Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Automatic F

For anyone who uses the word "bard" when they're not writing about really early texts.  Double F for anyone who uses the words "immortal" and "bard" in the same sentence.

For misuse of "irony."

What are the things that make you want to write the old one legged A?


  1. For any non-ironic use of "relatable."

    For starting a sentence with "That said" when nothing of substance has been said.

    For "contrasts" without "with," thus: Whitman contrasts Dickinson in terms of line length.

  2. "Since time immemorial. . . ."

    Any application of "utilize" or "prioritize".

    "In fact" when it isn't.

    Any essay that tries to explain that rules or laws in the past exactly documented how people behaved in the past. Because nobody thought of standing up to the man until, oh, the 1960s or maybe their own lifetimes?

  3. The past few years I've noticed that students use "novel" to refer to almost any piece of written work. I don't teach literature. I teach history. While there are plenty of novels I would use in an upper-level history class, none of those have been used in the survey classes I've been teaching. A journal article is not a novel. A monograph is not a novel. A pamphlet is not a novel. A speech is not a novel. Where is this coming from? It drives me crazy!

    On a smaller, but equally annoying note, I can't stand all the random words getting capitalized. When did capitals become difficult to understand?

  4. Yes to both of you! I often have people write that plays are novels! Argh!

    And since time immemorial, students have driven teachers crazy with hyperbole about time!

  5. Yes yes yes to the everything's-a-novel thing. It baffles me even more when they call, say, a short story or an essay a "poem." HOW do people not know how to tell the difference between poetry and not-poetry?