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Headline permutations

“Trump’s Base Nurses Anger Over Election” was the headline of a story in today’s newspaper.

There was something “colorless green ideas” about this headline, which made me think, Lucky Jim-style, of some permutations:

Nurses Anger Trump’s Base Over Election

Election Base Angers Trump Over Nurses

Election Over, Trump’s Base Nurses Anger

Election Over, Nurses Trump Base Anger

Anger Over, Nurses Base Trump’s Anger

Base Over, Trump Nurses Election Anger

Trump Angers Election Base Over Nurses

Nurses Trump Anger Over Election Base

Election Bases Anger Over Trump’s Nurse

Nurse Trump Over Election Base Anger

Trump Angers Nurses Over Base Election

Nurses Base Election Over Trump’s Anger

Add a few buffaloes to this and you could go on forever . . .

P.S. I laugh about these things only because we can’t just keep crying over it. It’s the same reason we laugh as well as cry about ages ending in 9, air rage, ovulation and voting, pizzagate, sleepgate, regression discontinuity, the book with the copied chess stories, etc etc etc.


  1. paul alper says:

    Andrew must have written this quite a while ago. The link indicates that the original was January 17, 2021 and then updated on March 1, 2021. The headline,

    “Trump’s Base Nurses Anger Over Election”

    from which we get Andrew’s permutations, does not appear. Time marches on and so do Republican denials of what took place.

  2. jim says:

    Anger Over Nurses Trumps Election Base!
    Anger-Base Over, Election Nurses Trump
    Anger Trumps Nurses Over Election Base
    Anger Election: Nurses Over Trumps Base
    Anger Over: Election Base Nurses Trump
    Anger Nurses Base: Election Over, Trump!
    Anger! Nurses Trump Election Base Over!

  3. oncodoc says:

    It seems that “anger” was part of every description of Mr. Trump during his Presidency. He was always angry about something. I am sure every possible permutation of President and anger was printed before the start of his third year in office. Both the pro and anti media used that word.

    • Anonymous says:

      ‘“anger” was part of every description of Mr. Trump during his Presidency.’

      Just trump? I was thinking that you could just make a standard set of headlines using some variant of “Anger” with “Trump” and that would do for all the headlines of the last four years, just substitute the relevant side of the political spectrum:

      _________ Anger Trump (Democrats)
      Trump Angers ______ (Peolosi)
      Trump’s Outrage ______ (said [a democrat])
      Trump’s Outrage _____ (over what was said by [a democrat])

      Will be interesting to see how the tenor of the debate evolves by this time next year, when mid-terms will be coming into view.

  4. Ethan Bolker says:

    Do read Wendy Cope’s The Uncertainty of the Poet:

    I am a poet.
    I am very fond of bananas.

  5. GamePlayer says:

    There is an entertaining card game built on this kind of thing:
    And if that isn’t enough for you then there is a second version:

  6. Justin says:

    Trump’s Nurses Anger Base Over Election

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