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Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, August 16. 2016
I am a connoisseur of bad writing.
As you can imagine, I adore the Internet. The Internet is like a bad writing contest with 6 billion contestants and no prize. It's the Telephone Game played in semaphore by myopics. It's a vast playground for hunches about grammar, with capitalization carbuncles appearing here and there, garnished with improvisational spelling, in a passive voice reduction. Not to mention the mixed metaphors.
Some wags went on a safari looking for bad writing, and called it the Bulwer-Lytton Contest. We all know its humble beginnings. Poor Georgie B-L was just doing his best to write a novel back in 1830:
That ain't Shakespeare, but honestly, it can't compete with the Huffington Post for triteness. It's just the sort of writing that makes you put the book back on the library shelf, and pick up the next one. No. Big. Deal.
But they've made it a contest, so it is a big deal. I hate it. Encouraging people on the Internet to write badly on purpose is a fool's errand. That's what they do. Encouraging them to write well, or even write gooder, would strike me as a worthier task. But then again, the contest is presented by Writer's Digest, whose raison d'etre is encouraging girls who should have flunked out of jo school to write another sparkly vampire bodice-ripper using their specious advice. Yawn.
I want bad writing that turns out that way on accident, to use the parlance of our times. I want bad writing written in dead earnest. Apparently, I wanted the Bad Writing Contest.
Now that's what I'm talkin' about. I'm slightly confused, though. It says a girl wrote it, but she forgot to put three exclamation points at the end. A minor oversight, but telling.
Now, on to our quotidian dose of bad writing from all over:
Ah, the Internet, where every question is begged. Are computer coders part of the Elite Class? No. They'll revert to the equivalent of journeyman plumbers in the near future. Perfectly respectable, but hardly elite. The author's inability to order concrete without an iPhone app is telling. It's telling about him, not the concrete company. And the word "into" in the headline should be "to."
Along the same lines as Mr. I Retired at 28 and Want a Medal. They always say the answer to any question posed in a headline is invariably, "No." All I needed to see was a long table covered with Apple computers to know nothing productive was going on.
There's a question in the headline again. It's a fake though. The question is begged, not answered with a "No." Diesel engines have been obsolete for a long time. The reasons they keep making them are weird.
The practice of screwing a bizarre melange of merde to the walls in taverns is a lot older than all the chains mentioned in this interesting article. Every barroom, from the '30s on, put memorabilia from the patrons on the walls to keep them coming back. After they died, it looked randomly chosen to a new crop of drunks.
Every generation has something that brings a tear of remembrance to the eye. It's a moving target. You'd kill to play Knock Down with your old baseball cards, and people younger than you want to play Donkey Kong Junior on a tabletop.
Some day, everyone will realize that the last ten years has consisted of nothing but skimming. Nothing of value was created. Google stole the Yellow Pages, Facebook stole the dry-erase board hanging on a girl's dorm room door, and Apple gave you a little handheld television to watch while driving.
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Roger de Hauteville,
You may want to do an article on more better grammar.
I didn't read any of the articles. I just skimmed the titles and snarky comments, which I LOVED btw.
"Facebook stole the dry-erase board hanging on a girl's dorm room door"
I always thought that Facebook stole their idea from the Anasazi who wrote their messages and put their 'selfies' onto rocks in the canyons of the Southwest. I doubt that our petroglyphs and pictographs will last as long as theirs have. I liked them.
Re: What Danes consider healthy children’s television
It makes me long for Romper Room, Captain Kangaroo, and Mr. Rogers Neighborhood!
The Internet permits anyone with connectivity to do something they could not: present their thoughts to the world in written form without having to go through the traditional gatekeepers: editors and proofreaders. Unless you are a grammar pedant, this is surely a good thing overall.
The Internet truly is vox populi, a place where no one can prevent you from publishing your letter, your story, your political views or your novel. Again, surely a good thing.
However, it does now mean that the standards of writing - and particularly spelling - will fluctuate wildly. As will the standards of what is written.
As to what a lot of Internet content reveals about us, Oscar Wilde said it best:
"The brotherhood of man is not a mere poet's dream; it is a most depressing and humiliating reality."
Sorry, that opening line should have read:
"The Internet permits anyone with connectivity to do something they could not do before:present their thoughts to the world in written form without having to go through the traditional gatekeepers."
Shoulda proofread it! Oh, the irony!
Well . . . not in England.
The office of London’s first Muslim mayor has secured millions of pounds to fund a police “online hate crime hub” to work in “partnership with social media providers” to criminalise “trolls” who “target… individuals and communities.”
Of course 'trolls' will be defined as anyone whose view runs counter to the ruling class.
It was a stark and dormy night as the low-pressure sodium lights came on all over campus.
Millennials have a lot of trouble following simple directions. If the concrete provider tells you to call after 12, don't call at 11:45 because you're so special.
One would think where there is this much smoke, there has to be fire.
Perhaps they are just coincidences?
"There are no coincidences." Leroy Jethro Gibbs
A Hot Month for Clinton’s Body Count
Once Hillary and her Supreme Court are done, we in America will be in the same boat. My hope is that we won't go as meekly as the British.
Look up the history of "Atlanta Nights." You'll love it.
"Diesel engines have been obsolete for a long time." Tell that to the railroads, truckers, and the millions of close shore ships in harbors through out the world. If an accident occurs, would you rather have a 1,000 gallon empty gasoline tank, or diesel tank?
You will notice that Obama took a break at the links and ordered the military to empty Guantanamo Bay. Anyone want to bet that after he gets all the terrorists back to Iraq and after the election he gives Guantanamo back to Castro??? Any takers? He will do it for spite and to harm our country. He was NEVER American no matter where he was born he never liked America and the American people. God only knows what else he is doing to scuttle the ship of state. Where are the Republican congressmen to prevent Obama from releasing the terrorists back to the battlefield???
Diesel engines are beautiful things to a mechanic. However not all diesel engines are created equal. Most commercial, marine and heavy equipment diesels are efficient, strong and will probably outlast the vehicle they are installed on. Most diesels in autos and small trucks are not so well made, some are pretty good but most simply aren't worth the thousand$ you pay for that option.
Structure and force defeat each other. Force breaks structure, structure resists force.
The observation is used in the analysis of various theories containing them, where the expounder thinks himself into this or that corner but only saying that simple fact.