The World According to Student Bloopers
November 9, 2001 12:54 PM   Subscribe

The World According to Student Bloopers is an extremely hilarious 'essay' which was created by Richard Lederer, who compiled embarassingly silly quotes from students' essays. This was brought to my attention by my Modern-Western History teacher, and I believe everyone should read this. While humorous, it is also indescribably frightening that there are people out there who actually wrote this stuff.
posted by Dark Messiah (22 comments total)
 
I love this essay (though it's been around for years)--damned funny stuff. I don't think it's really all that frightening, though--the errors are drawn together from lots of different sources, and most of the really tragically wrong statements seem to be clever combinations of different students' errors. Heck, the vast majority of the original bloopers are just spelling mistakes (and what appears to be one conscious joke: "as a queen she was a success").

And of course, one quote "Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock," might well be true, if you believe some of the stories about Xanthippe.
posted by moss at 1:07 PM on November 9, 2001


What I want to know is if the mistakes were the result of extreme carelessness or stupidity? Some of the typos look like the result of someone doing spell check without actually watching to see what it's correcting.

That said, some of them are funny.
posted by melissa at 1:07 PM on November 9, 2001


Yeah, I'm sure most of it is "spell checker" gone ballistic, without the writer doing decent proof-reading. I remember handing in a typo-laden essay—it was awful. I felt like a putz, mind you that is what I deserve for last-ditch essay writing.
posted by Dark Messiah at 1:10 PM on November 9, 2001


Some of the typos look like the result of someone doing spell check without actually watching to see what it's correcting.


I've seen this before and everyone gets a chuckle at those "stupid" students. Anyone here remember high school? Paper assigned last week is due in 12 hours and you haven't even started. Some people are just really bad at faking it.

Maybe the funny part is that they aren't as good liars and bullshitters as the rest of us.
posted by skallas at 1:12 PM on November 9, 2001


It's even funnier if you read it out loud with a John Cleese accent.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:12 PM on November 9, 2001


Franklin had gone to Boston carrying all his clothes in his pocket and a loaf of bread under each arm. He invented electricity by rubbing cats backwards and declared "a horse divided against itself cannot stand." Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.

Absolutely priceless. I just wonder if anything as mind-bogglingly garbled as this snippet ever turned up in a single paper.
posted by davehat at 1:13 PM on November 9, 2001


Reminds me of "Dave Barry Slept Here"
posted by remlapm at 1:14 PM on November 9, 2001


I could swear I heard chunks of this quoted recently by Click and Clack on Car Talk. Forget a John Cleese accent, picture this in your mind's ear read with interjected guffaws by Tom and Ray.
posted by fpatrick at 1:19 PM on November 9, 2001


Reminds me of the insurance claims bloopers a teacher once passed around in school. This site has the student bloopers that Dark Messiah linked to above.
posted by msacheson at 1:26 PM on November 9, 2001


And of course, one quote "Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock," might well be true, if you believe some of the stories about Xanthippe.

::: snicker :::

I must agree, fpatrick, that no one interjects a guffaw like Tom and Ray.
posted by rushmc at 1:38 PM on November 9, 2001


While hilarous in the students attempt to sound intellegent, I can understand. If you're sitting in class taking a test, and you didn't study, you'll likely go for broke and write down anything that sounds like a correct answer in your own mind.

When you *know* you're gong to fail a test, you either get desparate or defeat yourself. I'm picking up a lot of desparation, or maybe just plain apathy, in these excerpts.
posted by Down10 at 1:43 PM on November 9, 2001


Neither of which, surely, excuses the ignorance.
posted by rushmc at 2:20 PM on November 9, 2001


A myth is a female moth.

And purple is a fruit!
posted by judomadonna at 3:22 PM on November 9, 2001


A good number of the mistakes seem to be phonetic substitutions - "Donkey Hote" and so on. Not exactly homonyms, really, but the sort of thing where it's clear the person heard it but has never read anything about it. Somehow, that seems worse; someone who has failed to learn something can try again, but someone who doesn't read is pretty much hopeless.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 4:07 PM on November 9, 2001


someone who has failed to learn something can try again, but someone who doesn't read is pretty much hopeless.

You do know they get the papers back and any competent teacher would point out the mistake. A large part of learning is trial and error. Sure, these are funny and extreme examples most of which I'll attribute to skipping class and coming up with creative answers to something you know you've failed. The rest look like spell check laziness or like I mentioned before putting a paper off until the last minute.
posted by skallas at 6:17 PM on November 9, 2001


I believe this was published in Harpers long ago.
posted by mmarcos at 7:38 PM on November 9, 2001


Sorry, but some of these are indeed frightening. No eighth-grader in a civilized country should come up with anything remotely like this:

Gravity was invented by Issac Walton. It is chiefly noticeable in the Autumn, when the apples are flaling off the trees.
posted by muckster at 7:46 PM on November 9, 2001


I have a stack of blue books on my dining room table right now, and believe me it gets much worse.
posted by rschram at 8:41 PM on November 9, 2001


I like the new classical Greek architectural order--Ironic, not to mention Moses coming down from Mt. Cyanide--I'm picturing Edward G. Robinson saying "So, where's your God now, Moses?" with that in mind. But, boy, Ironic columns and capitals--I'm throwing down the gauntlet for designs here, boys and grrls!
posted by y2karl at 9:30 PM on November 9, 2001


and believe me it gets much worse.

Halloween is over--quit trying to scare me.
posted by rushmc at 10:59 PM on November 9, 2001


Captain John Smith was responsible for all this.
posted by Succa at 12:17 PM on November 10, 2001


I wonder if Dubya's read it? :-)

Ash.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:22 PM on November 10, 2001


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