Sunday, July 23, 2006

Wailing, gnashing of teeth

Let the games begin
Columbia is hosting the 22nd Annual Show-Me State Games, a sports festival that allows Missourians to compete in events ranging from kickball to swimming. (1A Sunday)

Every time a sporting event is hedded "Let the games begin," an angel walks blithely under a falling grand piano and is turned into a puddle of seraphic goo. Never, never, never, never, never use this one.

Neither shalt thou allow false ranges ("from kickball to swimming"*), nor heds that refer to "our kids" ("Sex ed: A lesson in what our kids are learning," ibid). These too are forbidden, though they don't cause nearly the level of mayhem among the heavenly host as the Great Cliches.

(The Baghdad buro chief once managed to work "Wailing, gnashing of teeth" into a Scotus hed. Oh, for the days of the 3/36/2.)

*E-Z test: Can you identify the continuum on which these two items are the anchors? If not, don't use "from ... to."


Anonymous Nancy Friedman said...

"" is even more ubiquitous and annoying in its spoken-word form, as in the promo on my public-radio station that goes something like this: "From billiard lessons to three-star dining, the KXYZ online auction has something for everyone." I wish someone smarter than I could parse that construction and explain exactly why it's so offensive.

6:46 PM, July 23, 2006  
Blogger fev said...

Bill Walsh takes a pretty good swing:

(shared by one of the good souls at TCEs in one of the best-titled threads in recorded history: "You spilled hot-button rhetoric all over my false range.")

Public-radio-wise, I'll trade you three months of breathless promos leading up to a concert by the old Creedence rhythm section for a week of the KXYZ online auction.

2:26 PM, July 25, 2006  

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