Elite intensity: How to misread a Justin Langer headline

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Justin Langer resigned as Australia coach a couple of days ago. Today we completely and utterly misread a headline about him.

It’s not that we got the words wrong. We saw the correct words. It’s just that seeing the headline the day after the article was published, we attributed a whole different meaning to it.

The headline was this one, from Cricinfo:

Langer apologises for being ‘too intense’ in resignation letter

You have, quite possibly, identified the error we made. With Langer’s resignation letter being two days OLD and the headline being (to our eyes) NEW, we mistakenly assumed that the apology had been issued after the resignation letter and not within it.

We thought that Justin Langer – whose intensity has pretty much cost him his job – was now apologising for being too intense while resigning from that job.

We thought he was apologising for the intensity of the resignation letter.

That we could even for one moment consider this a legitimate possibility is a measure of Justin Langer’s elite intensity.

We’re actually a bit disappointed that this hasn’t happened because apologising for the intensity of your own resignation would be an incredibly intense thing to do. In fact apologising for the intensity of your own resignation could itself be an act of sufficient intensity to warrant an apology.

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  1. Elite resigning from Justin Langer in any case. It seems people think his intensity could be a good thing for an England team that’s been spoilt by Chris ‘Softie’ Silverwood, but that it was too much for the delicate Australians (maybe he crossed an invisible line or something).

    Maybe they could just switch jobs? That way we can redo the Ashes in 18 months time and they can swap back again, like a very expensive exchange programme.

  2. I read this article on my smart phone while it was emblazoned with an ad that looked like a headline and reads:

    “This Might Just Be The Creepiest Gadget Ever”.

    Readers will no doubt catch on to the mistake that I made, conjoining that headline-like phrase with the ghoulish picture of Langer.

    Could you please henceforward provide trigger warnings and the like for those of your readers who are of a nervous disposition, KC?

    1. We consider the website logo to have gradually become a sort of implicit catch-all warning that there’s no saying what might pop up in an article or the comments below.

  3. With regard to misreading (or perhaps misleading) cricket headlines, I have something to say about the formulation, often spotted on the BBC Sport website, ‘Team A chase X to win against Team B’ (eg ‘England chase 600 to win against Bangladesh’) – given the way headlines are phrased online, it is hard to know if the headline means ‘England HAVE SUCCESSFULLY CHASED 600 TO WIN’ or ‘England ARE CURRENTLY CHASING 600, probably with almost no chance of reaching that target’.

    It’s almost always used in a context where I have a lot emotionally invested in whether the chase is a completed one or is still ongoing.

    I do not like it.

      1. There will probably be a new post on this soon. But…is this the end for Branderson? Who opens the batting now? Will we finally see Foakes-Woakes-Stokes in the same team? And, for the love of Jeff, what does Darren Stevens have to do to get a game?

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