This was a sad story, I think. But I’m not quite sure, because the headline is so confusing.
After much head-scratching, I believe it’s intended not as a sentence but as a title — like “The Silver Lining” — but with a lot of explanatory words added, which turn the title into a kind of thicket.
Is the lining missing the boy’s dad? Is the lining that’s missing the boy’s dad doing the hoping? Is there a word missing? Is this a crash of typos?
- It can be complicated to use a word that might be a verb or an adjective — like missing.
- It can be complicated to use a word that might be a verb or a noun — like hopes. (Or, for that matter, lining — although when lining comes right after silver, most of us will probably read silver lining as a noun.)
- But it can really be complicated to use a number of multi-use words in the same sentence.
- And even more complicated in a setting where you don’t know if what you’re reading is going to turn out to be a sentence or not. This headline came from CNN.com, and they go both ways, presenting both sentence-format headlines and title-format headlines, in the same daily string of headlines.
So — stop me if I’m wrong — I think this headline is about a silver lining that a missing boy’s dad is hoping will come after a hoax.
If I’m wrong, please correct me.
If I’m right … Whew!