Can This Paragraph Be Saved?

With your help, maybe. From yesterday's New York Times, on newcomers noticing the "phenomenon" of carrying umbrellas when it snows:

Yet deep down in his soul, the transplant will hold on to the notion that umbrellas are to be used only as protection against the rain, which is wet and, when it drenches the clothes and skin, makes one uncomfortable.

Sharpen those red pencils, y'all.



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Willion Faulkner could extend this paragraph into ten pages without using a single comma or any other punctuation point in a form that would be deemed a classic piece of literature designed by Faulkner's exceptional talent to transform the topic of snow and the soul into a treatise on the metaphysics of the invention of the stirrup that enabled the first heavily armord knight to mount his horse before his squire handed him an umbrella to keep his armor from rusting while I'm sending this suggested rewrite to the Miami Herald so that the New York Times will be continually challenged with doing their own editing without so much as a thank you.

fred call

Sent by fred call | 10:29 AM | 12-10-2007

"Journalism was a good writing experience cause I got out of it in time."......Ernest Hemingway

Dashiell Hammet would have said it this way: The fat man drove the tip of his umbrella through my soul into the snow and I didn't feel a thing because she was still heavily on my mind.

....sorry, the devil made me send this.....once you start this stuff, there's no end in sight of the hilarity........fred call

Sent by fred call | 11:01 AM | 12-10-2007

This is exactly why the Times needs to stop its over-reliance on freelance journalists.

The article reads like a passage from a bad novel.

Sent by Will G | 1:22 PM | 12-10-2007

Okay, hold on with them there red pencils, y'all, before you go helter-skelter criticizing Jocko Weyland.

We've had your fun with Jocko Weyland's text. And, yes, I am guilty as well for having had my fun without reading any of Jocko Weyland's works. I got to thinking, "If anyone is going to criticize Jocko Weyland's works, maybe someone should read Jocko Weyland."

I mean, fair is fair and foul is foul. If you criticize, be prepared to compare the full content of a writer's works. Taking out of context can be a cruel irony.

So, I went looking for some stuff by Jocko Weyland. Nope, never read him before. But, your criticisms have nurtured a new direction. Like him or not, this Jocko Weyland has a fairly heafty bucket-full of works out there. can say.

For some fun and enjoyable reading, I'm suggesting 'The Elk and the Skateboarder.' It's right there on your internet finder. And here's an excerpt of a review from the New Yorker:

"This chronicle, by a seasoned practitioner, of the halting but persistent ascent of skateboarding is sharp and winning, depicting from the inside the evolution of a subculture that has retained its stylistic distinctiveness even as it has spawned ESPN shows and tacky merchandising franchises."

Jocko, wherever you might be, good buddy. I was having some fun without first having proofread. Which is a cardinal sin. Sometimes I tend to pick up too many of the bad habits of bloggers. I got lazy. Once I got unlazy, and I read your work, I enjoyed your stuff.

And I openly apologize to you for having made light without first having done my homework. I acted like an immature blogger. My bad, buddy.

Now that I've done my homework on you, Jocko, I send you good credits to make amends.

fred call

Opening Excerpt:
The Elk and the Skateboarder
Jocko Weyland
That night down at the lake after eating hot dogs off the grill and watching the red, white, and blue fireworks in that bicentennial summer of overblown patriotism, I borrowed another kid's yellow plastic banana board and rode a skateboard for the first time in my life. On the nearby tennis courts I pushed an glided and felt the freedom and thrill of rolling. The isolation of the Colorado mountain town I lived in hadn't stopped the intrusion of skateboarding into the collective consciousness;

Sent by fred call | 2:41 PM | 12-10-2007

snowy umbrellas
a fish out of the season
wishes it were wet not cold

Sent by erin herwig | 11:39 PM | 12-10-2007

Quick. Call Bulwer-Litton.

Sent by Charles-A. Rovira | 11:55 AM | 12-11-2007

"Normal people use umbrellas to keep from getting wet and therefore, from feeling uncomfortable."

Sent by rpmason | 11:58 AM | 12-12-2007

Who would want to re-write one word? I think it is fabulous exactly as is. Come on - where is your sense of grammaticalogical adventure?

Sent by Sandra Williams | 3:52 PM | 12-12-2007

'Deep in his soul, the transplant cherishes the belief umbrellas were invented as protection against the rain. Rain is wet. Wet rain drenches the clothes and skin. Cold and wet are a tag team for misery in the winter.'

Actually I like the article and learned my editing skills from reading Budweiser cans. less is more with 3.2 beer.

Sent by Peter Nolan Smith | 1:14 AM | 2-3-2008