Friday, November 21, 2003

Cat in the Ugh

Despite critics' and copy editors' yearnings to do so, it is not clever to rhyme in "Cat in the Hat" movie reviews.

Some offenders here, here and here. The Christian Science Monitor goes the dignified way, and quotes Dr. Seuss directly.

Why isn't it clever to rhyme?
Because people do it time
and again, bringing out the cliche,
Thinking to themselves, "Hey,
that's a clever way to write.
It would make me look bright."
But do such reviews do that,
When about "Cat in the Hat?"
Do they have the knack?
No. They're writing like hacks.

Anybody can rhyme, as I show
right here, and writers should know
when they're assaulting our ears. But
if they don't do that, please go and cut
Out the rhymes. At least you get it,
And that's why you copy edit.

If the preceding doesn't show why the rhyming is a bad idea, I don't know what does.