In an extremely well written and justifiably incisive article on British austerity measures since the credit crunch of 2008, Peter Goodman of The New York Times writes the following :

In these communities, Mrs. Thatcher’s name is an epithet, and austerity is the latest villain: London bankers concocted a financial crisis, multiplying their wealth through reckless gambling; then London politicians used budget deficits as an excuse to cut spending on the poor while handing tax cuts to corporations. Robin Hood, reversed.

The writer uses a colon, then (unusually for modern writing) a semi colon and I wonder if he has baulked at using another colon.

Is 'Robin Hood, reversed' a sentence in its own right ?

Or should it be added after yet another colon ?

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    I see nothing wrong with it. This is abbreviated text for something like "This is Robin Hood, reversed", and is perfectly legit in all but stodgy formal contexts. (And a sentence with TWO colons and a semicolon would make many a mind short-circuit.) – Hot Licks May 28 '18 at 12:02
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    I'd see it as a summary explanation of the preceding paragraph. The colon is either for a list or an explanation and where it's used, I think it's both (a list of explanations as to why austerity is a villain). Using a second colon within that list would syntactically break it, plus the sentence summarises the whole paragraph, not just one of the explanatory list items. – Pam May 28 '18 at 12:06
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    The first colon should be a full stop.The reader expects explication/development of "austerity," but that doesn't come until the end of the next clause. Then Robin Hood can get a colon. – KarlG May 28 '18 at 17:05
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    "Robin Hood reversed." adds emphasis. Effective. (It made you sit up and take notice! :)) This construction should be used sparingly, however. – ab2 May 28 '18 at 22:49
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    It seems to me that sentences cast as, in effect, work-of-art titles have gained some popularity in conversational writing, at least since 1993/1999—the year when the novel/film Girl, Interrupted appeared. Most notable to my eye is the comma between the subject (Girl in one instance; Robin Hood in the other) and its modifier/quasi-verb (Interrupted; reversed). But perhaps this phenomenon is just a complete coincidence, rather than a sign of a pop-culture tendency. – Sven Yargs May 29 '18 at 6:50

According to the article Verbless Sentences by Bill Ball on the website of The Queen's English Society, your example of a verbless sentence is OK. First, what is a verbless sentence, and is your example verbless:

Although there have always been verbless sentences in English, many grammarians of old insisted that a sentence had to contain at least one 'finite' verb. Examples of finite verbs are 'is', as in 'The weather is fine', and 'plays', as in 'He plays tennis'. The word 'finite' broadly means 'having a subject'. In the above examples, the subjects of the verbs are 'The weather' and 'He'.

The author then gives several examples of verbless sentences, of which A wonderful achievement. could be an ironic commentary on Peter Goodman's Robin Hood, reversed.

Next the author cautions about the use of verbless sentences:

Indeed, there are still some people today who would condemn verbless sentences, even though they are and always have been acceptable English.

It has to be admitted, however, that verbless sentences should never be used in formal writing (legal documents and the like) or by schoolchildren or students in their school or college work. It is often said that it is acceptable for established writers to commit occasional grammatical errors, because they have learnt all the rules and therefore have the right to modify them to suit their purpose if they so wish. That may be so, but there is one 'rule' that says that verbless sentences should be used sparingly and with good taste. Any writers who choose to ignore this rule (for whatever reason) do so at their own risk.

In the example the OP gave, the verblessness of the concluding sentence added emphasis. This is Robin Hood in reverse would have had a much lower POW!- factor.

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