Loving blog post titles after uninstall breaks my Dell with winlogon worm

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/10/16 22:20 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2006/10/16/833414.aspx

This post is not actually about Danny Sullivan's post (the blogosphere has already covered his post plenty!). It is actually about the title of the post:

Hating Microsoft After Update Breaks My Computer With svchost.exe Error

By the time you reach the end of the title that is really only one meaning, but on the way here the whole garden path blog post title kind of issue comes up.

Up until you hit the end, then go back and reparse, it could have been talking about how "Hating Microsoft After Update" is what broke his computer. In fact, had the title only been

Hating Microsoft After Update Breaks My Computer

then it may have actually been unclear whether he was saying "Hating Microsoft After Update Breaks My Computer" or "Hating Microsoft After Update Breaks My Computer". The first version is an interesting conspiracy theory kind of an approach where answering a yes/no dialog that asks "Do you hate Microsoft?" with a YES would cause the computer to simply break in retribution or due to plain old moral despair. :-)

Though that next bit also has another possible meaning, along the lines of "Hating Microsoft After Update Breaks My Computer With svchost.exe Error", in other words the computer simply has this error and that is how it is most easily identified.

But eventually (where eventually can be measured in very small increments of time), the brain snaps into the "right" meaning since without some kind of context referring to the machine as "my computer with svchost.exe error" seems kind of odd.

Lest you think my third possible sentence meaning might be uncommon, I had a machine with a winlogon worm I could not clean for a few months despite trying very hard and I did refer to it during that time as my "Computer with the Winlogon Worm" until I finally cleaned it off. The decision to clean it off came after an unrelated installation of a beta version of Office 12 that I had trouble uninstalling made me realize I was overdue for the colonic of a drive reformatting....

Although I did not originally blog about my winlogon worm, I figured it would be fun to blog about it today just to investigate a garden path blog post title that you actually had to read the post to get the actual meaning of?

The actual meaning (for the record) of "Loving blog post titles after uninstall breaks my Dell with winlogon worm" is indeed about how uninstalling a third party application on my Dell Latitude with a winlogon worm later (well, today) caused me to love this weird category of titles of posts on this blog.

Since you had to read the post to get the meaning, it is garden path blog post!


This post brought to you by  (U+0f36, a.k.a. TIBETAN MARK CARET -DZUD RTAGS BZHI MIG CAN)

# Björn on 17 Oct 2006 12:23 AM:

I blame the level of caffeine to feel lost in a very big garden after reading the post :]

# HDZ on 17 Oct 2006 8:28 AM:

I am still having great trouble parsing that headline as anything other than "My computer breaks with a svchost.exe error as a result of me hating Microsoft after an upgrade"

# Michael S. Kaplan on 17 Oct 2006 10:33 AM:

Hatred must be pretty powerful if it can actually cause an error in a service! :-)

referenced by

2008/09/13 Where the boys aren't garden path sentences

2008/03/09 Under the big space, you may find a 'Road to Nowhere' sentence

2006/12/02 Enhancing language 'artificially' ?

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