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After this topic, sports journalism would go on to kill "would" in TV & print...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by BobSacamano, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. BobSacamano

    BobSacamano Member

    "They would go on to tie the game before the half."

    "He would hit two more doubles by the end of the game."

    "The coach would pull the quarterback in the fourth quarter."

    "He would allow two more goals in the third period."

    Does this grind anyone else's gears? It's all over Sportscenter and the recap shows, and I can't read a gamer without seeing it. What's the rule here? Aren't all recaps understood to be written (and spoken) in past tense, negating the need for "would" to express the future in past tense? Haven't we all had editors condense our writing while preaching less is more?

    "They tied the game before the half."

    "He hit two more doubles before the game ended."

    "The coach pulled the quarterback in the fourth quarter."

    "He allowed two more goals in the third period."

    All of those say the same thing, right?
  2. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    When reading highlights, that tense can be used to indicate momentum. It has to do with story building... a subtlety, showing something progressive. But you're right, it's probably overused.
  3. writingump

    writingump Member

    Very much overused, and I find it slipping into my copy occasionally. Good lesson for all of us.
  4. Tarheel316

    Tarheel316 Well-Known Member

    I rarely use it.
  5. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    I see it all the time in print. At the end of the day, this device breaks contain at desks throughout the country.
  6. GidalKaiser

    GidalKaiser Member

    Agree with you, Bob. Was always taught write everything in past tense - it happened already.
  7. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    Lots of PR recaps from college and minor league teams do that. I kill 'would' the second I see it and re-write it. I hate that word.
  8. boundforboston

    boundforboston Well-Known Member

    Seconded. Going back to a moment in great detail and using "would" to explain the future is a nice storytelling technique.
  9. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    The sports stories in the weekly competing with us are littered with "would", sometimes twice in the same sentence. On the other hand, it's made me so conscious of the word that when I begin to type it, I immediately stop so I can think of a better word.
  10. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    That's just it. It can be a good storytelling tool, as noted above, but inexperienced writers and reflexive announcers ring that bell so often now, they've deadened it.

    So, use sparingly, as in maybe one good takeout piece a year. Maybe.
  11. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member

    HUGE pet peeve. I have a guy who writes the juco stuff, and sometimes it takes longer to edit his stuff than if I wrote it myself.

    This is one of his biggest sins.
  12. huntsie

    huntsie Active Member

    We have a stringer who uses it...I've explained to him repeatedly that it's unnecessary and almost irritating to read. He looks at me like I grew a third eye...
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