Monday, 30 November 2015

Peter King batters the English language again, or, Why do I put myself through this?

I've lost the habit I used to have of reading Peter King's "Monday Morning Quarterback" column every week on Sports Illustrated, in large part because of the poor quality of a lot of them.  This morning, I tried again, hoping for a better instalment.

Cool use of a George Costanza references aside, and hitting the bullseye on the Davante Adams comment (he's killing my fantasy teams), this column leaves a lot to be desired.

Mr. King writes:

"He will enter December—and some tough foes in his last five games, starting with Seattle on Sunday at home—(...)"

So Adrian Peterson will 'enter' his foes for five weeks to come?  Definitely an unsettling image.

"A peek into the window of the concussion-watchers."

Tortured imagery, it brings up a peeping tom in the reader's mind.  It should be a 'peek into the world of...' or 'a window into the ...', but not both together.

"There’s a bit of emptiness not giving this award to Ben Roethlisberger, ..."

Does he mean an empty feeling?  That doesn't really convey what Mr. King is trying to get at, that it's a little bit unfair to ignore Mr. Roethlisberger's performance.

"The best Matthew Stafford is the one who looks for Calvin Johnson endlessly."

Endlessly?  On the sidelines when the Lions are on defense?  After the game in the dressing room?  During the offseason?  This wasn't the adverb or sentence structure Mr. King was looking for.

"So the games seem interminable this year? Through 11 weeks, they’re taking a huge leap from 2014."

The games themselves aren't 'taking a huge leap'.  The length of the game is, although it's arguable that three and a half minutes qualifies as a huge leap.  A better choice of word might have been 'significant' or 'substantial' or 'tangible'.

"He’s not a top quarterback, but neither are six or eight current starters."

That's a redundancy.  By definition.  At least half the NFL's starting QB's aren't 'top quarterbacks'.  Mr, King should have used the phrase 'elite quarterback', or 'franchise quarterback'.

"q. Xavier Rhodes playing Julio Jones physically and with no sense of intimidation whatsoever."

Confusing wording.  I read it and think I know what Mr. King means, that Mr. Rhodes wasn't intimidated facing off against the Atlanta wide receiver, despite the latter's great size and talent, but some may not have the context, and wonder if the implication is that the DB didn't intimidate Julio at all, despite his attempts to jam him and cover him closely.

"...the baying hounds screaming..."

Which is it, baying or screaming?

I know Mr. King is run off his feet with all his commitments on Sundays, but it's not an excuse for the slapdash columns he cranks out, with these glaring clunkers.

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