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Author Topic: Semi-Literate College Students (LONG!)
Brad from Georgia
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Ay-yi-yi! I just got back from seven hours of grading Regents' Tests at the University of Georgia. Bad day all around--I was hoping to look up my favorite teacher from grad school afterward, as I usually do when I go down to grade these things, but learned to my sorrow that he had suddenly died of a heart attack last month. I had not even heard.

But the grading! The Regents' Test is required of every college sophomore in the University of Georgia System. I graded papers coming from schools all across the state--and they were by and large horrible. Okay, the topics themselves are horrible. Samples: "Would you rather shop in a mall or a large downtown department store? Explain." "Have your attitudes changed since you began college?" "Do you think the advertisement of alcohol on television should be regulated? Explain why or why not." "Describe an ideal sex-education program for high school."

Ladies and gentlemen, I took notes. Read 'em and weep:
quote:

1. What are you trying to spell?

abrubt (the change from hi school to collage is abrubt)
accel (employers look for workers who can accel at their job)
alcohall (TV shouldnt glorfy alcohall)
anothery (there is yet anothery reason)
as oppose to (a good friend as oppose to a bad won)
catters (the republicans party catters to the ritch)
i (never once capitalized in a paper that used it 30 times)
intill (young people should wait intill marriage)
mean (too mean drivers ignore the speed limit)
membors (membors of a fraternity….)
nervious (test make me nervious)
payed (I would like to be payed for the job I do)
plates (illegal allens have no plates in our schools)
pregancey (teen sex might resort in pregancey)
plot (my gramfather was a plot in the Koran war)
rower (the rower of the crowd encourages the players)
stap (One measure of a good friend is she would not stap me in the butt)
their/there (constantly confused)
to/too (constantly confused)
wether (many don't know wether to vote or not)
whether (I love the beach because of the whether there.)
your/you're (constantly confused)

2. Say what?

…higher degrees presents better pay.

Its hard for one person to have the diversity in themselves to run a business.

This is a very contraversal topic and one in which I have disgust before.

I have strong fillings on alcol abuse so I have to take a strong stand on the question, therefore I both agree and disagree that it should be regulated.

This is a question each person must figure out for [first two crossed out:] themselves theirselves their selfs.

Mom once tole me some thing I never will forget to rember.

[9/11] cause alot of mourning and sobbring.

[A person who lives in the mountains] always have a very long beard and always smell's of pine in peoples mind.

I wanted to capture the baby fawn in a pitcher.

Thanks too my uncle, I lerned to take school serrously.

Television talk show have been popular, since I was borned.

TV teachers us what is going on such as what new religion Tom Cruise has started.

We should shorten the students in class to make teachers job easyer.

The source of many violence in school are gang.

With his tax cuts, decrese in crime, and tacticts has aloud the transformance of [my town] into a southeren paradice.

Condoms do not seem important to a teen age girl in heat at the moment.

In life every one faces decisions unless they are dead.

Abstence should be taut because if a boy do not put he thing in a girl place she would not becomed pregant.

I was bored in a different country and then grow up and move to the US.

Making a possitive difference in other peoples lifes is import to me.

I was myself guilty to this proplem.

Violence in school can not be stop, but it can be improved.

When I was a child the three thing that scared me the most was my sister poping out from behide the crids at church, my collectable dolls, and the boggy man under of my bed.

Deseions you maked effects you in live.

Hiphop is popular because so many people like it.

Hiphop music is seened as violatle and agresim.

American parents should not be encouraged from having more than two babes. (Goes on to argue that if American families had six or eight children each, women would stay home where they belunged.)

As gasoline and other water become less abundant conflicts will apear.

My child hoot fears seem to be humerous now I am groan.

We are approaching a crisis within the care of our geriactrc care.

I cant say witch book is my favrite because I never have read a hole book.

If people drink to much the alchohol put a strain on they body.

To a great degree ones peers are the source of peer pressure.

The question lays in which to decide of the two choices one has on which to decide on.

Having went to high school college was a big change.

We will not have peace until nations elimate the treat of terrorist's.



--------------------
"No hard feelin's and HOPpy New Year!"--Walt Kelly
Hear what you're missing: ARTC podcasts! http://artcpodcast.org/

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Brillo Bee
Wii Three Kings


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quote:
Originally posted by Brad from Georgia:
I cant say witch book is my favrite because I never have read a hole book.



*sob*

Bee

ET fix quote

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People do not wish to appear foolish; to avoid the appearance of foolishness, they are willing to remain actually fools. -Alice Walker

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Canuckistan
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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 -

--------------------
People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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I wish this were as funny as it was.

It must be quite a bit worse for an educator, but as a student, it caused me no little angst. Perhaps the worst class I ever took in college was an upper level (!) Astronomy class. In that class...

We had twenty students, five of whom were creationists.

One student couldn't define the Pythagorean Theorem.

One student was a mystic, who kept saying things like, "When you go far enough away from the earth you leave the material universe and enter the spirit world."

The professor gave up, halfway through. He simply stopped trying to teach. Six of us got an A in the class. I can't even guess what he gave to the others.

And these were all students who had passed introductory Astronomy classes, God only knows how!

Silas

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Doug4.7
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Stop it, please stop! I....I can't breathe...too funny...no time to breathe.....

ETA:My wife (the professor) tells me (after she read your post), that for some, this level of writing brilliance continues into graduate school.

I won't mind if you cry....

--------------------
And now for something completely different...

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Eddylizard
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Brad from Georgia
plates (illegal allens have no plates in our schools)

Hurrah! That'll teach 'em to flood over the border. No more food for them!

quote:
rower (the rower of the crowd encourages the players)

Okay I give up. I managed to work out most of them from context, but this one eludes me. What is the word the student was grasping for?

ETA Sorry, forget that second one, I think I've worked it out. My poor befuddled brain was stuck on thoughts of oarsmen.

--------------------
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is what is commonly known as money. It comes in all sizes, colours, and denominations - like people."

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Signora Del Drago
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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I'm sorry. I finally burst out laughing here.
quote:
To a great degree ones peers are the source of peer pressure.
This is not funny. [Eek!] Really! But, I just couldn't help it. [lol]

I did, however, manage to control myself to that point.

--------------------
"This air we're breathing. Oxygen, isn't it?"~I’mNotDedalus, impersonating Vincent D’Onofrio.|"Sometimes trying to communicate can be like walking through a minefield."~wanderwoman
"Give people a break. It's not easy doing a life."~Joshua Halberstam

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
In life every one faces decisions unless they are dead.

This could be a lyric from one of the songs my kids like to listen to. It's deep man.

--------------------
If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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Canuckistan
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
One student was a mystic, who kept saying things like, "When you go far enough away from the earth you leave the material universe and enter the spirit world."

Is there a defined border before one enters the spirit world? I'm wondering if I need to update my passport before any such voyage.

--------------------
People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

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Teodoro
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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roar

--------------------
The cow is of the bovine ilk;
One end is moo, the other, milk.
- O. Nash

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Bach_girl
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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"TV teachers us what is going on such as what new religion Tom Cruise has started."

That was my favorite.

Were these papers handwritten, or did the students have computers and access to a spellchecker?

--------------------
"My Very Educated Mother Just Said Uh-oh! No...Pluto..."~ Steven Colbert

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Roadie
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Sad. This is so very sad.

I got to that point after I laughed my ass off, of course.

My favorite is, "The question lays in which to decide of the two choices one has on which to decide on." Huh? Oh, yeah, of course.

--------------------
"The little local company I buy from has CHEAP shipping and I have met their goats." (snapdragonfly)

"And that's one lost erection I'll never get back! You hear me Dan! I'm owed an erection!" (I'mNotDedalus)

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Muncle
I Saw Three Shipments


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"Its hard for one person to have the diversity in themselves to run a business" is now my MSN name
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Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop
Once in Royal Circuit City


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If I lived closer to you, Brad, I would buy you a drink. I think you deserve one after slogging through that morass of inarticulation.

Nonny "has also never read a hole book, but hears Louis Sachar's is pretty good." Mouse

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When there isn't anything else worth analyzing, we examine our collective navel. I found thirty-six cents in change in mine the other day. Let no one say that there is no profit in philosophy. -- Silas Sparkhammer

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underfire and overrated
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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What pisses me off is that I worked my ass off to get into college and, now that I'm here, I realize that nearly every idiot came with me and got more scholarship (at least at my college with sports and religious scholarships. I'm not from the denomination that my school is affiliated with.)

Besides all that:

"TV teachers us what is going on such as what new religion Tom Cruise has started."

Well. Ok then. I never knew TV centered on Tom Cruise or that he started religions...

-underfire

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I'm not a beautiful and unique snowflake! I am the all-singing all-dancing crap of the world.

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Brad from Georgia
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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These are handwritten. To be fair, the students have only one hour in which to plan and write an essay of at least four paragraphs on one of four topics (the topics pretty much suck, as indicated, but still....).

I didn't put it on the list because I did not personally read the essay, but one of my peers told me she found the line "Each of us are born with a special porpoise" on one of the papers she graded.

BTW, we assign a numeric (or numberic, as the student might say) grade to these: 1=failing, 2=passing, 3=superior. I don't remember giving any essay a grade of 3.

ETA: If you'd like to see a list of ALL the topics, or perchance take a practice reading test yourself, you may do so at this web site.

--------------------
"No hard feelin's and HOPpy New Year!"--Walt Kelly
Hear what you're missing: ARTC podcasts! http://artcpodcast.org/

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Eddylizard
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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To be fair, I would expect better grammar and spelling skills from a eight year old. One hour to write four paragraphs seems more than generous to me.

--------------------
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is what is commonly known as money. It comes in all sizes, colours, and denominations - like people."

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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I could see my son writing with numerous spelling errors, and in a most messy hand, if he had to do a 4 paragraph handwritten essay - but he has dyslexia and dysgraphia. I would hate to have his work mocked by people who do not realise that this would not represent the best of what he is capable of. That said I know he would be able to write a coherent essay that would be of interest.

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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KatrinaDuck
Jingle Bell Hock


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Wow...

I feel for you.

I went to a pretty good public school. When I got to college and one of my professors stopped class one day (creative writing of nonfiction) to say, "I've read your papers, and I want to know how many of you can name the parts of speech," I laughed. I stopped laughing when I found out that I was the only one in the group (25 or so students) who could actually name them all. All of us English majors.

When I worked as a writing tutor, I had one student who finally admitted that he didn't know what a verb was. I had another one who thought I wasn't too bright because I kept taking the prepositions away from the end of her sentances. "This is where my source is at" became "this is where my source is." ("But where do you put the 'at'? It isn't correct without it!")

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It is, after all, the dab of grit that seeps into an oyster's shell that makes the pearl, not pearl-making seminars with other oysters. -Stephen King

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Brad from Georgia
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Christie, anyone who can document a diagnosis of either dyslexia or dysgraphia is exempt from the Regents' Test. These students have an alternate testing program that is designed to accommodate their difficulties.

--------------------
"No hard feelin's and HOPpy New Year!"--Walt Kelly
Hear what you're missing: ARTC podcasts! http://artcpodcast.org/

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going slightly mad
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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I always try to be understanding about spelling errors because I too have a problem keeping my spelling straight (let's not even start on punctuation [Roll Eyes] ). Strangely enough more so in German than in English even though German is my native language, the capitalization does me in every time.

That said these mistakes made me cringe. As I understand it, many English speaker have problems with spelling because there is no consistent ruling between spelling and pronunciation but good grief, is it really this bad ?!?

--------------------
Don't warn the tadpoles!

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Brad from Georgia
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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It really is. I have no idea how students can graduate from high school and not be able to spell at all. Of course, I taught in high school for a while and had to fend off constant complaints from parents that I made their children work too hard (because I required them to write an essay every week, and if they turned in essays with misspellings, I circled the errors and they had to recopy the essay, correcting the spelling). Three of the other English teachers even visited me to tell me I should make learning more fun. They suggested that instead of essays, for example, I could have my eleventh graders put on puppet shows about their assigned reading.

--------------------
"No hard feelin's and HOPpy New Year!"--Walt Kelly
Hear what you're missing: ARTC podcasts! http://artcpodcast.org/

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Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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A four paragraph in-class essay in one hour? No offense, Brad, but Georgia's college requirements are far too lenient. (Do you not follow the "Intro-3 paragraph body-Conclusion" essay format?)

Some of those essay topics are more appropriate for a 5th-grader. Unlike others who have laughed at the responses you posted, I just shake my head in disgust.

ETA: I got a 99 on the practice reading exam. [Cool]

--------------------
"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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glass papaya
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
The question lays in which to decide of the two choices one has on which to decide on.

Huh?
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Brad from Georgia
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Cervus, I agree. Actually, "four paragraphs" is not specified, and I would expect most competent students to turn in a composition of anywhere from five to seven paragraphs in the allotted time. In class, by the way, I try to steer students away from the "Mickey Mouse" five-paragraph theme: it's too cut and dried. Some topics divide into two major points, and a four-paragraph essay is fine for them; others might divide into three points, four points, or five points, and for them one needs to write to different lengths. However in our grading guidelines, we are told to use these criteria:

1. Organization: The essay should have a minimum of four paragraphs, with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction should present a thesis that is well-stated and logical; the body should explore the thesis in a controlled way; the conclusion should reinforce the major ideas of the essay.

2. Support: The essay should present specific examples to back its general statements. The essay should not waste time repeating or restating vague ideas. Examples may include hypothetical anecdotes or statistics, within reason (since students cannot research their responses), but personal-experience essays should read as though the events recounted in them happened in this world, not an alternate reality. CAVEAT: Graders may reward deliberate humor, if they can recognize it.

3. Grammar, usage, and spelling: While a passing Regents' Test may have more errors in these areas than a minimally competent ENGL 1101 essay, the paper should not read as though it were written by a borderline illiterate.

Glass Papaya: My reaction exactly.

Oh, yes--the "rower of the crowd" is the noise a crowd makes when it cheers. I sussed that out when the next sentence referred to the smell of hotdogs and beer in the stadium. The rower of the crowd, the smell of the food....

--------------------
"No hard feelin's and HOPpy New Year!"--Walt Kelly
Hear what you're missing: ARTC podcasts! http://artcpodcast.org/

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pirateslife
Deck the Malls


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This topic reminds me of a fellow student's criticism of my story. She crossed out the word "inured" and wrote above it "injured." So my sentence changed to "I had become injured to her stupidity." She also accused me of being hoity-toity in my use of “big words”. The big word that so offended her? Placate. She didn’t even bother to look it up in a dictionary.

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If the world were logical, men would ride sidesaddle. -Mama

I won't ask "Am I weird?" because that ship sailed long ago. -Kahuna Burger

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dfresh
Deck the Malls


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Brad, my condolances for you having to go through that. This is just pitiful. I really wish I could believe it is just Georgia, but alas, I can not.
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Eddylizard
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Thanks Teodoro and Brad for explaining what a 'rower' is. As I said in my edit, I got there eventually, but at first all I could think of was these guys. [Big Grin]

--------------------
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is what is commonly known as money. It comes in all sizes, colours, and denominations - like people."

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Nion
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Eddylizard:
To be fair, I would expect better grammar and spelling skills from a eight year old.

I'm actually getting concerned about this. One of my supervisors at work, a woman in her FIFTIES, can't spell well or use correct grammar. She is NOT dumb, either.

My favorite note left: "Do Do this Order" (Don't do this order)

Yes, poop jokes soon followed. [Big Grin]

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It can't rain all the time.

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Ariadne
Deck the Malls


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These are sad, but I can attest to the fact that this is all too common. When I was an undergrad at a fairly selective school, I was a writing tutor and dealt with similar errors. Now I teach at a community college and am appalled at some of the things that students turn in. I wish I would have saved the paper I got once on the Leaning Tower of Pisa; the author claimed that Benito Mussolini was one of the architects of the tower (really). The paper also included the sentence "Do you know who Galileo is?" and concluded that the Italians should let the tower fall and call it the Fallen Tower of Pisa. I wish I was joking.

I really do have very intelligent, thoughtful students, but it is hard to forget some of the awful things that students turn in.

--------------------
saxea ut effigies bacchantis prospicit eheu | prospicit et magnis curarum fluctuat undis
-Catullus

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evilrabbit
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
I have strong fillings on alcol abuse so I have to take a strong stand on the question, therefore I both agree and disagree that it should be regulated.
Way to take a stand, there.
quote:
I wanted to capture the baby fawn in a pitcher.
Wait, this might not be wrong--if it's a small enough fawn and a big enough pitcher.
quote:
We should shorten the students in class to make teachers job easyer.
Yes! Cut their legs off!
quote:
Condoms do not seem important to a teen age girl in heat at the moment.
See, I had no idea we went into heat...
quote:
Violence in school can not be stop, but it can be improved.
Gun control means using both hands.

Mocking them helps me feel less sad...

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"My sandwich choice is uncertain, until I actually order. It's like Schrodinger's Sandwich."
"Is plutonium involved in this sandwich in any way?"
"Maybe."

Posts: 496 | From: Whitby, ON, Canada | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Brad from Georgia
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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During my brief stint in the USAF, I was the clerk for a colonel. I used to have to type and mimeograph his orders, which read like the splattered drippings of Patton's preserved brain. Once I pointed out that he had issued a three-point order so convoluted that if an airman obeyed point one, he could NOT then obey point two or point three--they were mutually contradictory.

The colonel refused to back my request for a waiver on a medical discharge (I have scars on one of my lungs), and I was mustered out of the Air Force as a lowly second lieutenant.

Guess that taught me.

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"No hard feelin's and HOPpy New Year!"--Walt Kelly
Hear what you're missing: ARTC podcasts! http://artcpodcast.org/

Posts: 7581 | From: Gainesville, Georgia | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Eddylizard
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by RelicMan:
quote:
Originally posted by Eddylizard:
To be fair, I would expect better grammar and spelling skills from a eight year old.

I'm actually getting concerned about this. One of my supervisors at work, a woman in her FIFTIES, can't spell well or use correct grammar. She is NOT dumb, either.

My favorite note left: "Do Do this Order" (Don't do this order)


Yes, poop jokes soon followed. [Big Grin]

This is something that bothered me at my last job. As I was on the graveyard shift, most communications came to me via internal e-mail.

Many were from quite high-ranking officers of the company (in some cases probably earning £50,000 per year, with responsibility for large chunks of a company that was turning over hundreds of millions.) You don't get to that position by being stupid.

Yet the e-mails would contain the most appalling spelling and grammar mistakes.

Spellchecking was turned on by default, so they must have made the deliberate decision to turn it off.

Their shoddy English irked me - but I was just a lowly grunt. But how professional does it look if you send an e-mail like that to someone you are trying to win a multi-million pound contract from?

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"Ladies and gentlemen, this is what is commonly known as money. It comes in all sizes, colours, and denominations - like people."

Posts: 997 | From: Maidstone, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Avril
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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I am in the process of marking papers at the graduate level (the professor will assign final grades for them) and alas...it improves, but only a little.

My favorite thing, here at the seminary, is that there is this Chris person who is doing quite a lot of things. Baptism, for example, identifies us with Chris. I started a list of sentences that included Chris where Christ should be, and the professors in the school of theology are always happy when I come to bring a little levity in the form of selections from this week's papers. It keeps us sane.

Avril

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There is no failure unless one stops. --Ray Bradbury

Posts: 2115 | From: Oklahoma | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jocko's Jolly
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Cervus:
ETA: I got a 99 on the practice reading exam. [Cool]

So did I. But in checking the answers, I found that I actually got them all right. I wonder why the calculator only gives out the 99? Perhaps there is some sort of built-in error in its program.

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Like every good third-in-a-series it contains a whole load of ewoks, ‘Clubber’ Lang, whey-faced Sophia Coppola, Sean Connery as the Pirate Captain’s estranged dad, a crappy CGI alien, and Richard Pryor on a donkey. -- Gideon Defoe

Posts: 2211 | From: Harford County, MD | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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