(I’m not even sure I spelled this right, but I’m on deadline and am too damn lazy to look it up. So if it’s wrong, don’t tell me.)

Just wanted everyone to know that the 2011 Bad Writing Contest has been awarded for the following sentence:

“Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories.”

Now let’s all stop and reflect that we can write better than that.


5 responses to “Schedenfreude

  1. This brought tears to my eyes. Oh, the terrifying mind that could come up with something so complicated yet so unecessary…

    It does’t help that I dislike the name cheryl.

    • Well, my American bastardization of it goes something like this: Shaw – den – freud (as in Mr. Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar) – ah; accent is on “den” or maybe “shaw,” I can’t decide.

  2. As a teacher of community college composition, I will say that this sentence is glorious in comparison to what I often see. The metaphor is vivid, extended, and consistent. As I read it, I have a very clear picture of that bloody pile of memories, and clarity goes a long way in my grade book.

    To give you a true experience of schadenfreude–during which you will feel comfort and pleasure from my misery–I should send you some of my students’ sentences.

    • @GEW, I totally hear you. I have worked in the college writing tutoring mines as well. I love passion, even when it’s misguided. But there is a particular kind of schedenfreude (which I can’t spell to save my life and am still too lazy to look it up) in reading published works of literary fiction that suck this bad. “(*snort*) You got your MFA with that????!”

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