Did you know that you can hire me to write or edit virtually anything? For an extra $20 an hour, I won’t even post your worst sentences on Facebook. I’m kidding—that portion of my integrity is not for sale at any price, but virtually everything else is. And let me tell you, business is booming. I know this reads like a sales pitch, but it’s actually an excuse. There is no Combat! blog today, because I am inundated with paying work. That’s a good problem to have, and it’s okay anyway, because last Monday I posted on Veteran’s Day without realizing it was a holiday. Sorry, veterans. I take the flag pin out of my lapel for one minute, and everything goes to hell. While I standardize serial commas, how about you read this long, hit-or-miss article from Salon about how Americans make their political decisions? It contains two elements of note. The first is this terrible sentence:
Growing up I always thought of elections as part of the natural world, much like gravity, the sun, and tall sequoias, but nothing could be further from the truth.
The thing about bad writing is that it invites you to agree that it’s good. The author’s basic idea—“I thought of elections as part of the natural world, like gravity”—is clear and well-conveyed, but then he adds “the sun” and “tall sequoias.” The first one adds no meaning to “gravity,” and the second has the same problem plus ostentatious lyricism. The natural world sure is beautiful, with its tall sequoias that necessitate a cliche at the end of the sentence to remind us what we were talking about.
The other interesting element in this essay is the revelation that 60% of Americans cannot name the three branches of government. Suddenly, the Republican plan to ruin Obama by sabotaging Congress makes a lot more sense. Anywhom, enjoy Salon as it continues its leftward slide into the Daily Kos. We’ll be back tomorrow with racial meme analysis or something.