Tuesday, March 02, 2010

It's Words Matter Week

Forgive this simile, but we're hungry.

Wrapping around National Grammar Day in the manner of a tortilla embracing delicious rice and beans, Words Matter Week is March 1-7.

The celebration is sponsored by the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (we love them!), and they're inviting all of us to take part in daily blog challenges.

Here's today's:

Communication breaks down when words are misused. What is the funniest, most interesting, or worst break-down you’ve ever observed?

If you’d like to participate in the challenge, write a post on your own blog on the topic of the day, then visit the Words Matter blog to leave your post title and link in the comment section so that others can enjoy what you’ve written. Be sure to share your posts in Facebook, Twitter, and other social media!

Background: In honor of Words Matter Week, a holiday that is celebrated annually the first full week in March, the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE) is hosting a Blog Challenge with a specific daily topic Monday through Friday.

Each blogger that posts a response to each day’s challenge (a total of five posts) will be entered into a drawing for a $20 gift card to Amazon.com. The winner will be announced in the next issue of The Edge, NAIWE’s e-mail newsletter. (If you don’t receive it yet, you may subscribe at the NAIWE homepage). Remember to write the post on your own blog, adding a link to this post. Return to this page and add a comment on this post, with the title of your response and a link to your post.

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Our entry comes from the SPOGG archives. Really, does it get funnier than incontinence and orgasms?

We received this from Steven Chappell, Director of Student Media at Middle Tennessee State University:

My all-time favorite from a student is this gem, which came to me when she missed a test.

"Dr. Chappell,

I'm sorry I missed today's test. I wasn't feeling well. I would be glad to discuss my make-up exam with you at your earliest opportunity. I am sorry for the incontinence."

I sent this reply:

"Dear ----,

Please refer to the syllabus, which requires you to contact me in advance regarding all make-up exams, including those for illness. The next time you are sick, it is not necessary for you to be so descriptive regarding your medical problem, but you do need to contact me in advance to schedule a make-up exam."

No. 2 on my list was this lead on a story from a student, who was writing a class-assigned story on a genetic engineering lecture on campus:

"Professor of English Martha Bartter spoke about the implications of a world containing genetically modified orgasms, focusing on the language barrier that causes problems and the religious aspect."

While I think it was genetically modified organisms that were the topic of the lecture, this new topic would have been much more interesting.

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