Archive for March 30th, 2008

Today’s contestant in the Festival of Bad Writing:

“Only in a research article will a reader be able to find an
example that is shown above relating towards graphical information;
which can create a table to better understand.”

Fire for the pyre

Long before there were blogs, long before the web was populated by advertisers, I’d wanted to have an online place where a randomly-selected sentence from my fine collection of horrible student-generated sentences could sit on an animated pyre. Contributions would be welcome. We could gasp in horror at the latest form of man’s inhumanity to language.

I never got around to coding the thing, and now I don’t know if there’s really a call for it. But I still remember when the denizens of the Humanities and Social Sciences graduate computer lab talked of taking the “winning” entry from the contest and using it to light the torch, which would then be run around the campus before being used to light a bonfire of our own dissertation drafts.

Haven’t a clue where those former grad students are now, but there have been plenty of occasions when I’ve read a draft and thought of Montserrat Miller’s use of a great dismissive phrase: “That won’t stick together with snot!” [I think the comment was originally in Catalan, since her area of research was market stall ownership in Barcelona].

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