There was the article with a headline, “Obama Case Against Ground War: 100 U.S. Deaths a Month” in New York Times (December 17) followed by the paragraph:

“President Obama acknowledged that Americans worried he was not doing enough to prevent terrorism but said the cost of sending ground troops to the Middle East was too high.”

I am a bit at a loss to interpret the word, ‘case’ in the phrase, “Obama case against ground war” though I presume it means Obama made out a case against ground war to a group of news columnists in a private session recently held in White House.

Is ‘case’ here used as a noun, or verb? Can ‘case’ be used as a verb on the earth? If it is a noun, don’t we need a possessive case ‘s? If it is a verb, don’t we need a third person, singular, present tense s? Is some words (eg. made, made out) dropped before ‘case’ just for the purpose of contraction?

I suspect this is a very primitive question. But I’m asking this as Japanese saying goes – Asking question is a momentary shame. Not asking question is a lifetime shame.

  • 3
    The headline writers adopt a simplified grammar which is designed to save space. In the headline the IDEA following the colon, is defined by the words preceding it. The basis of the case being made by President Obama against fighting a ground war = is = 100 deaths each month.
    – Hugh
    Dec 21 '15 at 3:04

Case is here a noun, in the sense

  1. A set of reasons or supporting facts; an argument: presented a good case for changing the law. (Free Dictionary, citing American Heritage Dictionary 5th ed.)

Expanding the compression that is normal to headlines, we get something like

The case that Obama presents against ground war is essentially that it would cost the U.S. 100 deaths each month.


your instinct is correct. "case" here is a noun, and it means, "the reason for thinking something is true."


In this instance, case is more or less equivalent to argument.

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