Way back in October, Beca and I were among the luck few to get tickets to the special, all day, Lord of the Rings Trilogy screening. That's right, on December 16th, we'd be seeing the long version of Fellowship, followed by the long version of Two Towers, followed by the "normal" Return of the King, itself clocking in at almost three and a half hours. These tickets were hard to come by and by the day of the screening were selling for many times their face value of $28 on E-Bay.
Being Tad and Beca, we purchased the tickets on-line and hoped to keep them safely locked up in the Metreon's automatic ticket dispenser until the day of the screening. We both tend to lose things, especially important things. This seemed the best plan possible...and it would have worked if the self same ticket dispenser hadn't tried to out smart us.
A couple weeks before the screening, Beca went to see Love Actually at the Metreon, and when she went to pick up the tickets she bought on-line earlier that afternoon, the machine also spit out the Lord of the Rings Trilogy tickets which had been purchased with the same credit card. No! Now we'd have to keep track of them!
Needless to say, we did lose them and then found them again. Being very smart, Beca slid them into the frame of the big mirror above our mantle, safe for the next two weeks until we'd need them.
So, I realize I'm not teaching a writing class. And I realize that I'm teaching art and animation students.
But, these college students are horrible writers.
In order to get a better idea of my students' specific interests, I assign a one-page essay on the first day of class. Many of the essays were quite good, but a disturbing number of them were so poorly written I was embarrassed. Perhaps I have been spoiled by my many friends who are excellent writers.
My first warning was a student using the word "than" instead of "then," as in: "other then that, I was pretty normal." I assumed it was a typo. I mean, "A" and "E" are only three keys away from each other as the knight moves on a chessboard. A simple slip, right? Then it happened again! "I'd rather animate then do special effects."
I understand confusing "weather" and "whether." I understand mixing up "who" and "whom." I even understand mis-using apostrophes (although I do not forgive it).
But, mixing up "then" and "than?"
And then it happened in another essay...and another...and another! An epidemic!
I have just gone through the this exercise for the third semester and the "thens" just keep on coming! Didn't these students even encounter the word "than" in math class? After all, five is greater than three. Isn't it?
The only explanation I have is that these students don't read, and have never seen the word "than" in print. Combined with sloppy American pronunciation, perhaps the seldom-used "than" has been absorbed by the more common "then."
Am I over-reacting?
Am I wrong to be outraged?
I feel a bit better now having vented a bit.
No, that's a lie. It still bothers me.
The funniest part of the Eddie Izzard show on Saturday was not even part of the show. While everyone was taking their seats, ushers were walking around holding up little 12" square signs with a picture of a camera with the universal "no" circle and slash through them.
Just walking around holding them up. No interruption of the Tom Jones music over the P.A. for an announcement. No reminder as you had your ticket torn.
Just a guy walking around holding a laminated piece of paper with a cartoon on it.
It wasn't even a red circle with a line through it!
I really wish I had my camera with me to take a picture of the guy "telling" me not to take a picture. Dang!
Mostly Unrelated Anectdote:
On of my favorite gags from the incredibly uneven but likeable show The Critic is one in which Jay gets into a cab and asks the cabbie a question. The cabbie replies in a thick accent: "Look at sign," and thumbs to a sign that reads: "Driver speaks only three words of English."
You are Beast!
You are brilliant and extremely clever. You can
handle almost any problem swiftly and
efficiently. You are devoted to philosophy and
are always up for a good discussion.
Sometimes, though, your anger gets the best of
you and you upset those whom you care about.
Which X-Men character are you most like?
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