Monday, 18 January 2010

Worst sports journalism ever?

As Liverpool have lurched and stumbled their way out of the major cup competitions of England and Europe and into the predicament of scrabbling to sustain fragile belief in their ability to finish as high as fourth in the Premier League (and thus guarantee entry to the Champions League), isolated hints of recovered effectiveness have been swiftly exposed as illusory. Remembering how the 2-0 defeat of Manchester United in October was immediately followed by submissions to Arsenal and Fulham and then a run of three laboured draws, and how the tentative hopes of improved fortunes encouraged by an away victory over persuasively aspiring Aston Villa at the end of December humiliatingly foundered in last week’s expulsion from the FA Cup by Reading at Anfield, it is difficult to imagine we’ll soon be witnessing a genuine restoration of formidability to the club who once ruled British football imperiously.


Ok, breathe deeply. I appreciate that you'll need a drink of water and possibly a lie down. That little lot did comprise just two sentences!

This is an excerpt of a Sunday Times piece by Hugh McIlvanney, "the most respected voice in British sports journalism".

Have you ever read anything so pretentious, clumsy, overlong? It's like a parody of bad bad wordy writing.

Now, over the past month or two, I've been attempting to make some money writing for newspapers. It's tough.

Rejection is a daily occurrence and rejection, actually, is not a bad result. Far more often your approaches are ignored.

How maddening that a respected journalist can churn out the bilge which I've exhibited above. Try reading it out loud!

6 comments:

Keith Anderson said...

That's a pretty impressive piece of drivel if you consider how hard it is to resist to absolute and exacting urge to inset and coma or equally and possibly more importantly a full stop into such a boringly long sentance which seems to only end when i started to lose focus in my left eye after what seemed like an eternity which i'm sure you will agree is a very long time indeed, so it is.

O'Neill said...

It's left me semi-colontosed

Hernandez said...

'Humiliatingly'and 'formidability' don't even sound like words. He's an exasperatingly pretentious writer.

Anthemius said...

Ha ha - I just googled around looking for someone, anyone, anywhere, who has also noticed that this verbose hack is without a doubt the worst writer in history.

It the same EVERY WEEK - longwinded complex sentance structures and ridiculous words that have about 10 simpler and more appropriate substitues designed solely to make people think he's clever - Orwell must be vomiting in his grave.

I don't think he's clever, I think he's an insecure idiot and I've actually thought - seriously - of starting a blog in which I just laugh at his column every week.

Anthemius said...

Ha ha - I just googled around looking for someone, anyone, anywhere, who has also noticed that this verbose hack is without a doubt the worst writer in history.

It the same EVERY WEEK - longwinded complex sentance structures and ridiculous words that have about 10 simpler and more appropriate substitues designed solely to make people think he's clever - Orwell must be vomiting in his grave.

I don't think he's clever, I think he's an insecure idiot and I've actually thought - seriously - of starting a blog in which I just laugh at his column every week.

Leon said...

I'm glad I'm not alone! He is dreadful. Overly long, overly complex sentences which take several atempts to make sense of. Until you give up.

I just found these posts by googling 'Hugh McIlvanney verbose' hoping I wasn't alone.

I am surprised that there isn't more because, as Anthemius points out, he is relentless.