[quote]So what did win? First, the usual caveats. With the number of entries having soared well into the four digits — some of them not even by people named Chloe — many worthy submissions didn't make the cut. The final list of winners might have been a little different had I assembled it on different days. And just being funny isn't the only criterion here: other important factors are how believable it is that someone could have written the sentence without meaning to be funny, and how well suited it is to be the first sentence of a novel. Someone named Brandon Specktor summed it up very well: "Lyttle Lytton isn't an explicit, pee-my-shorts-from-randomness comedy contest so much as an unintentional, god-bless-you-for-trying-to-be-a-writer facepalm contest." As such, the winner of the 2012 Lyttle Lytton Contest is:
[quote]Agent Jeffrey’s trained eyes rolled carefully around the room, taking in the sights and sounds.
When I read the first half of this, I thought, yes, I've heard editors grumbling about the use of "eyes" for "gaze": "'Her eyes landed on his lapel pin' — didn't that hurt?" Then I reached the "and sounds" part and knew this one would be tough to beat. There were entries at which I laughed more, but the combination of craft, plausibility, and cringe factor — and, yes, laughs — put this one on top.[/quote]