Monday, May 11, 2009

Astute Observation, Captain Obvious!

I haven't given you any student bloomers for a bit, so here are three. My long-suffering next-door neighbor on the English hall, Jeremiah, got all three of these in one day. And he's still not in tears. Isn't it amazing? They're marvels of ... um ... perspicacity.

"The progression of life begins at birth and ends at death."

"Everyone was a child at some point."

"Almost everything created by humans is designed." (Jeremiah's office mate suggested adding, "Except, obviously, this paper.")

And now, for your mental picturing pleasure, a double-feature. This sentence is from a paper one of Jeremiah's students wrote in which they were supposed to practice advertising writing. It was for air-freshener, or something:

"One pray, and you're running through a field of roses." Not only is the typo hilarious, but as Jeremiah pointed out, wouldn't running through a field of ROSES be painful? "Ow! Ow! I thought a prayed about this!"

love, kristin


  1. What would teachers do without students who point out the obvious? I have been wondering if you, or others in the English department, are noticing that Twitter and text messaging are having an impact on your students 'writing and spelling' skills. Typos are one thing, but I keep thinking that all those short messages, filled with abbreviated words, must be showing up in 'formal' writing. Any evidence? RMW

  2. Hi Kristin, lovely to read some funny bloomers! Love the pray one - someone once said about a nun in school she was more "Let us Spray" than Pray when she called the class to prayer, as she tended to spray the front rows! Gross I know. The ad. texts are great - like what Basil Fawlty from Fawlty Towers (do you know that classic British sitcom set in a ghastly hotel in England?) calls The Bleedin' Obvious - when wife Sybil says something particularly redundant he uses it and it has become synonymous with the Basil the Rat episode! So that's what this post brought to mind.
    Haven't been too much on blogger lately so cheers and drop by soon!

  3. * LE -- well, now you mention it! I did once have a student (I think it was last year) use "LOL" in a paper, and I have one this very quarter who is a bit insistent on trying to use "u" instead of "you," and even tried "2" instead of "to" once. That even raised the wrath of his fellow student (they had traded paper drafts) who noted on the paper, "SPELL IT OUT!!" I also occasionally get emoticons, which make me roll my eyes.

    * Catherine -- I love Fawlty Towers! A high school classmate of mine had a collection of that and Blackadder, and a group of us used to get together and watch them and laugh hysterically. The Bleedin' Obvious is going to have to become our new office code for bloomers like these, I think! It's so nice to hear from you!

  4. Can't wait to experience stuff like that when I'm a teacher!