We wish we could have left it well enough alone. Certainly, in the Journalistic Special Olympics of blogging, criticizing another web writer's wordsmithing is a slippery slope ending in a pit full of our own weasel words, forced metaphors, slapdash punctuation and dangling participles.
But there was something wonderful about Ryan Ash's recent list for Gearfuse: The 10 Worst Video Game Consoles Of All Time. Something sublime. Something that nuzzled itself in the hollow of our bile duct and wouldn't stop roiling. In only two thousand words, Ash had perfectly measured the space between the nadir of prosaic achievement and the barrier of entry to Digg-bait style list compiling. Its diameter? A single neutrino.
Who were we — mortal men hewn of flesh and blood, hazy of grammar and flatulent of opinion — to judge one of our peers? But no matter how much we tried... no matter how much we drank... we couldn't let it go. Still, we didn't quite trust ourselves with grading Ryan's list. Out came the phone book, and our old English teacher Mrs. Buttermer was recruited to grade Ryan's essay as if it were a high school book report.
We regret to inform you that, post-grading, neither fared very well. Hit the jump to see the graded list... a document just as much about one writer's flagrant disregard for five hundred years of English-language composition as it is about old Mrs. Buttermer's lubricated slalom out of both sanity and sobriety. Click to enlarge.