"Many Occupy L.A. protesters arrested during demonstrations in recent months are being offered a unique chance to avoid court trials: pay $355 to a private company for a lesson in free speech...."Naturally, part of my surprise was due to the prospect of citizens being required to fork over money to a private business, which would teach them about the limits to their constitutional rights, in exchange for a reprieve from the legal repercussions of civil disobedience. But I was also surprised to find that, contrary to my breezy reading of the headline in which I'd parsed the phrase Occupy protesters as the subject of the verb offered in the active voice, I should have read offered as being in the passive voice, with the protesters being the recipients of free-speech lessons rather than the purveyors of those lessons.
January 5, 2012
Is that headline supposed to mean the protesters are giving a lesson or getting a lesson? Surprisingly, it's the latter: