When Bad Writing Is Good


Brian Switek pointed us at a site today that actually managed to make me laugh despite a certain monthly recurrent condition that makes me hate life, my uterus and everything.  That’s no small feat.  Anyone who reads or writes will appreciate How to Write Badly Well.  Only a great writer can write so badly so perfectly.

For example:

It was four o’clock in the afternoon and Derek was facilitating his process environment. He validated his competency, taking care not to leverage his parameters to an un-optimal degree, then took ownership of the resultant paradigm.

And:

Dr Henry Billingsworth was a Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist and all-round renaissance man. In the course of his long career, he had held sub-atomic particles in the palm of his hand, excavated lava from the centre of the Earth and invented a whole new mathematical function which supplemented the old-fashioned plus, minus, multiply and divide to create a unheard-of fifth way of doing sums. At present, he was absorbed in his new experiment – observing evolution in fruit flies.

And:

Penny stared down at the police interview table.

‘I’m embarrassed and quite scared,’ she said. The policeman nodded.

‘I’m aware of that,’ he said. ‘However, I’m not above using your fragile emotional state to get the information I need. You see, despite sympathising with you and, to be entirely honest, being quite attracted to you, I am very good at my job.’

Of course, after reading several entries on the site, I’m having flashbacks to several pieces of ostensible literature written in our college creative writing class, and I’m not sure if the resultant sweating is a symptom of impending nervous breakdown or just regular ol’ hot flashes.  It’s an enduring mystery we shall solve next week.

 
In the meantime, go enjoy some of the best bad writing on offer.

Comments

  1. says

    If you haven't already, you really ought to have a gander at the Bulwer-Lytton Contest (It was a dark and stormy night…) at:http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/Some of the entries are absolutely hysterical. My favorites were the 2003 Prize winner: "They had but one last remaining night together, so they embraced each other as tightly as that two-flavor entwined string cheese that is orange and yellowish-white, the orange probably being a bland Cheddar and the white . . . Mozzarella, although it could possibly be Provolone or just plain American, as it really doesn't taste distinctly dissimilar from the orange, yet they would have you believe it does by coloring it differently."- by Mariann Simms of Wetumpka, Alabamaand the 2009 winner:"Folks say that if you listen real close at the height of the full moon, when the wind is blown’ off Nantucket Sound from nor’ east and the dogs are howlin’ for no earthly reason, you can hear the awful screams of the crew of the “Ellie May,” a sturdy whaler Captained by John McTavish; for it was on just such a night when the rum was flowin’ and Davey Jones be damned, big John brought his men on deck for the first of several screaming contests."-by David McKenzie of Federal Way, Washington