Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pubic Policy 101



As much as I treasure clear, concise, correct writing, I have to admit that I also cherish a good error. One of my favorites was a typo made by a student who was quite stubborn about her writing. She must have received all A’s in high school, and she made it clear that she felt that my class had nothing to offer her. I was so happy when she wrote” t-shits” instead of “t-shirts” throughout her essay. Maybe she could have used a little lesson on proofreading. 

Another favorite error was made by a student who sent me an email requesting a letter of recommendation. I could tell how much time and effort she put into making the email grammatically correct, but the last sentence said, “Thank you for overlooking this.” I didn’t overlook it; I wrote her a lovely recommendation.

My absolute favorite was when one of my students wrote an entire essay about “pubic" policy instead of “public" policy. It was awesome because he did it EVERY time, and I like the idea of coming up with a pubic policy. Mine would be very liberal.

And I think I found another typo today while reading the news. I read that General Patraeus, after having an affair with his biographer, is going to try to rehab his image by teaching “a course on public policy at City University of New York.”

That's supposed to be "pubic" policy, right?

14 comments:

Andrew Leon said...

Hmm... Now, I want to know what your liberal pubic policy would be.

Andrew Leon said...

My favorite recent error was in a blog post about semi-colons. Within the post, the author had two semi-colon errors: one where she had used a semi-colon instead of a period and one where she used a comma instead of a semi-colon.
When I pointed it out, she deleted my comment without responding.
heh

Shelly said...

My favorite error from a student paper is one from my first year of teaching, but I probably couldn't even write it here because it was just that horrible.

Pubic policies are probably always more interesting than public policies.

the late phoenix said...

my pubic policy's simple: let it flow, let it flow

the Petraeus scandal: little did we know when we were innocently watching his biographer on that Daily Show episode, huh?

Jenny, I'm looking for a biographer to write my crazy life...was just wondering...if you had the time...we could meet...strictly professional...

Yolanda Renee said...

Reading this post and these comments just confirms what I've always known. Somewhere someone has an example of my writing that's a favorite too. I make an error each and every paragraph I write. Who knows, maybe this comment qualifies . . . I can hope.
The Grammar Error Queen :)

Mark said...

The best errors are the ones made by people who are full of themselves and who insist that they're awesome. It must have been a pretty sweet feeling when the girl who thought your class had nothing to offer screwed up.

Skeptical Czarina said...

There are tons of typos out there anymore. I am not immune either. Especially in my Facebook feed, Slate is a constant offender! It's wild how many times they have a typo in the HEADLINE. Seriously?

DWei said...

And this is why I'm so careful about everything I type. Reddit is horrible for this in that with one spelling mistake everyone jumps on your and points it out.

Jono said...

I wish I still HAD a pubic policy. Sigh.

James Garcia Jr. said...

Hey, stranger! *waves*
I've mentioned this before on these hallowed pages, but it is so frustrating when I read e-mails from managers at work who seem to overlook double-checking what they write before sending them. A Quality Assurance supervisor once spoke about the "sensitity" of a metal detector, rather than sensitivity. *slaps head*

-Jimmy

Kelly Polark said...

Ha! Pubic policy. You are on to something.

(that's what she said)

Eve Gumpel said...

I just have to point out that the correct form of the word is T-shirt, according to Merriam-Webster (and the AP style guide).

Sorry -- I'm a copyeditor by trade

Eve Gumpel
http://evegumpel.com

Theresa Milstein said...

HaHa! He'd have a lot to say on the subject.

It must be difficult to refrain from pointing out these typos, which should be mortifying to the students.

Jo Antareau said...

I wish some politicians could keep their pubic policies to themselves!