March 12, 2003
A Cheap Shot
I shouldn't pick on Colby Cosh when he's feeling sick, but this sentence, which opens one of yesterday's posts, needs an editor's pencil:
The Edmonton Oilers have gutted themselves like a trout at the trading deadline.
It looks as if he's saying that trout gut themselves, and also implying that they do so at the trading deadline. This may be so in the Land of Cockayne, but not in the real world, unless advanced genetic engineering has introduced previously unimagined efficiencies to the Canadian fishing industry.
Posted by Dr. Weevil at March 12, 2003 11:23 PM
And yet, "like a trout at the trading deadline" is itself a very pretty turn of words, no?
Well, I like its poetry, but suggest that it is an analogy still searcing for meaning.
May I use your final sentence as an example in my list of "I wish I could write that way'.
Self-gutting trout...now there's an idea. Providing, that engineering such a feature doesn't do anything to the taste. Of the meat, of course.
I've learned--through sequential humiliation--that I can't wear the "writer" hat and the "editor" hat at the same time unless the functions are separated by at least twenty minutes. Saying that "such-and-such a weblog needs an editor" is like saying that "those guys on the McLaughlin Group need to sit quietly for five minutes before they flap their gums about Issue #2". True in a sense, but it overlooks the nature of the medium. And by the way, using "gingerly" as an adverb is permissible but certainly not advisable.
My daughter looked at the headline for a newspaper article about the upcoming panda exhibit at the zoo - "Panda Opening March 24" - and said, "Does PETA know about this?"