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In this clip of an American talk show, the host says at 10 seconds into the video:

A lot of protests going on at the airports all over the country, really, because of the President's travel ban.

Which I think means:

A lot of protests are going on at the airports all over the country, really, because of the President's travel ban.

If so, why did the host leave out the verb "are" from the main clause?

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    This is conversational deletion, which eliminates any words at the beginning of a sentence which your hearer may presuppose. What's been 'deleted' is There are a. – StoneyB Feb 7 '17 at 2:44
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It is news jargon. The reason why the verb is omitted is because the host is mimicking newsroom jargon. When stories are prepared in a newsroom, the key events of the day are summarized in lists of headlines. It is common to omit unnecessary words in these lists so that each news item fits on a single line of text. Sometimes newscasters will adopt the style of these abbreviated headlines, called "slugs," in their speech.

  • Just to add to Tyler's answer, it's also worth pointing out that people rarely speak in perfect English, especially on American television. @JK2 you are correct, however, that "are" would be included if this were written or spoken in grammatically correct English. – MadGab Feb 7 '17 at 3:21

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