A selection of headlines from stories in the news. They use English in a way that you might think is intended to confuse but it’s all perfectly clear to the native speaker.


The Daily Mail used the headline ‘The Red Tape Arrows’ in a story about the Red Arrows, the Royal Air Force aerobatic team.  Seemingly a planned display at Dartmouth may be cancelled because health and safety officials are worried that the vibrations caused by the display may affect historic buildings in the town.

The headline is a play on the name of the display team “the Red Arrows and the idiom ‘red tape’, which is a derisive term for excessive regulation or rigid conformity to formal rules that is considered redundant or bureaucratic and hinders or prevents action or decision-making.