'Gambler who swindled old out of…': the headline style


Gambler who swindled old out of ?2.3m jailed

This is the heading from today’s (London) Metro.
Quite usual one: brief catchy words, no articles, etc – the so-called’ journalistic style’…

My question is:
how can you understand (if can) from the headline, whether just one elderly person (the old) has been swindled by the gambler or several ones?

Hi Tamara

Based on the sum of money quoted, I’d assume the headline is referring to old (elderly, retired, etc.) people. 8)


Hi Tamara,

As Amy says 2.3 million is a lot for one person. Anyhow you can’t just say ‘old’ and refer to one person only. It has to be old woman/ old man/ old devil and so on.


Hmm. So if I put ?15 000 in the above headline, no one could be sure about the number of the swindled?…

Yes, Alan, I know. And won’t do that. Fortunately, I’m not a Metro correspondent. And even unfrequent its reader :slight_smile:

Hi Tamara

I think it would be unlikely that (even) a newspaper would simply write “old” if it were in reference to only one person.

I’d have been happier if they’d written “elderly” in the headline instead of “old”, but maybe they were simply running low on ink. :lol:


Hi, Amy

Perhaps, you’re right about ink. :slight_smile: Metro is a free newspaper. You just take it at the station, read it on the train and leave on the seat before getting out.