"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Great sentence search champion!

When I teach writing, I have my students go on what I call a  "Great Sentence Search" in the New York Times, which is our daily textbook.
Saturn's moon Enceladus
I firmly believe that in teaching writing, you have to expose students to good writing...it inspires, instructs, and also forces them to read and think. 
A great sentence is one you just know the journalist smiled and said "Yes!" in triumph when he/she wrote it--having had fun writing it. It makes you say "Wow, I wish I had written that."
Today, I found what may be the best ever, from the front page, headlined "With Worlds Visited, the Next Hunt Is for Life on Any of Them." 
Dennis Overbye wrote about NASA's exploration of Saturn's moon Enceladus, by the Cassini spacecraft. NASA is seeking extraterrestrial water, as a sign of life, and this moon spews icy jets of water.
Here is the great sentence:
"Enceladus is only 300 miles across and whiter than a Bing Crosby Christmas, reflecting virtually all the sunlight that hits it, which should make it colder and deader than Scrooge's heart."
Wow.
Here's the link to the entire story: Saturn's moon

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