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Trump Fires John Bolton In Final Break After Months Of Internal Policy Division

NPR, September 10, 2019

What does "in Final Break" mean here?

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Headlines can be strange

This is headline-speak — or on ELL, . Headlines in news articles have their own set of grammar rules which can be very different from formal written English, in particular:

  • Articles (“a, an, the”) are almost always omitted

  • “And” is almost always omitted

When you see the headline:

Trump Fires John Bolton In Final Break After Months Of Internal Policy Division

You have to unpack (uncompress) it.

An Interpretation

1) After months of internal policy division...

“Division” here means arguments or disagreements.

2) Trump Fires John Bolton..

I’ll let you consult “Politics” Stack Exchange for a further discussion of this.

3) in {a} final break.

The “break” is a breakup (or separation) of two people who worked closely together.

It’s {a} final break because, the headline says, it comes after many disagreements. It is the final resolution of (the headline says) a long-term problem between the two individuals.

The word “a” has been omitted from the headline, and the order of parts 1-2-3 changed, to pack more words into a smaller space. This is how headlines are often done in English-language news services.

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