Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Daily Illini Hack!

Who is advising the “writers” at the Daily Illini? Quite frankly, the DI should look toward hiring a more adept staff. Today’s column by John Ostrowski is another example of an amateur at work. And this kid is majoring in Communications? I might suggest a quick trip to your advisor, John!

Let’s take a critical look at John’s prose:

Look, I know that Dan Brown isn't an idiot. Idiots don't sell millions of copies of their book.

Ask Oprah about that one, John. I’m sure she’d disagree, breaking your opener into a million little pieces.

Of course, much of the mainstream media has gobbled this book up, but keep in mind that no one ever accused the media of being too intelligent for their own good.

Umm…aren’t you a member of the media? Good idea! Rip on the people in this industry while preparing to enter it. This is sure to endear you to prospective employers!

Oh! And as if it all weren’t bad enough, slam your audience. Make them feel dumb, and place your own arrogant self above them. This is sure to sell copy!

It is my hope, at least, that this is what will happen. Unfortunately, I know that people aren't that smart. "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" will be consumed as uncritically by readers as was "The DaVinci Code."

Did you seriously slam this novel by saying Brown's syntax is atrocious? If you’re going to attack someone else’s syntax, you might strive for clarity. It lends credibility to your point. Instead, you end with this:

Anyone who has long lamented the dumbing down of America should see that by not rejecting this historical and literary disaster, they only make things worse in our society.

The use of “not rejecting” here muddies your own syntax. Perhaps the word embracing might have done?

John Ostrowski is a hack, and the Daily Illini can and should do better.


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