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Next week: An in-depth look at the greenness of our lawns

July 17, 2008

In more than two years at the Voice, I’d estimate I wrote around 500 articles. Perhaps 15 times did my my editors allow me to write 990 words on any particular subject. These were stories about the city’s legal battle with Clear Channel, the effort to clean up Moffett Field, the police department’s use of Tasers on unarmed (and often intoxicated) suspects who were doing little other than resisting arrest, the fight over BART-to-San-Jose, the push to open a medical marijuana facility in Mountain View, feature stories on immigrants and firefighters, and a drugging at a downtown bar. I also wrote one about bird-watching, but thankfully it doesn’t seem to be online.

The Town Crier’s Mary Beth Hislop just wrote 990 words about a hole.

Locals sustain injuries in city parking lot
To be fair, it’s not just any hole.
Let me start by wishing a speedy recovery the nice-seeming old ladies injured in this non-news event. That being said, let’s get back to aimlessly rambling about how this article is too long.
Instructor Barbara Klee is known to bring the students in her Stretch & Flex classes at the Hillview Community Center to their knees with floor exercises. But on April 17, Klee and friend Marjorie Lins were apparently brought to their knees — by a hole outside the Los Altos center.
The awkardly forced irony — a style known as Sutcliffian to baseball fans — is but one of the paragraphs this article could have done without. The worst offenders might be the paragraphs of weird, irrelevant and barely readable legal jargon at the end, or perhaps this one:
“I put my arms around her,” Klee said. “As I stepped back on my right foot, I could not find the ground to place my foot on because my was over the hole. … I lost my balance and, hanging onto my student, we both fell and crashed onto the asphalt pavement.”
Put another way, they fell. I know it’s sick, but I couldn’t help thinking of An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. when I saw the incredible level of detail here.
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3 Comments leave one →
  1. D. Frances permalink
    July 18, 2008 10:37 pm

    Interestingly, the New Yorker just came out with an in-depth look at the greenness of our lawns:
    http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2008/07/21/080721crbo_books_kolbert/

  2. Anonymous permalink
    July 21, 2008 5:25 am

    mary beth hislop’s work is but one example of bad writing at that paper

  3. Kathy Schrenk permalink
    July 26, 2008 1:19 am

    Oh no. Oh no you DI-unt. Did you? Did you just dis the RED BARON???

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