A Case Study in Ugly Sentences

A recent column of mine turned into a case study in ugly sentences. Here's the sentence that inspired it, plucked from none other than the pages of the New York Times. (Yes, they're good. But no one's so good they don't crank out a stinker every once in a while).

“That a hacking operation that Washington is convinced was orchestrated by Moscow would obtain malware from a source in Ukraine — perhaps the Kremlin’s most bitter enemy — sheds considerable light on the Russian security services’ modus operandi in what Western intelligence agencies say is their clandestine cyberwar against the United States and Europe.”

When you're confronted with a sentence this bad, you can either do the sane thing and just move on to the next sentence. Or you can do the insane thing and stare at it transfixed till you've come to understand what makes it so ugly. Guess which one of those two things I did.

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