Comma, importance of

Back in March, I came across this AP headline:

More than math, reading important

I read it as saying that reading was more important than math, but the article is about attempts to "broaden the focus [of education] beyond math and reading." So I started to write an entry here to make fun of the headline for having nothing to do with the article body.

And then I realized that I'd misread the headline.

It's using the common headline technique of replacing an "and" with a comma. So it really meant that more topics than math and reading are important.

So it's a perfectly reasonable headline for the article, except for the ease of misreading it. I would still say it's a bad headline, but on very different grounds than my original impression.