We are now 2 weeks into late fall semester. Things move at a fast pace when the class begins at the end of September, yet ends mid-December, along with all the other classes.
Students turned in their first paper, which I returned to them today, all green pen marked and graded.
I gave them my usual--here's what the various marks mean, and here is where you look in the handbook to fix the types of mistakes commonly being made--speech.
Before, I even got to that review, one student called out--what does WW mean. Continuing with the paper returns, I said--it means wrong word. There are various words in the English language--wonderful rich language that it is--that sound like other words, yet mean something completely different.
I find that using wrong words is one of the most frequent errors students make. And the tendency is catching. I was using a PowerPoint to highlight the important content that I wanted students to get from today's lecture--and there it was up on the screen. A MISTAKE. Glaring. Winking at me. Arrgghhhh! I have been corrupted by my students.
I had written DUEL, when I clearly meant DUAL. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Sadly, no student caught it.
Here are three of my favorite wrong word errors from this round of papers.
Fronds. . .meaning friends
Sauna gram. . .meaning sonogram
And spur attic. . .meaning sporadic.
With all the papers returned, I gave students time to review their marks. And, I answered as students said--what is this that you wrote.
All along, I could hear one woman in the front of the class muttering--I am not liking this at all.
I dismissed class a bit early, saying--any of you who have questions, and want to take 5 minutes to go over your paper, I will stay right here.
I expected the muttering student to stay and ask something--but she was out the door in a flash. SIGH. And to think, at the beginning of the semester, she had loudly announced how much she loves to write. What she probably means is that if she gets to write, journal fashion, unedited, unevaluated thoughts, then she loves to write. But let me review her work and offer constructive criticism--well, that she is NOT liking at all.