December 28th, 2009

Parsing error

I've recently been re-reading several of Clive Cussler's novels, and I came across this line in Treasure: "As they neared the crushing mill they began to find the litter of dead awesome." On the internet, people often use phrases like "Made of win" or "So much awesome", and I initially misread that sentence; I thought that "dead" was the adjective and "awesome" was the noun. I had to stare at it for a few seconds before I realised what he actually meant: "they encountered a pile of dead people and began to feel awe at the sight".

Something similar happened in 2003 (with the words "slash" and "pron"). It does worry me that spending so much time online may actually be reducing my literacy.