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08-31-2012, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Tiranis View Post
Because I'm sick of your posts on this topic:

The transitions are cumbersome. Just do away with them. There is no need for so many in one short paragraph. The constant modification of adjectives is also grinding. It makes it feel as if the author has no actual opinion or is trying too hard to make it seem as if he's flexible. "simple fact", "extremely good", "relatively useful"?

"Simple" in your example modifies a noun, not an adjective, but you're right that it's not really effective. "Extremely" is an informative modification of "good." "Relatively useful" in the context of the sentence is obviously supposed to be a gently humorous understatement. The author isn't trying to show he's flexible, he's showing he understands the other side of the argument, which is a good thing to do. Stylistically, you're right: the accumulation of those modifiers and the introductory phrases don't make great prose. (It could almost be considered evidence to support the claim that the writer is verbose, but I'd just call it wordy.)

But the biggest problem is that this paragraph doesn't tell me anything at all. Half the paragraph prepares us for the author sometime in the future telling us why he doesn't believe Lack should be ranked where he is. Why do I need that? If you want to tell me that you think he should've been lower, then just do that — don't spend a paragraph preparing me for it.

He does tell you something. He tells you that his disagreement with the ranking isn't an expression of doubt about Lack's ability but is connected to a theory about the value of goaltending, which he goes on to explain.

We already know that Eddie Lack is "extremely good at stopping pucks from entering his team's net" — that much is obvious from his #2 ranking. What's more, this whole sentence is only necessary (and even then, barely) because of what came before it.

It's a sign of an author that knows he's venturing into a territory he shouldn't but doing it anyway. If you're going to stick your opinions into pieces they don't belong in, at least do so authoritatively rather than by weaseling your way through it. It's why so many people had a negative reaction to it. It's not just about the information and opinions you present, it's how you present them.

I think people had a negative reaction because they wanted something different: an exclusive focus on Lack's ability, rather than a consideration of general ideas about ranking goalies, one which took up a bit less than a third of the article.

If I had time, I could keep going but this article is not worth the effort.
If you or someone else had responded earlier to my request for evidence to support an opinion, rather than just ramping up the rhetoric, you wouldn't have had to deal with my sickeningly repetitive posts.

The article isn't going to compete for a Pulitzer, but it's better than lots of articles routinely posted on sports web sites. It's more or less free of sports cliches. It doesn't have any significant writing errors. It's use of sources to comment on Lack's skills and his development is effective. (I particularly liked the reference to Lack playing as though he were 5'3".)

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