Wednesday, September 25, 2013

His Reputation Precedes Him - II

The guys at Deadspin did a column on pompous columnists today, selecting fourteen columnists they regard as the worst of the lot.
Of all the stupid rhetorical plays columnists use—issuing thundering imperatives, positioning their banal opinions as the exact midpoints between varieties of unyielding madness, championing their cronies' worthless businesses as examples of the disciplinary power of markets, etc. etc.—the funniest are always the ones that reveal they truly do regard themselves as small stars, able to fix planets in orbit around them through the gravitational pull of their self-regard.
You'll never, ever guess who one of those columnists is!
One interesting finding that came up in the course of our research concerns collective pronouns: Dan Shaughnessy, the self-appointed tribune of all Boston fandom, managed to use "we," "our," and "us" more than anyone except Whitlock. (He in fact used "we" in all but one of the 25 columns we examined.)
I think there are at least two reasons for that: it's a way of making yourself part of the story without being bloody obvious about it, and it's also part of a rhetorical device used to speak 'for the fans'.

We think the findings, for what they're worth, bear out what we've always thought - there are many words and phrases we can use to describe Shank, but 'massively pompous' isn't one of them...

1 comment:

Monkeesfan said...

The real measuring stick of pomposity - do the opinions of these columnists truly amount to anything worth taking seriously? We know Shank stopped being credible a long time ago, and from reading the list Deadspin uses, nobody else in that group warrants being believed, either (especially Whitlock).