Look, your Thursday-morning news aggregator at Deadline enjoys baseball as much as the next gal does. The fine points of the game are largely a mystery, but who can't like baseball? Something would have to be wrong with you to not be down with hot dogs, beer, summer sunshine and a fan base that is generally literate and decent. (With some exceptions.) The NBA is cool, all those supermen running up and down the court in squeaking shoes, but leaves us cold. The NHL ditto, and the NFL is full up with sunbelt jerks and awful coaches. And while too many sportswriters lean way too heavily on all the springtime metaphors for rebirth, new hope and all that jazz, we can't help it -- if you like to read, baseball is your sport. (Also boxing. That's for another day.)
So on this Thursday morning, drinking the first cup of coffee and looking for something to post about Opening Day, we were startled by the prevalence of one thing, a writerly detail: The exclamation point. Cntr-F'd the Freep main story for the punctuation. Found four:
But those days are, in the words of Ernie Harwell, “LOOOOOOONG GONE!”
More Opening Day coverage!
So today, go out and grab a Coney Dog egg roll — new this year!
Get to the park early for the new Home Run Happy Hour for the first hour after gates open — new this year!
Good lord, copy editors, get a grip. A coney egg roll does not require an exclamation point, unless some mass food poisoning event happens. Happy Hour is already getting underway all over the city, and especially downtown, so nick that one. We get the overall feeling of HEY PARTY WOO WINTER IS OVER, we're kind of the opposite of Elaine Benes -- we think the e-point is way overused, and shouldn't be wasted on coney dog egg rolls. In fact, we think everyone who writes should be issued a quantity of exclamation points on January 1, maybe five but certainly no more than 10, and when they're used up, you have to wait until the following New Year's Day to re-up. We believe this will encourage better written expression overall.
We also think the royal We is a bit tired, but coffee notwithstanding, we are tired this morning. Also, the morning aggregator speaks for Deadline Detroit until everybody else gets up, and what we say, goes.
-- Nancy Derringer, Thursday morning aggregator