Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Vintage NYT

No, you can't do this. Even if you're the New York Times Magazine, you can't do this:

The episode was vintage Coulson, who ruled the newsroom with single-minded imperiousness: get the story, no matter what.

"Vintage Coulson" is fine. That's one of the things proper nouns can do. But it can't turn around from that specific construction and spread its awesome nominal magic over the succeeding relative clause. "Typical of Coulson" would have worked; so would ending the sentence at "Coulson" and starting a new one with "He ruled the newsroom." But not "vintage Coulson, who ruled ..."

Please don't let that keep you from enjoying an otherwise Ripping Yarn; I mean, it's almost like reading Private Eye, only without Colemanballs.* Stay tuned to see if the outraged Murdoch press decides to turn this one into another chapter in the War on Freedom.

* Hmm. Colemanballs vs The Ethicist. Street of Shame vs Deborah Solomon. Why do I seem to be getting the short end of the deal here?

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