Monday, October 10, 2005

Sentence of the week

To swim the Individual Medley, which consists of all four strokes, a swimmer has to be extremely versatile in its ability.

This really doesn't need much comment, does it? Jeez, even Rover the dog gets a personal pronoun in the stylebook. The easy solution, of course, is just to end the sentence after "versatile." Then it's just a mediocre lede.

One can still wonder when "Individual Medley" became a proper noun, or when "Breastroke" became a proper noun, or when "breastroke" itself became a noun of any sort (especially since it's "breaststroke" later in the tale).

No further questions, Your Honor. Well, there is the series comma rule. And the insistence on specifying that eight events means "eight different events." And the profusion of needless "said of" constructions. One is tempted to ask whether the copy desk was awake for this one.


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