Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Tortured syntax contest 2007

The original: "It was a dark and stormy night."

His winning entry: "Gerald began -- but was interrupted by a piercing whistle which cost him ten percent of his hearing permanently, as it did everyone else in a ten-mile radius of the eruption, not that it mattered much because for them 'permanently' meant the next ten minutes or so until buried by searing lava or suffocated by choking ash -- to pee."

The runner-up: "The Barents sea heaved and churned like a tortured animal in pain, the howling wind tearing packets of icy green water from the shuddering crests of the waves, atomizing it into mist that was again laid flat by the growing fury of the storm as Kevin Tucker switched off the bedside light in his Tuba City, Arizona, single-wide trailer and by the time the phone woke him at 7:38, had pretty much blown itself out with no damage." Scott Palmer, Klamath Falls, Ore.

One of my favorites:
"Danny, the little Grizzly cub, frolicked in the tall grass on this sunny Spring morning, his mother keeping a watchful eye as she chewed on a piece of a hiker they had encountered the day before."

Finally, I looked up the original "Dark and Stormy night." Those long sentences look interesting in my code editor:

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