Aug 21 2008

Please Don’t Write This Badly

Published by at 1:33 pm under Uncategorized

Some editors can rewrite an absolutely mediocre story into a masterpiece, but please give yours more to work with than this…

From the New York Times: “Few want a handout, but fewer want government to abandon them. A simmering hurt suffuses their words, a sense that neither hard work nor their unions could save them.”

It’s hard to tell which part of this passage was the worst, but it probably wasn’t “a simmering hurt suffuses their words.” I found “fewer want government to abandon them” more painful. The author really struggled to create a parallel structure with the previous clause. I would recommend rephrasing that sentence as “When polled, residents were uneasy about government handouts but enthusiastic about vocational education programs,” or another form of government assistance that came up frequently.

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