Wednesday, November 07, 2007

That's my guy

Read this piece by Roy Peter Clark, entitled The Difference Between Good and Great, and will you see that Clark has praised one of my colleagues.

I had no idea Wayne Kermode, who calms the queries anxious reporters, lays out and reads copy, and basically does everything an editor should do on most nights, had written this great headline the night Joba Chamberlain and the Yankees lost to Cleveland, 2-1 on the famous "Bug Night 2007."

While the newsroom was in awe of what was happening, Wayne was doing what Clark describes as eschewing "first-level creativity." Clark writes:

I was not impressed by the most obvious play on words, the use of "bug" as a verb or "buggy" as an adjective, as in "Cleveland drives Yanks buggy," or "Cleveland bugs young pitcher." Such examples display what I call "first level creativity," wordplay that any clever 12-year-old could conjure.

Which is why I award this headline the prize for best wordplay: "Let us spray." Three one-syllable words. Ten letters. A single letter added to "Let us pray." And the Newsday headline writer, Wayne Kermode, assistant editor, sports, gets to circle the bases. With an accompanying photo of trainers spraying the players and umpires with bug repellent, "Let us spray" captures the event and the mood.

I e-mailed Wayne with congratulations on the recognition, to which he replied, "Darren, you ever hear the old phrase 'even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes'? I haven't heard that phrase in particular, but my dad frequently quotes a variation, something like "The sun has got to shine on a monkey's [butt] sometimes."

I assured Wayne that he, much like the monkey, was being much too modest.

Posted by Darren Sands at 11:46 AM | link

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