When I read a sentence like this, I’m ever-so glad I never pursued that career in journalism I thought I wanted as a child:
Best known as the genocidal dictator who butchered millions in his quest to unite Europe under German rule, Hitler also had a largely unsuccessful career as an artist in his early years.
That wins the award of the silliest dependant clause lead-in sentence I’ve ever read! Who the hell doesn’t know who Adolph Hitler is? Do you really think you need to feed us the general background information about the person involved, as you would for, perhaps, some third world figure the average human being doesn’t know about. I mean, an equally stupid sentence would be something along the lines of:
Best known for his suffering death by crucifixion on charges of sedition and his subsequent alleged return from death a day later, Jesus Christ began his career as a carpenter under the tutelage of his stepfather in Nazareth.
I mean, come on, how stupid does the Associated Press really think we are?? I am so glad that I don’t write in a profession that makes me state the obvious. Woe is the day that the entire educated human race doesn’t know who Hitler is (for we should always remember the man in order to avoid ever letting such horrid people into power again). Or Jesus Christ for that matter (since even non-Christians such as myself can find life lessons in his teachings). Geesh. This is why I don’t subscribe to or read the paper, people! It’s great reading… for a sixth grader.
Thanks for making me chuckle, Martin Benedyk. God bless your Journalism degree. You could teach a class now that you’ve mastered the art of providing background information to the assumed ignorant reader. (I remember when we had to write sentences like this in the one and only journalism class I took in high school… and flunked… because I didn’t like the watered down approach to writing forced by journalism.)