Tuesday, July 31, 2007

On writing

In my short career as an editor, I have encountered many great writers.

I also have seen some awful stuff. But nothing like this:

"Gerald began — but was interrupted by a piercing whistle which cost him ten percent of his hearing permanently, as it did everyone else in a ten-mile radius of the eruption, not that it mattered much because for them 'permanently' meant the next ten minutes or so until buried by searing lava or suffocated by choking ash — to pee."

That gem was written by Jim Gleeson 47, of Madison, Wis., who beat thousands of English perpetrators on Monday in an annual contest that celebrates bad writing, according to an Associated Press story.

He said his time in college prepared him.