Mark Mardell cooks up a storm in his opening to this piece about the US’s view of the euro crisis:

Euro crisis leaves US howling into the wind

Financiers in New York and politicians in Washington look on aghast as a hurricane moves across Europe, toppling leaders and ripping up the roots of recovery.

They feel Europe’s leaders don’t see the big picture, can’t join the dots and aren’t thinking big.

Above all, they fear they will reap the whirlwind when the storm crosses the Atlantic.

While the gravity of the situation ought to preclude being snarky, it’s impossible to let this pass without some comment. My God, that second sentence! We all ought to remind ourselves of the words of Clive James:

One of my convictions about the art of composing a prose sentence in English is that for some of its potential metaphorical content to be realised, the rest must be left dormant. You can’t cash in on the possibilities of every word.

Mardell’s article violates just about every principle that James is advocating here. Not only is a new and different metaphor introduced every few words, but they seem extended beyond their usefulness, elongating the sentences instead of illuminating them. It’s kind of wrong that this vexes me more than the coming economic meltdown and resultant defeat of Obama in 2012, but there you go.

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