Worst Lede Ever

I submit this without comment. The author is Virginia Heffernan.

A deep fantasy of most readers is that their books will one day come to life. Of course there’s the college-reader hope that reality itself will come to shimmer with the intense meaningfulness of books. But you get over that. The wish that remains is less romantic: the longing for a byte of audio here and there, among the pages of text, so you could hear what Uriah Heep really sounds like when he says, “ ’Umble to this person, and ’umble to that” in “David Copperfield,” or a video clip so you could get a sense of Jack Ryan’s appearance in “Patriot Games.” What if you could give your imagination a break and watch a clip of Harrison Ford’s Jack Ryan and be done with it?

Full article here. Chad Post’s acerbic commentary here.


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The line about “the material distractions of an overdesigned book” must also be up there among the worst. sentences. ever.

Not the worst lede – there were some typos. Here is the correct and logical version:

A deep fantasy of most readers is that their books will one day come to life. Of course there’s the pubescent porn mag-reading boy’s hope that the pictures they are looking at will step out of the page and embrace them. But you get over that. The wish that remains is less romantic: the longing for a byte of audio here and there, among the pages of text, so you could hear what the naught babysitter really sounds like when she says, “oohhh” in “Naughty Babysitter pt.12,” or a video clip so you could get a sense of Samantha Ryan’s appearance in “War of the Girls.” What if you could give your imagination a break and watch after similar clip and be done with it?

You know that classic head tilt that dogs do when confused? That was me pretty soon into this, and all the rest of the way through.

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