January 6, 2010

Buzz Bissinger tries to write about Tiger Woods.

The Vanity Fair article has a fascinating Annie Liebowitz cover photograph of Tiger Woods's without a shirt — fascinating because the great athlete looks so different from those Men's Health-type torso models who work their muscles solely for the purpose of getting their muscles to look the way people these days want to see muscles looking and who squeeze out the excess fat so we can get the best look at those muscles. By contrast, Tiger looks slightly porky and squishy. That's not a criticism. That's a suggestion that, knowing the functionality of the torso we're gazing at — and I'm including the sexual functionality — we ought to adjust our taste in male beauty.

But on to Bissenger's silly writing. Here's a sentence — one sentence:
Tiger’s story has been driven by sex, tons of it, in allegedly all different varieties: threesomes in which he greatly enjoyed girl-on-girl, and mild S&M (featuring hair-pulling and spanking); $60,000 pay-for-sex escort dates; a quickie against the side of a car in a church parking lot; a preference for porn stars and nightclub waitresses, virtually all of them with lips almost as thick as their very full breasts; drug-bolstered encounters designed to make him even more of a conquistador (Ambien, of all things); immature sex-text messages (“Send me something naughty ... Go to the bathroom and take [a picture],” “I will wear you out ... When was the last time you got [laid]?”); soulful confessions that he got married only for image and was bored with his wife; regular payments of between $5,000 and $10,000 each month to keep his harem quiet.
Diagram that. The subject and verb are: story and has been driven. Yes, that sets up a list, and you can go very long, quite grammatically, with a list. But it purports to be a list of all different varieties of sex, and not everything on the list is a variety of sex. A confession about why you got married isn't a variety of sex. A payment of money is not a variety of sex. A preference for a type of woman isn't a variety of sex. And "lips almost as thick as their very full breasts" — I'm sorry... that's a hell of an "almost." The picture that put in my mind is just absurd. Lips as big as really tiny breasts would be scarily huge.

Then there's this insight into emptiness:
In the movie Up in the Air, George Clooney’s character, Ryan Bingham, travels nearly 330 days a year to fire people with a sympathetic look on his face.
Presumably, it's Bingham that has the sympathetic look on his face, not the people getting fired, as the sentence construction would have it.
... It now seems that when [Woods] returned home after a tournament and vanished back inside his gated community, the persona he left behind, the one he so obsessively presented to the public, was as empty as Bingham’s Omaha apartment, pieces of furniture without any meaning, a life without meaning.
This is the first mention in the article of Bingham’s Omaha apartment. We've been told about Bingham's emptiness, but suddenly the comparison is to Bingham's apartment, where there are — ooh, tragic! — pieces of furniture without any meaning. This is as silly as women with lips as big as their breasts... almost.
At the end of Up in the Air, Clooney realizes....
I'll spare you the spoiler.
But Woods, to the bitter end and with a kind of hubris that revealed his fundamental arrogance, still felt he could beat the tidal wave back.
What bitter end? Woods isn't a movie, and he's still alive. A kind of hubris that revealed his fundamental arrogance... These qualifiers are as meaningless as the furniture in Bingham's Omaha apartment. There's some particular kind of hubris involved? He's not just arrogant; he has fundamental arrogance? Bissinger fleshes out his point with nonevidence. Woods used a fake name at the hospital, like any celebrity who needed privacy. That's not arrogant. Woods avoided talking to the police. That's not arrogant. That's what your lawyer would tell you to do.
It was only when his paramours started pouring out of every cupboard like tenement cockroaches that Tiger expressed some sort of awareness that he was in deep shit....
The most sensible thing for him to do was to keep quiet and request privacy. That wasn't arrogant. And about that trite cockroaches simile — were their mandibles almost as big as their mesothoraxes?
With the number of alleged paramours reaching 14 as of mid-December (a figure bound to multiply), it is safe to say that behind the non-accessible accessibility and seemingly perfect marriage to a beautiful woman was a sex addict who could not get enough. There is nothing wrong with that, given that the opportunities for Tiger were endless.
Bissinger gives no reason for his pat assertion that having endless opportunities makes it completely right to be a sex addict. He just goes on to make the obvious point — bolstered, despite its obviousness, with the dubious concurrence of Hugh Hefner — that Tiger was cheating on his wife.
Things are only continuing to cascade downward for Woods.
Cascade downward? Does anything ever cascade upward?
... The swirling question is if, and when, he will return to golf.

Swirling, eh?  Is it swirling upward or downward?
... In the end it was the age-old clash of image versus reality, the compartmentalization of two different lives that inevitably merge at some certain point, whoever you are.
Well, I don't know who you are, but life is not a movie, and satisfying narrative arcs are not inevitable. For example, Woods could have died when his SUV hit that tree. And then we wouldn't have witnessed the age-old clash you're pontificating about.

87 comments:

Will Cate said...

You would have made a fine English professor...

AllenS said...

Liebowitz: pieces of furniture without any meaning

Meaning: He purchased his furniture from IKEA and doesn't own a screwdriver or adjustable wrench.

Hoosier Daddy said...

By contrast, Tiger looks slightly porky and squishy. That's not a criticism. That's a suggestion that, knowing the functionality of the torso we're gazing at — and I'm including the sexual functionality — we ought to adjust our taste in male beauty.

Or possibly take into account that Tiger is a golfer as opposed to an athlete that actually breaks a sweat in their sport? I mean golfers aren't exactly reknowned for chiseled abs or chiseled anything for that matter.

Hell, the last triathalon I was in there was no shortage of six packs including some of the babes. Honestly its not that hard to develop them if you have the willpower to watch your diet and do a few crunches each day.

Scott M said...

I just caught a glimpse of that cover yesterday on tv and wondered if it was the cover of Thug Quarterly or BET. Either way, in the picture at least, he seems to be embracing the wrong image for the scandal.

...'specially if he only into dah white skeezahs...

Lincolntf said...

Fun dissection of a noted windbag.
It's a marvel how many of our current day writers can't write, reporters can't report, and thinkers can't think.

kynefski said...

Very enjoyable.

And about that trite cockroaches simile — were their mandibles almost as big as their mesothoraxes?

It must be fun being your brain.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I just caught a glimpse of that cover yesterday on tv and wondered if it was the cover of Thug Quarterly or BET

Well the stocking cap while working out is quite the rage at the gym nowadays. I still wear a bandana which shows my age and unhipness. Personally, I can't think of anything more uncomfortable to wear when you're sweating up a storm than a frickin stocking cap.

Leland said...

The writer seems appropriate for a periodical titled "Vanity Fair".

prairie wind said...

The gangsta photo was taken before the scandal. An interesting photo, it made me wonder what Annie Leibovitz thinks of Tiger.

ironrailsironweights said...

A common trick used in photographing those chiseled-abs torso models is to apply duct tape in an X-pattern on the model's back. Doing so pulls tightly on the skin of his chest and abdomen and makes his muscles appear more defined.

Peter

Expat(ish) said...

@hoosier: "Hell, the last triathalon I was in there was no shortage of six packs including some of the babes."

Funny thing is, and you'll have noticed this, they ain't always the fastest people. I got passed ON A HILL by a well overweight 55 year old woman (so nice of them to put our ages on our legs!). I was doing 18mph, she was well over 20. Plus she started behind me.

Tiger looks pretty fit to me, but I know what he can do and how much golf he can play without fatigue.

-XC

AprilApple said...

Vanity Fair is a publication I never read. Thanks, Ann, for reminding me why.

k*thy said...

I’m no grammar hound, but I appreciate the dissection. I read this yesterday as just another piece to story. With that, I took the author’s phrase, “fundamental arrogance” to mean pride, and in that sense, yes, it did him in (so to speak). Was he sensible, in the name of privacy? Sure, but not sensible for PR purposes. With the brand being clean and beyond reproach, this was the end of that movie and I’d add that it was inevitable. This story line was going to end, some time. The arrogance was in thinking that it was not. As my husband said when this broke, “You will always get caught.”

As for the functioning athletic body verses the perfect body image we’re constantly shown as ideal, I’d agree, but let’s hope we don’t get treated to the same shot with Phil Mickelson. I’d also add that the jury is out on how natural a look this really is for him.

kalmia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

Random thoughts:Does that The Australian Olympic runner have lips bigger than her breasts now? And will my eyes have to avoid staring at lips now? And will the world become a harder place with pulchritudiness lips everywhere? Oh never mind, Golf is still a good escape from all that jazz.

t-man said...

This is a minor theme here on Althouse - male form versus function. I immediately thought of your earlier post about the Sports Illustrated cover photo of Michael Phelps.

[W]hy don't we look at those Men's Fitness models and rethink whether they represent power? Their muscles come not from doing something admirable and powerful, but from doing what they've figured out will make them look like that. Shouldn't function underlie power? Their function is to model. Phelps's body is what real power looks like.

Dudley Do-right said...

You sure did a number on Buzz. That took some effort. Very thorough.

Don't you have anything better to do?

Paul Zrimsek said...

In the movie Up in the Air, George Clooney’s character, Ryan Bingham, travels nearly 330 days a year to fire people with a sympathetic look on his face.

There is nothing wrong with this sentence. The syntax alone tells you nothing about whether it's the subject or the object of fire who has the smile on his face, but any ambiguity is resolved by the fact that his doesn't agree with people.

Dave said...

"I think that blogs are dedicated to cruelty."
- Buzz Bissinger

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8DAeic8Yus

Dave said...

He also says that this kind of cruelty "pisses the shit out of me."

Daniel Ruwe said...

"With the number of alleged paramours reaching 14 as of mid-December (a figure bound to multiply)"

Does Liebowitz really think the total number will end up at 28 or 42? That seems awfully high

gslfc said...

high for some people, very low for others. wonder which group is tiger in?

Peter S. said...

A wonderful post, shooting down all those high-flown phrases. And you, not an English Professor!

Perhaps a bit too far here, though:

In the movie Up in the Air, George Clooney’s character, Ryan Bingham, travels nearly 330 days a year to fire people with a sympathetic look on his face.

Presumably, it's Bingham that has the sympathetic look on his face, not the people getting fired, as the sentence construction would have it.


Sure, that sentence is flat, but its construction seems just fine. There's no possible confusion of pronoun reference. And when meaning is clear, it's fine to build on a verb phrase in that way.

No different than...

The President lied to the congressmen with a gleam in his eye.

The blogger attacked her critics without mercy.
[Do we really think she's only attacking the merciless ones?]

or even...

The professor quieted her students with a disapproving look.

peter hoh said...

Any discussion of furniture and meaning better include Sippican Cottage.

And how many commenters are going to continue to confuse the photographer of the cover with the writer of this story?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Funny thing is, and you'll have noticed this, they ain't always the fastest people.

You're right about that. I learned long ago that don't judge a book by its cover. I've noticed that some of the bigger folks tend to put out some serious speed on the bike. I suck on hills but on flats I can more often than not smoke the 160lb climber. But its relative too because your bigger folks usually suck at the run. For me the nightmare part is the swim.

rhhardin said...

Ah but the subject and predicate aren't the topic.

Complexity goes into the predicate in English, and dummy subjects and verbs are used in that case as grammatical place holders to allow it.

This is not to excuse his rocking-horse figures of speech.

ricpic said...

Let's not forget that this is Vanity Fair. An article about Mother Theresa in Vanity Fair would be all about sex.

William said...

It's only fair that Althouse give Bissinger's prose the same scrutiny that Bissinger gives Tiger's sex life. More lives have been ruined by lax syntax than by loose morals. Ask any English teacher....I think all of us should be grateful to Tiger and his wife for providing us with one of the best sex scandals ever--so many salacious details embedded in a narrative arc with a high moral purpose. Holy cow, there are $60,000 prostitutes. Let us all stand together in disbelief and disapproval of this tremendously fascinating behavior. Who knew that the third runner up in the Hawain Tropic beauty contest could make such fabulous money? There's an important moral to be learned here that has relevance to the life of every billionaire and Hawain Tropic beauty contestant.

J Lee said...

Be careful, Ann -- Buzz doesn't have much tolerance for blogger criticisms, especially when he's hoping to strike gold again with Tiger like he did 20 years ago with the Odessa Permian Panthers.

AJ Lynch said...

Buzz Bissinger is the Philly Inquirer's newest boring, Sunday columnist.

ricpic said...

What's wrong with Bingham's life in Up In The Air? Nothing. There's nothing wrong with it, and in fact it parallels the Hollywood ideal, but Hollywood has to tell us how empty that life is in the last five or ten minutes of the film in order to appeal to the very flyover country it disdains. Up to those last ten minutes it's a good film.

Michael said...

But to Grayton Carter's credit he gives us a magazine every month that is filled with silly articles but fewer and fewer ads. Very thoughtful of him to slim the magazine to a very portable size.

Steve said...

re tiger's "immature sex-text messages," what is a mature sex-text messages? Or all they all immature?

Freeman Hunt said...

Tiger looks slightly porky and squishy.

I don't think I'd go that far. He's just not cut. If he cut his bodyfat just a few percentage points, he'd look ripped.

Of course athletes don't look like models. An athlete would be insane to give up calories cutting bodyfat unless he's in a sport like running where he needs to carry less weight. Models keep their bodyfat low so that you can see the muscles.

A common incorrect notion is that people who look ripped all have big muscles. Big muscles make a person look big, but they don't make you look ripped. It's low bodyfat that gives the ripped effect.

Bodybuilders generally work in cycles of bulking (building muscles) and cutting (losing fat). Bodybuilders generally don't look ripped during their bulking cycles.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Bodybuilders generally don't look ripped during their bulking cycles.

Cyclists on the other hand are ripped. I'm working on getting there myself and Mrs. Hoosier promised me that if I end up buying that new Trek Madone she'll rip me a new asshole.

ricpic said...

The guys who compete in strong man competitions never look ripped. They're huge but they're not sculpted.

JAL said...

Daniel, Liebowitz is the photographer. Bissinger is the awfulthor.

I'm with kynefski -- I snorted at the mesothoraxes -- and wondered if the law professor had the large bug on the screen in mind?

And of course, the Professor had to fisk the breasts -- Lips as big as really tiny breasts would be scarily huge -- again.

Well done.

Paul Zrimsek said...

what is a mature sex-text messages?

@gertie i gave nurse teh sl1p meet me in teh bushes bhind shuffleboard ct in 10 min. ps lv yr walker bhind theres no place 2 hide it there lol.

Freeman Hunt said...

The guys who compete in strong man competitions never look ripped. They're huge but they're not sculpted.

Exactly. They're pretty much going to be bulking all the time.

But if one of them decided to cut his bodyfat way down, he'd look just as "sculpted" and ripped as a magazine guy. (Though he'd probably be much much bigger than your average fitness model.)

knox said...

Vanity Fair is taken seriously by a lot of people.

Joan said...

I love it when Ann gets out her metaphorical red pen and marks up a piece like this.

I have to say, though, that the writing was what I expected from someone named Buzz.

MikeR said...

Ann, you're being mean. I'm sure you could pick apart my riting too, even though its real good.

Mark O said...

No one enjoys pendantry more than I.

bagoh20 said...

Damn, I got to up my game here. I rarely even consider such things in my comments. It's usually just passion spewing out. If not for spell checkers, my stuff would all be: "F%$# those F&%#%^ troll M*&^#$F&%$#$%."

I'm gonna be more careful Ann, Sorry.

You are right though, if you're gonna write it, write it right. Please understand that many of us do not make a living writing. Someone has to make the pencils.

David Walser said...

Lady,

I could have used such a detailed dissection of my writing back when I was an English major. I hope Bissinger profits by it. Seriously, if your law student's papers receive such attention, they'll be much better attorneys.

Chip Ahoy said...

Life inside the gated community was empty as Bingham's Omaha apartment because it was made to be that way. Sexuality, romance, adventure, being naughty, getting away with stuff, secrecy, nefarious, proclivities, boyish texting, are all focuses outside the home with no fresh energy at all for the mental compartment called home so it's no wonder home life is boring -- until his wife gets her blood up, takes a golf club and starts swinging, then it is suddenly interesting and worth preserving. Sadly, the only thing that makes this uncommon is scale. That's my view of this, and I'm sticking with it.

Ann, I like to think you do this because you love us. Thank you. I enjoyed immensely reading this post.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Seriously, if your law student's papers receive such attention, they'll be much better attorneys.

Hell she has to be in class first! Everytime I pop over here she's in some avante garde bistro showing off her sandwiches or a mega mug of defac mocha latte something or other.

Stephen Snell said...

This post was akin to turning on an Ikea lamp and watching the tenement cockroaches throw down their pens and scramble.

Is that still a simile?

Great post. Top notch.

wv: uplater. i guess wv misses Tom Snyder.

vbspurs said...

You know what is an even more disturbing magazine cover? Golf Digest this past December.

10 Tips Obama can take from Tiger

Someone hold Michelle back!

Cheers,
Victoria

bagoh20 said...

"10 Tips Obama can take from Tiger"

Looking at that photo, I can't help imagining the hole they are focused on.

Sigivald said...

Hair pulling is sadism/masochism now?

All of my pervert friends will think that's hilarious.

(And why does anyone buy Vanity Fair? Is anything in it worth reading? Seriously?

This writing is abysmal. The political "analysis" the magazine provides has been a laughing stock for as long as I've heard about it.

What's the point?)

jnseward said...

I love your dissections of bad writing, Ann. I wonder where you learned to write so well yourself, and where you learned to write about writing so well?

veni vidi vici said...

It's official: Althouse writes the best media/journo criticism of anyone. She understands how normal, intelligent, sentient people read this stuff and turns it around amusingly.

And I haven't even started on the comments thread yet, which is bound to provide its own trove of treasured prose!

Happy Wednesday, y'allz!

vic


wv: "vistanc" -- a name for me when I've failed to bathe for 5 days, perhaps?

Smilin' Jack said...

...fascinating because the great athlete looks so different from those Men's Health-type torso models...Tiger looks slightly porky and squishy.

Tiger is not an athlete. He plays a game, not a sport. He has no more reason to be ripped than a chess player does.

In the movie Up in the Air, George Clooney’s character, Ryan Bingham, travels nearly 330 days a year to fire people with a sympathetic look on his face.

As others have pointed out, there's nothing wrong with that sentence. If you're going to be a grammar snob, make sure you're right; otherwise you look ridiculous.

sonicfrog said...

And about that trite cockroaches simile — were their mandibles almost as big as their mesothoraxes?

WOW!!! Ann. That is perhaps your best smack-down ever!

vbspurs said...

Now I can't get the image from my mind of Hoosier Daddy working out at the gym wearing a bandana. Like Leif Garrett.

vbspurs said...

WOW!!! Ann. That is perhaps your best smack-down ever!

That was awesome, wasn't it? And ironically Althouse is schooling Bissinger on how to properly make analogies -- not like that lips as big as boobies.

Personally, I love her description of Tiger as porky and squishy. Weren't they on Laverne & Shirley?

sonicfrog said...

On a related note, I wonder if the advert guys working for Axe Body Spray are pitching for Tiger to become their new spokesman.... or is it too soon?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Just for the record Vic, I would not be wearing the black vest and tie while on the bench press.

Just want to clear that up.

traditionalguy said...

Smilin Jack...Do you see baseball as a game rather than a sport? Both Golf and Baseball require an attacking swing to smash a ball towards some target. The golfer's running is done at walking speed but both pitchers and golfers seem to me to be skilled athletes needing superior hand-eye coordination and muscle memory.

Scott M said...

@traditionalguy

...and then the can o' worms was surely opened. And the lakes and seas did boil, and the sun was black as...

In any case, he is correct. Golf isn't a sport because you're not actually competing against anyone on any kind of a strategic level. The only thing you're competing against is your ability to swing properly over and over again.

A pitcher not only has to compete, every single pitch, against another person, but also has a significant risk of bodily harm, every single pitch.

This has nothing to do with how "in-shape" one has to be to do either baseball or golf, but please don't call golf a sport.

A few years ago, the LPGA's big superbowl-like tourny had as competitors a 13-year-old girl and a pregnant woman.

I don't believe either of those belong in a sport :) Competition, sure.

Cedarford said...

Smilin' Jack said...
"...fascinating because the great athlete looks so different from those Men's Health-type torso models...Tiger looks slightly porky and squishy."

Tiger is not an athlete. He plays a game, not a sport. He has no more reason to be ripped than a chess player does.

=====================
Patent nonsense. Out of shape people swim, smokers carrying 30 extra pounds can win local tennis tournaments. And I was actually a halfway decent safety and wide receiver in HS football...

Once you get past the mildly competitive and farting around weekend athletes - and look at the true competitors, NCAA level and above, you see very fit people. That includes golf, and certainly includes tennis and swimming.

In golf, people who don't play the game don't have an appreciation of what it takes physically to get a PGA card and play at that level.

Scott M said...

NCAA level and above, you see very fit people

Not any more true for NCAA baseball and softball than it is for MLB. I saw enough doughy pitchers, catchers, and first-basemyn (?) when I was in college.

My general opinion of a sport requires playing it AGAINST someone the entire time. Not against the clock to see who gets the best time (which is, in itself, also a competition against one's self).

On the question of golf, being in shape at the PGA-level is no longer actually required. You can sue and get a golf cart.

Chris said...

I was incredibly ripped a few years back a around 180 and could barely climb a flight of stairs. One look at Fedor should be enough to remind people to look for the cattle and pay no attention to the hat.

T J Sawyer said...

I only know one example of writing that can compete with that first quoted sentence. The average corporate or church mission statement.

Smilin' Jack said...

My general opinion of a sport requires playing it AGAINST someone the entire time. Not against the clock to see who gets the best time.

I disagree. Track is surely a sport, but Roger Bannister is famous because he was the first to run a mile in four minutes, not because he beat someone else doing it. I think John McEnroe put it best: the difference between a sport and a game is that in a sport at some point you have to run.

William said...

I think future generations will look upon the cut and the ripped as we look upon those tortured souls who went through life wearing a hairshirt. They did not achieve perfection; they acted out an obsession. Perfection is way too jagged a pinnacle to support the weight of a human body or soul....As Althouse indicates, only grammarians can know and embrace perfection.

Marcia said...

"I think that blogs are dedicated to cruelty."
- Buzz Bissinger

Dave, you can't have cruel neutrality without cruelty.

And "pisses the shit out of me" may be my new favorite mixed metaphor.

veni vidi vici said...

While we're all discussing Leif Garrett, let me recommend the film "Spirit of '76", from the early 90's and now available on DVD.

You will laugh until you hurl, it's so good.

Jeremy said...

photo is four years old. she held onto it (thank god) and brought it out to pay some bills.

i doubt if he looks "squishy" now.

money & sex will do that.

Jeremy said...

"the difference between a sport and a game is that in a sport at some point you have to run"

a rather self-serving definition.

unless you don't consider boxing, wrestling, bowling, rowing, etc. as "games."

as for golf, there's no running, but there's one hell of a lot of pressure and hand to eye coordination involved.

then again, there are blind people who play golf...they're just not that great.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

These are the posts that keep me coming back to Althouse.

Freeman Hunt said...

I think future generations will look upon the cut and the ripped as we look upon those tortured souls who went through life wearing a hairshirt. They did not achieve perfection; they acted out an obsession.

You can be ripped and big and only lift weights two or three times a week for less than an hour. Hardly requires obsession. Just dedication and know-how.

Eric said...

I could have used such a detailed dissection of my writing back when I was an English major. I hope Bissinger profits by it. Seriously, if your law student's papers receive such attention, they'll be much better attorneys.

Or they'll end up on the streets trying to reassemble the pieces of shattered psyches. One or the other.

Kirk Parker said...

Wait, wait, wait--am I to understand that Vanity Fair paid somebody money to write this dreck? Real money???

HT said...

Like a couple of others, I was less on board with the grammatical dissection than I was with just the basic wrong direction the article took.

But wait.

Am I the only one who thought that photo was sexy? I LOVE his body! And I never thought I would. That is my Ideal Male body right there, the arms are a little bit too muscular, but damn. And with those perfectly square over white teeth of Tiger's, he was never someone I was attracted to - until I saw his bod.

(That was probably not a perfectly sensible grammatical sentence.)

Expat(ish) said...

I always thought the rule was that in games people's feelings got hurt and in sports you broke bones.

Also, sports scoring is 100% objective, which is why gymnastics is a game not a sport.

-XC

Palladian said...

"Wait, wait, wait--am I to understand that Vanity Fair paid somebody money to write this dreck? Real money???"

If it's any consolation, the USD is fast becoming unreal money.

Palladian said...

And Bunny Breckinridg... excuse me, Buzz Bissinger is the best Vanity Fair can do since Dominick Dunne went to that endless cocktail party in the sky.

Duscany said...

"As others have pointed out, there's nothing wrong with that sentence. If you're going to be a grammar snob, make sure you're right; otherwise you look ridiculous."

Just because it is possible to figure out what the author was trying to say doesn't mean he said it well.

vbspurs said...

Sigh. The worst thing about Dominick Dunne passing is that the Tru channel no longer show his "Power, Privilege and Justice" series. Where else can one find out about the in colour of Porthault sheets amongst the smart Southampton set?

vbspurs said...

Scott M wrote:

first-basemyn

Hah! Love it.

Richard said...

Whenever you dissect an article I'm reminded of how you became a law professor. Outstanding!

HT said...

Suddenly I have a protective feeling about Tiger. I hope he is taking care of himself physically and emotionally. This experience, sudden as it is, can be overwhelming. I hate to even hear myself say this, but I think he needs to be in a maximum healing environment right now, surrounded by supportive people. THEN he can go about making amends. I just tremble at the pressure this can put on the heart. Take it easy and then ease into self-examination.

careen said...

Male beauty: What do I know, but I've always thought guys that get their bodies working are hotter. I'm including non-pro athletes who don't train at the gym much, but have the body their main sport gives them. For eye candy, give me a surfer who pays for his many surf trips by doing some roofing work any day.

Gym bodies can be very sterile.

Skeptical said...

A game does not essentially depend on the physical manifestation, and so it can be turned into a computer version without changing it in essentials. Chess on a computer is not essentially different from chess on a board; computer chess is just chess

A sport depends on its physical manifestation. Track is a sport. Auto racing is a sport. Golf is a sport. Computer auto racing is not auto racing; computer golf is not golf; etc.

Largo said...

And yet, wanton boys will pull wings off of flies for sport. Moreover, I might play chess with my son a piece down, just to give him a sporting chance.

The scope of the language games we play with "sport" and "game" exceed those of some of the more restrictive definitions above.