language: cracks what?

I saw this headline in our local paper last week:

GUSD cracks whip on transfers

GUSD is Gilroy Unified School District. The article was about parents who were trying to get their children transferred from the old high school to the new one, even though they lived within the boundaries of the old high school.

That struck me as not quite right and it hit me again when I saw the headline online.

I realized that what the headline writer wanted to say was “cracks down,” not “cracks the whip.”

“Cracks down,” suggests that the district wants to stop the parents from doing that. “Cracks the whip,” has the implication of seeing that something gets done. For example, “The high school is cracking the whip to ensure that students put out full effort and don’t slack off in physical education class.”

It’s an obvious error that the headline writer should have caught.


One Comment on “language: cracks what?”

  1. Alison Morgan says:

    Gilroy is a two-horse town. Sonora is a one-horse town. Between “normal typos”, illiterate headlines, eternally mispla’ced apostrophe’s; and the frequently inane, and often hilarious “News of Record”, the Tuolumne Union Democrat is the funniest 26 +/- page (including legal notices and other ads), 3-5 section local paper I’ve ever read.


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