love, play & inquiry (trochee) wrote,
love, play & inquiry
trochee

Who's got 3-year-old intelligence?

On whtliberalmedia, a not-half-bad source for the alternative story, the link today is to the Common Dreams story pointing out that this week's terror scare is based on very old data.

What I found amusing about this was the headline in the group blog:
Bush is trying to scare people with 3-year old intelligence.

I read this in two different constructions before I found the correct one:
[Bush is trying to scare [people [with 3-year old intelligence]]]
"Bush is trying to scare people who have the intelligence of 3-year-olds"

[[Bush is trying to scare people] [with 3-year old intelligence]]
"Bush is trying to scare people, in the manner of someone with the intelligence of a 3-year-old"

It wasn't until my third read that I grasped that [3-year old intelligence] was being used in the sense of "data gathered by surveillance three years ago", and not in the sense of "the intelligence of a three-year old" along the lines of "Koko the chimp operates with a 12-year old intelligence"; then I was able to get the correct instrumental adjunct attachment:

[Bush is [trying to scare people] [with 3-year old intelligence]]
"Bush is trying to scare people, and he is using 3-year old intelligence to do so."
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