Phi Beta Cons

Those Who Can’t Right Papers, Grade Papers

A TA at York University in Canada is in trouble over this Facebook update:

My student’s papers are making me dumber, so very stupid; by the minute. Please, make them, stop. They are infecting me with there huge and apparent stupidity, and I fear they will start to effect in my opinion the way I myself right papers.

This reminds me of the infamous (well, in language-blog circles) TA who marked up a student’s paper for overuse of the passive voice — only most of the alleged errors were not, in fact, examples of the passive voice.

(For what it’s worth, regarding that embattled way of forming a clause, my own view is that it’s usually wordier and less direct than the active voice, and that it’s good to teach young writers to treat it as a red flag for rephrasing, though not an error, when they’re self-editing.)

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