Today’s students don’t read. As a result, they have sometimes hilarious notions of how the written language represents what they hear.
Is it true that college students today are unprepared and unmotivated? That generalization does injustice to the numerous bright exceptions I saw in my 25 years of teaching composition to university freshmen. But in other cases the characterization is all too accurate.
A few examples include the following:
“the proper frame of mime” – a different state of mind
“mister meaner” or “misdeminor” – a new type of criminal charge
“toilet trees” – those things that clutter up a bathroom
“two scents worth” – some really cheap perfume
To their credit, students are often frank when it comes to admitting their shortcomings and attitude problems. Like the guy who owned up to doing “halfhazard work.” Or the one who admitted that he wasn’t smart enough to go to an “Ivory League school.” Another lamented not being astute enough to follow the lecture on “Taco Bell’s Canon” in music-appreciation class.
The author concludes, it’s not uncommon to hear students remark on how much they look forward to being done with English.
Who knows what language they’ll use then?the original article from The Wall Street Journal, written by James E. Courtier