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Fly on the Wall 1510

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Dammit, Gannett

Some names present special temptations and difficulties for headline writers.

Clarity can be especially difficult if a writer needs to identify a person whose name is also a verb. Last week The Commercial Appeal provided us with a classic example of how the placement of certain verb-names can transform the meaning of a sentence.

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"Titans Vrabel scores twice with Pees, LaFleur" would have gotten the job done without double entendre. But where's the fun in that? Still one hopes the copy editor received a memo: "Urine so much trouble, buddy."

Neverending JTim

Seems like there was a time when Memphis' own Justin Timberlake could do no wrong.

But reviews of JT's Super Bowl halftime show are far from glowing.

The Daily Beast looked back in awe at halftime shows by Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga before concluding, "No costume changes. No stunts. No guests. (Not even NSYNC!) Just warbled noise. Once upon a time, Justin Timberlake brought sexy back. Now we'd like a refund."

The Washington Post wasn't nearly so kind: "We begin to unclench our teeth by the time he reaches 'Can't Stop the Feeling' — not because it's the most confused feel-good anthem of this feel-scared era, but because the show is almost over. And then it is. And a feeling of togetherness washes over us, a feeling of certainty that we all just witnessed something unambiguously underwhelming."

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