1. using shorter words (e.g. "bug" instead of "bacteria");
    2. omitting short grammatical words (such as articles and even some auxiliary verbs); and
    3. using short, well-known phrases (e.g. "in crisis talks" instead of "are holding a series of emergency meetings").

    In your example, the headline is expressing that Iran's receiving nuclear fuel is a "blow", i.e. an unpleasant surprise, for the US. Written out in full, the sentence might be something like this:

    Iran has received nuclear fuel, and this is unwelcome news to the US government.

    • Member Info
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    #3

    Re: "in blow"

    Dear Rewboss,

    Thank you for your prompt reply.

    My initial supposition was just like your statement but I wasn't sure in myself.

    Thank you for the detail explanations of the peculiarities of the headline English. They did me a lot of good. (may I seize the opportunity to use this expression at that place?)

    Regards.

    V.

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