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Sunday, August 07, 2011
THEY WENT THAT-A-WAY!
There was a time when the New York Times was a carefully edited and well written newspaper. But here is a sentence I noticed the other day in a Times baseball news story: “Rivera, as he often does, did not allow a base runner.” What? Just pause a minute and try to parse that one. Maybe Yogi Berra wrote that line. Or maybe the person—I will not name him—who wrote that stunner cannot write or even think. Yogi once said, “No one goes to that restaurant anymore. It’s too crowded.” But Yogi never wrote for the Times.
One wonders whether any one read the Rivera line before the paper let it be published. What has happened to the ancient role of the copy editor?
...To me, an old man, there are few things as lovely as a finely written essay. I follow closely what the luminous Joseph Epstein writes and from time to time I make a habit of rereading the essays of E.B. White. His step son Roger Angell is a worthy heir to that genius in the New Yorker but one has to look diligently in the sports pages for the successors to Smith and Povich. Tom Boswell at the Washington Post and George Vecsey at the Times are among the very few who seem to care about how they write as much as about what they write. When I find a well-crafted sentence or the use of just the perfect word I want to applaud. I just wish there were a few copy editors who cared about our lovely language.
Posted: August 07, 2011 at 10:26 AM | 46 comment(s)
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