Monday, November 7, 2011

I May Die Laughing

As a college instructor, you get to see some unintentionally funny writing.  I've mentioned before one paper that my wife received where a student was trying to write about the very destructive budget deficits that our government was running, but could not spell "deficits" correctly.  Not to worry: the spell checker came up with the closest match, resulting in the unintentionally close-to-accurate "federal budget defecates."

I confess that I cannot recall ever getting any examples quite as entertaining as that from the papers that my students give me.  That does not mean that I do not get the occasional dreadful paper; they just aren't funny dreadful.

Here is a website that apparently gathers similarly amusing examples of student writing, some of which simply show that the student lacked some information required to make sense of what they had read, and others that are examples of what happens when you let the spell checker make improper suggestions.  I do wish it had a less vulgar website name:

This is probably Obama’s fault, too.

All necessary data and calculation is listed with the data in the previous section. The values to not match, however, and I have no idea why. Magic, perhaps, or Obama.
If this seems bizarrely intimate, consider that "colon" was what happened when the student's attempt at the word "cologne" met the spell checker:

Heinie sniffing

When I went down into the basement at the party, he was down there. I was standing so close to him I could smell his colon.
Someone was not in class the day that they covered the Thirteenth Amendment.

Suburban slavery

Restrictive covenants after the Great Depression weren’t fair because white people couldn’t take their slaves with them to the suburbs.
 Well, Mapp v. Ohio (1961) did strike down an obscenity law:

Illegal cavity search

Dollree Mapp’s house was entered illegally by law enforcement officials without a labial search warrant.
 How many errors of historical fact, spelling, and capitalization can you get into a paragraph before deciding that you have "a better handle" than the professors?

Post-race America

Racism only exists in the eyes of the ignorant.  Don’t people realize that Ghandi Mohandas put an end to rascism in America in the early part of the 18th century?  Obviously not since professors keep qouting him.  I don’t mean to sound holier than thou, but sometimes i think I have a better handle on the cultural constructions of the modern world.
 If bad writing could qualify as blasphemy...

The Gospel according to Hitler

Jesus spread his beliefs throughout the Holy Land in what came to be known as the Holocaust.
 I confess, I was briefly taken by the attempt at simile, before the bird's feathers went everywhere:

Abominable/A Bomb In a Bird

Imagine a peacock gliding on a frozen lake. This is society. Now imagine that peacock swallows a bottle of nitroglycerin, this represents the effect of Darwinian evolution on society. …Genetic research may prove to be abominable, or like eugenics in society, a bomb in a bird.
 One of the signs that you do not have a "littered" society is the inability to distinguish "literate" from merely sloppy:

Caveman archives

Slavery has been around since the time historians started to study cavemen which is what they do with primary sources such as bills and recipes and other stuff from littered cultures.
 UPDATE: I must stop reading the archives, or I may have trouble going to work tomorrow!  This is what happens when Bluto from Animal House writes a paper:

Never forget.

Was it the Revolutionary War or the Civil War that the Japanese dropped the atomic bomb on Pearl Harbor?

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