Writing well is hard

You may have seen this article by Jeff Yang at SFGate. He makes the case that Apple’s success since Jobs’ return is due as much to what it doesn’t do as to what it does. It’s been linked on several Apple-centric sites and rightly so: it’s well argued, well sourced, and—with one exception—well written.

The exception? Down near the bottom, a paragraph starts with this:

There have been questions as to whether Apple can continue its stunning run of success in Jobs’ absence -- pointing to how the company foundered after its founder was ousted in 1986.

It’s hard to imagine a clumsier phrase than “the company foundered after its founder was ousted.” It’s the kind of crap I often find in my own writing when sentences are pieced together over time instead of of written as a single unit. “Foundered,” “founder,” and “ousted” are all fine words, but they have no business piling up like that.

It’s heartening to see a professional writer, backed by professional editors, producing copy that’s just as awkward as mine. Writing well is hard.