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WaPo chatter blasts Jason La Canfora

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Perry White, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. Perry White

    Perry White Active Member


    Arlington, Va.: I'm gonna be one of those people who needs to get a life -- they write to newspapers complaining about nitpicky points of grammar and usage. Exhibit A is an article that appeared on the web site on Sunday afternoon. Excerpts follow, along with my comments, which I suppose would be snarky if I were 30 years younger but as it is are probably just pathetic:

    England Outlasts Ecuador

    By Jason La Canfora

    Washington Post Staff Writer

    Sunday, June 25, 2006; 1:36 PM


    But it is his ability in precisely those situations that make Beckham one of the most recognizable people on the planet,...

    No, it is his ability ... that -makes-!

    ... and he rose to the occasion on this steamy late afternoon to lift his lackluster team forward in the tournament.

    Huh? If he "lifted" the team, it would have been "up." Maybe "moved it forward"?

    Beckham embraced the ball with the instep of his right foot, sending it on an arc to goal that no keeper in the world could have interceded.

    Someone needs to intercede here to let Mr. LaCanfora know that the right word would have ben "intercepted."

    The ball rose quickly as it jutted to the right, ...

    Maybe it swerved or zigged to the right, but as far as I know jutting is not a motion. A lantern jaw or a balcony on a building can jut, but the idea of a soccer ball jutting just doesn't compute.

    ... scaling Ecuador's leaping wall, reaching its greatest altitude, then beginning a monumental descent.

    Purple prose, anyone? What on earth is "monumental descent" supposed to mean?

    Sorry ... I feel better now.

    Gene Weingarten: Whew. You are right about all of this. I offer two explanations:

    1. This story was likely written and edited on tight deadline. And:

    2. Jason had to describe an amazing shot the whole world would be talking about. He effused and effulged at bit.

    He's a good writer. This is an anomaly.
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Guy has some good points.
  3. deadline is no excuse for over-writing

    this is what I mean when I say that some of the worst sports writing comes out of the best plays or events. scribes try to match the enormity of the subject. which usually can't be done.
  4. Left_Coast

    Left_Coast Active Member

    The game started at 11 a.m. EDT.
  5. LaCanfora can write soccer. He couldn't write hockey to save his life. But I do see something time and time again in his writing, which is this overwrought prose where he uses terms like "monumental" and "hauntingly" to describe kicks and shots. But he did replace Rachel Nichols on the Caps beat, so maybe he's still trying to fill the shoes of Miss 25-words-where-two-would-have-done-the-job, who's of course now starring on E-S-P-eyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyn.
  6. Johnsonville

    Johnsonville Member

    So what? Just because the paper runs later, doesn't mean writers are not expected to file. The web requires immediacy. Notice the 1:35 p.m. time on the story.
  7. ballscribe

    ballscribe Active Member

    There's far too much of that type of writing around these days.
    Most of the so-called "effin' studs" fall into that trap, although most of it is better than that stuff.
    I think it's called "trying WAAAAAAAYYYYYY too hard" to show off your vocabulary. ;D
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