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Even for a columnist

Even for a sports columnist:

Ashley Fox in The Philadelphia Inquirer:

Michael Vick once fought and electrocuted dogs. Now, as the Eagles' starting quarterback, he is the most electric player in the National Football League.


Posted by John McIntyre at 2:19 PM | | Comments (9)


The horror! And yet here's one good thing about that quote: It allows me to offer you my favorite journalistic example of unfortunate wordplay:

"A neighbor enraged by a crying baby shot the child's parents, leaving ... the mother nursing a bullet wound to the chest."

Of course this could have been accidental, unlike your "electric player." I hope it was.

She forgot to add how he has been dogged by the media, how women pant after him, and how he has proven himself against other athletes who are all bark and no bite.

Doggonit, I could could bark up this tree all day!

Ugh. That's a terrible pun, even by journalistic standards.

That's vile.

I'm shocked.


As always, and syntax notwithstanding, I 'm on the dogs' side.

If you want puns...

You guys need to lighten up.


One might go on to say that Vicks' dogged pursuit of an NFL career has paid off.

Or, of course, one might not.

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About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at
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