Thanks for stopping by! If you like what you read, tell your friends! If you don't like what you read, tell your enemies! Either way, please post a comment, even if it's just to tell us how much we suck! (We're really needy!) You can even follow us @JasonBerner! Or don't! See if we care!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Snow Report

The whiter the weather, the purpler the prose. We don't know what it is about snowfall that forces reporters to channel their inner Hemingway, but invariably, in the wake of a snowstorm, you get passages like this:

"New York was a city of apocalyptic silence in the morning. The choreography of traffic, commuter trains and pedestrian hordes was missing. In its place, a plow scraped by now and then and a car or two churned past on deserted thoroughfares. Cabs were a myth. Side streets were impassable, and people muffled to the eyes slogged over huge drifts and mountains of curbside snow, trying to keep their footing.

"By late morning, the sun broke through and the skies cleared to pristine blue. Winds that had howled like banshees moderated through the day to cello velocities, and Central Park was a child’s dream of winter, with sledders, skiers and strollers out in the drifts, cutting trails to nowhere."
We understand the reporter probably needed to fill a certain number of column inches, and how much can one really stretch out, "It snowed a lot." But, still. "Apocalyptic silence"? "Choreography of traffic"? "Winds that had howled like banshees moderated through the day to cello velocities"?

About that last one, if a reporter must wax poetic, doesn't he or she also have a responsibility not to mix metaphors?


  1. Would cellos and banshees be a mixed metaphor?

  2. What the reporter really said between the lines:
    The night bore on--rag tag of pillows cracked open --- blaze of furious swings.
    City folk hunkered --- hot sip of sweetened anything --- suffocate the cold’s sting.
    Yellow taxi cab driver tires that won’t grip
    Ajsdkha kfjls ahsdhaf!
    And all that great colloquial language that rings
    In a city pissst off! Flippin’ broke
    Suffering the stings of a motley crew of jive talkers gentrifying the damn place…
    Central Park, and wind baby wind.

  3. First: That's a different anonymous.
    Second: Re: poetic reporters: He does, she doesn't

  4. Perhaps being anonymous can be likened to androgynous without consciously calling all of that biology stuff into play. The internet itself is anonymous. I’d be hard pressed to find a place where being anonymous allows distinction. Well, not liking lighthearted fun or really bad poetry (if you would at least call it that) is okay. But I find it highly offensive to be a distinguishing gender. I am one belonging to a countable infinite set of anonymous personage.

  5. @JWR: Yes.
    @Anonymous (the first one): Clever. And as for the SECOND Anonymous's comments: We don't think he (or, ahem, she) was drawing any conclusions as to YOUR gender; we think he was indicating to US that the reporter in question was male. Anonymous is nit-picky like that.