Monday, July 9, 2012


In my other life I am a teacher at a local community college. Over the years, I've collected some very "interesting" excerpts from student writing. Once a week I'll be sharing some of the "best."

Here's a sample:

Analyzing a James Joyce short story, a student wrote:

“Eveline is caught between a rock and a hard ball.”

Just slightly more painful than between a pebble and a softball.

A student explained the ending of Hamlet this way:

“But just before Hamlet dies, Fortinbras arrives and Hamlet  thrones him King of Denmark.”

The ceremony is akin to royal musical chairs.

In an attempt to critique a poem, a student explained that:

“These were not your normal six to eight line sonnets.”

I find six-line sonnets banal and eight-line sonnets somewhat stifling.

Of the symbolic import of dust in Joyce’s “Eveline” a student wrote:

“Dust is mentioned so often in my mind, because it represents an old life…”

Gotta wash that dust right out of your mind!

Another fascinating observation:

“Eveline starts realizing that she did make a promise to upload the family before she dies.”

Obviously to a far, far better place.

Do you have some interesting malaprops or other writing faux pas? Please send them along to me at I'll be happy to post them and, of course, give credit where credit is due.

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