Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

In my newspaper editing job, I occasionally find that reporters grapple over leads and sometimes end up going with a semi-fluffy generalizing first sentence in order to introduce their main point. But it's often better to get to that point without the insulation. Examples: "Everyone knows that sometimes, there's nothing better than free ice cream." "Now that school's out, parents might be looking for ways to help their children beat the heat this summer."

Here's one from this week's New Yorker:

"Anyone who has lived through a summer in the city knows that there is no force in the world stronger than girls singing along to the radio while skipping rope."

Huh?! I can think of a few.

There's also a sentence in there about the Hoobastank song being so good that it could have been a hit two decades ago. Nah. Half the songs on the radio now would never ever have been hits two decades ago, because there was too much competition from good, original songs back then. Look at any top 40 pop chart before 1987 (the year pop music went bad) and you'll see.

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