Monday, April 5, 2010

words i love

(i think i need to start a regular series of posts of favorite quotations from things i'm reading. this will be the first official installment, then.)

"After six months of copy desk fixes Quoyle didn't recognize news, had no aptitude for detail. He was afraid of all but twelve or fifteen verbs. Had a fatal flair for the false passive. 'Governor Murchie was handed a bouquet by first grader Kimberley Plud,' he wrote and Edna, the crusty rewrite woman, stood up and bellowed at Quoyle, 'You lobotomized moron. How the hell can you hand a governor?' Quoyle another sample of the semi-illiterates who practiced journalism nowadays. Line them up against the wall!" --from The Shipping News, by Annie Proulx

(i'm afraid i might be the "crusty rewrite woman" of my department at work. maybe i'll have to try the "lobotomized moron" line on a particularly bad day...)

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

A flair for passive voice, huh? I know some other people who seem to share that gift....