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I think that this is a perfectly good question and have no idea why it has been closed. The only person to have provided a reason for his/her close-vote as a comment is Fumble. He too has stated that it is "Not Constructive" and yet has voted "Not a real question". Furthermore, the commenters can't make up their mind on why the Ars headline is right either.

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I voted against it. I don't recall whether I came down on NC or NARQ - I always have trouble with those two - but I voted against it basically because it's a headline, which to my mind makes any generalization questionable. "Hard cases make bad law" -- as I think your answer makes clear.

  • Well, the original question has been re-opened - and you and I have shot our bolt, so we can't closevote again for the time being. But I'm not convinced it matters exactly which reason you choose (assuming we don't create a special closevote reason "Pointless evaluation of 'journalese' syntax"). – FumbleFingers Nov 14 '12 at 21:37
  • @FumbleFingers There are worse questions out there. This one's a misparse -- {SS / out at M} instead of { SS out / at M} -- occasioned by headline scorched-earth ellipsis. If somebody comes up with a procedure for parsing such constructions correctly the question will be justified. I'm not holding my breath. – StoneyB Nov 14 '12 at 22:22
  • I don't think the question was about "misparsing" as such. OP wants ELU to vote for his preferred preposition, but as the protracted comment thread clearly showed, you could (perversely or otherwise) misparse it in many different ways with either preposition. The possibility that one particular preposition might be (slightly) less susceptible to being misparsed is scarcely relevant to my objections. – FumbleFingers Nov 14 '12 at 22:31
  • @FumbleFingers Yes. I think the question asked was occasioned by a misparsing; the interesting question (which maybe somebody will address in spite of what's asked) is how do you avoid misparsing? – StoneyB Nov 14 '12 at 22:43
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    oic. I hadn't thought of it like that. Superficially you'd think really competent speakers should in theory be less likely to misparse, but I sometimes think being consciously aware of more possible ways to parse something might make mistakes more likely. I'm hopeless at those "non-cryptic" crosswords with single-word clues, because I often can't find a single clue with one unambiguously correct answer that I dare write in to get started. But people with less "imaginative" vocabularies just write in the first word that comes to mind (which, irritatingly to me, is usually right! :) – FumbleFingers Nov 14 '12 at 22:51

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