Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Epic Grammar Fail

My little freshmen had an assignment due today.

For the love of all that's holy, shouldn't you know by the age of 18 about subject/verb agreement? Or thesis sentences? I mean, really. I know I play fast and loose with grammar, but I'm a blogger. Hamilton and Jefferson would not appreciate your tendency to write things like:

"It is intrinsikally natural for the president to have complete control after the second Tuesday in Nov. had ended, That is why our government discourages public participation."

(loosely paraphrased to protect the grammatically negligent). I do not know what to do with that either, dear reader. I am hurting in my puzzled head. It seems we will be starting back at square one: do they not require composition classes here?

If tomorrow's headline is: "30 Freshman Beaten to Death by Maniac Wielding Strunk and White," send me a cake with a file in it. Or a tiny, tiny rock hammer.

7 comments:

teasinglydiverse said...

I tutored for our department during undergrad and students would bring me their papers to read. I can't count the number of times I had to sit down and explain the concept of "one topic/one paragraph" or even just having an outline so that when I (and the prof) had to read their papers they actually made sense.
Oh, and that democracy wasn't spelled "dimawcrassie". [I actually saw that!!]

adele said...

To paraphrase Dubya, clearly, our children is not learning.

I thought about signing up to be a TA for first-year legal writing classes. I decided I couldn't face the quantity of bad writing churned out by twelve neurotic 1Ls who think they need to write in lawyerese.

Sharon Sarchiapone said...

OMG, you are too funny. You must have the patience of a saint.

In it to my eyeballs said...

I could say I told you so, but I know nothing on earth can prepare one for the epic grammar fail. Or maybe just "epic fail."

If you hang in there long enough your standards will slowly erode. Once this happens, grading will feel less like having your teeth pulled out one by one with rusty pliers and more like that sick, uncomfortable feeling you get when the dentist gives you too much Novocaine (complete with chewing off your own tongue).

Perhaps you could advise me as to the legality of you and I starting up a blog dedicated to the terrible and illiterate. With examples. Loosely paraphrased to protect the grammatically incompetent.

(In)Sanity Gal said...

so, apparently it hasn't happened, but i promise to send you a tiny rock hammer if it does.

Anonymous said...

I have had to create a rule - only one verb in a sentence and place it next to the noun. we start from that point - 22 graduating engineers... kills me to read their stuff at times.

Anonymous said...

How can you make fun of your students when the title of your blog is in fact, not proper English? Epic fail, how does that make sense?

All rights reserved to my snotty and generally self-deprecating writing. And if your comments bother me, I'll delete them. That's right, pumpkin.
...How dreary—to be—Somebody!
How public—like a Frog—
To tell one's name—the livelong June—
To an admiring Bog!
-- Emily Dickinson