The worst opening imaginable
I’m at the sluice, preparing to open the floodgate.
The Associated Press moved this lead to an article on the number of People’s Choice awards going to the Batman movie The Dark Knight. The AP moved it as a bylined article, so that the originality of the writer could be honored. I omit the name as a point of common decency.
Here’s the lead:
LOS ANGELES — Holy People's Choice Awards, Batman!
It would have been 1965 or 1966, when I was a high school freshman, that the “Holy X, Batman!” construction was already getting stale from overuse. And the years have not been kind to it.
That anyone should write such a thing, imagining it to be fresh or original, is painful to consider. That someone purporting to be an editor should loose it on the world is shameful. That newspapers may have actually published it is profoundly depressing. But as editing is turned over to people who have no training or gift for the craft — or judgment is abandoned altogether — we can expect to see even more of this drool.
I invite you to submit specimens that have caught your eye. Top this one, if you can. Just the opening sentence or paragraph, please; we don’t want to the vex the readership even further with those well-wrought 250-word anecdotes that precede some feeble effort to get to the point.