Thursday, August 20, 2009

Writing sample for the next time I teach professional writing

The Atlanta Journal Constitution has provided a treasure of a sentence. Here's the second paragraph in "Atlanta officials scramble to avoid losing $30M in federal aid," dated August 18:


The idea, floated by Councilman Kwanza Hall, could keep a federal program created to help the city’s poorest residents from expiring Dec. 31 with little impact on communities and heavy spending on administration.
This sentence is a work of art. The first misplaced modifier, "federal program created to help the city’s poorest residents from expiring Dec. 31" gives you a laugh, but then the sentence keeps on giving. If those residents do in fact expire on December 31, the program will make sure their expiration causes great impact on the community. Or something like that. And on account of the federal program, there will be heavy spending on administration after all those people expire. No free lunch here. I'm sure there's fierce competition from other cities to get a piece of this deal.

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