Why do they feel the need to write over-complicated sentences? I just saw this as the top story on my Yahoo! Mail page:
“Art Linkletter, who as the gently mischievous host of TV’s ‘People Are Funny’ and ‘House Party’ in the 1950s and ’60s delighted viewers with his ability to get kids — and grownups — to say the darndest things on national television, died Wednesday. He was 97.”
Aw, sad news. (And I apologize to anyone who objects to me grammar-nazi’ing such a story.) But EditorBrain™ spoke up:
“What the…? Geesh, by the time I got to ‘died Wednesday’, I forgot who the subject of this sentence was! AND they misspelled ‘darnedest’! Not to mention not using italics for the titles of the television shows. (Though, I don’t know. The italics thing, is that AP style? I know MLA and am learning APA; should possibly learn Chicago Manual and AP…)”
[Note on ‘darnedest’: Firefox says ‘darnedest’, WordPress says ‘darndest’, online dictionaries don’t seem to agree. I say since the root is ‘darned’, a milder form of ‘damned’, then it should be ‘darnedest’.]
The main point is that there’s at least three or four sentences’ worth of information packed into one run-on sentence and one almost-fragment, for no reason apparent to me. What’s wrong with writing it:
“Art Linkletter died Wednesday at the age of 97. [Most important bit upfront; I thought that was the whole goal of journalistic writing? Details come later:] He is best known for his 1950s and ’60s role as the gently mischievous host of TV’s People Are Funny and House Party. Linkletter delighted viewers with his ability to get kids — and grownups — to say the darnedest things on national television.”
…or something like that, anyway.
*shrugs* Probably just me.