Monday, August 13, 2012

It was a dark and stormy Bulwer-Lytton contest

I've come to greatly dislike the annual Bulwer-Lytton contest, the winner of which was just announced. It's not that the sentences people come up with for the contest aren't clever. They usually are, and often very funny. But that's the problem: they're deliberately written to be overblown, overlong, overly complex, and amusingly silly. The contest would be much more interesting, and more in keeping with its name, if the judges selected long, awful sentences from published fiction — sentences that were meant to be taken seriously.

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