I might as well convert one of my fingers into a red pen. While grading essays, I am constantly adding commas, crossing out commas, changing their to there, adding apostrophes, crossing out apostrophes, and circling misspellings.
But, of course, that’s to be expected. I mean, if high schools were adequately funded and, consequently, students received a proper education, there would be no need for a remedial college English teacher, and I would be out of a job. So, I'm not complaining; I'm just sayin'.
So, in the spirit of being grateful for my job, being grateful that my quarter is wrapping up in a couple of weeks, and in the spirit of the impending Oscars, I'm thinking about hosting a little awards ceremony of my own. You see, in addition to the normal errors that most of us make, there are some breathtaking errors I've encountered in my time: some that make you laugh, some that make you cry, some that make you gasp in horror. They deserve recognition.
So, without further ado, I'd like to present the nominees for the Winter 2010 quarter Oscares:
The first nominee is an error that I had never in my thirty-four years of existence encountered until two days ago. It, therefore, exhibits innovation as well as a stunning disregard for spell check:
Hentz, it is important.
The creator of this error seems to have been inspired by either a ketchup brand, a rental car company- or perhaps both.
Nominee #2 is another error that I had never encountered until this week. Like hentz, it screams, "Who needs spell check?" Although, this error may even be too intense for spell check to handle. Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to present Nominee #2:
I had the erg to tell someone about it.
Nominee #3 is a sequel. The student made this same error earlier in the quarter, which I pointed out and corrected before returning her essay. Apparently, she didn’t take heed as it resurfaced again this week, causing her instructor to question why she even bothers writing comments if her students don't bother reading them. Here it is for the second time:
We take many things for granite.
Or, maybe she was simply indicating that we mistake many things around us for intrusive, felsic, igneous rock.
Now, Nominee #4 is a very dangerous error to make, especially in this post 9/11 world where instructors are required to report any essay content that suggests a student may be a threat. It sounds like the author of Nominee #4 may be attending some kind of summer terrorist camp. Here's a clip:
When summer comes, I usually like going to the beach for bomb fires.
Nominee #5 is a light-hearted error. In fact, it's a musical and a 17th century period piece. Everyone clap in 3/4 time to:
It takes me twenty minuets to get to school.
And, the award goes to....
Oh, I can't decide. They are all so wonderful. I need your help. Which error should win the Oscare?