Monday, August 01, 2005

The Bulwer-Lytton bad English awards are out

I can't be bothered to find out what the contest is actually called. Entrants send in the worst possible opening sentence to an imaginary book. I think Bulwer-Lutton penned the phrase, "It was a dark and stormy night." Fans of Schwarz's Peanuts will recognize the sentence - I think Snoopy types it in several frames, trying to decide what happens next.

I wasn't sure what the problem was for a long time. I noted the possibly inaccurate use of "It" - which is redundant in the sentence. A better way to write the sentence would be, "The night was dark and stormy." That seems like a small quibble and it wasn't until I read the Wikipedia entry, that I learned more about the problems with the sentence. The full sentence, of which 'It was a dark and stormy night" is only a fragment, can be found there. It doesn't seem like a terrible sentence to me, although it is a little long and meandering.

I must admit to feeling nervous writing about critiques of English grammar and such. I hope my blog isn't too closely examined. How pretentious I would seem, were most of the errors from the contest to be found here!

Anyway, the entries are all amusing and this year one comes from Korea.

Winner: Romance
Billy Bob gushed like a broken water main about his new love: "She's got long, beautiful, drain-clogging hair, more curves than an under-the-sink water trap, and she moves with the ease of a motorized toilet snake through a four-inch sewer line, but what she sees in me, a simple plumber, I'll never know."

Glenn Lawrie Chung-buk, South Korea

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, this guy is my best friend. I am so happy that someone in Korea recognizes him like this. He is a great guy. I am proud of my friend.

Orange Juice 14