Here are few literary gems from my inbox. These emails were sent to me by some of my students over the few last semesters. I will preface this by saying that the strange linguistic constructs you will see below were produced mostly by A or B students, native speakers of English – who at other times sent me much more coherent and understandable correspondence. Names were naturally removed to protect the innocent.
First one is from my “Subject field does not have spellcheck” category:
Subject: ques tion reguarding hwk
Reguarding kinda reminds me of havening. It’s kinda my new favorite word. Then again, maybe it was a honest typo. I have done much worse in the past (and on this very blog). Still, I can’t help but thing I had the famous George in my class and I didn’t even know it.
Some of my students apparently subscribe to the “punctuation inhibits communication” school of thought:
hello quick question for the hw 2 is it due next class
Careful analysis, tells me that this would have made perfect sense as an IM or a text message. Think about it for a second and the places where one would hit enter will become obvious. It seems that the art of writing email is slowly forgotten by the generation of people who use IM exclusively.
Then again, I wish all the letters I get were this coherent. For example, look at this one (reproduced complete with the weird spacing and etc..):
Hi prof on may 7 at 23:45 after the class I send my hw thru d
But today today i checked my grades and i didn’t any grades for it then I check m the file which i
i send it to u It didn’t’ say that u received it the file.( i don’t know maybe i could submit it rite way or?
well anyways i am resending it.
I’m not sure what was going on in there, but I guess the gist of this message is that the person is re-submitting their homework because they didn’t see their grade listed in the LMS. It took me a while to figure this out, but the last sentence is the key.
Btw, there is a lesson I have learned over time – if I add a new assignment in the online grade book but do not put the grades right away, I get students trying to re-submit their work thinking it didn’t go through or that I somehow missed it. It’s even better when I add a project that I didn’t assign yet in there. I get few dozen emails with people begging me to email them the instructions because they never got the handout them in class. These days I don’t add anything to the online grade book until I have graded it. :P
Sometimes I just can’t tell what an email is about. I found one like this in my mailbox last semester and I could not figure out how to respond:
Hello, professor….I completed lab was an able to do so at home because i do did not windows 2007. So i completed in the comp. lab on campus.
Did he complete the lab? I think my response went something among the lines of “Thats ok. Let me know if you can’t submit it before the deadline”.
Also, Windows 2007 FTW. When I ask them on the test whether MS Office 2007 is an Operating system, or if Windows XP is Application Software most of them get it right. But they still use Office and Windows interchangeably in common speech.
I actually don’t I mind the odd punctuation, innovative spelling and fragmented sentences. As long as I can make sense of it, I will try to reply to it, or grade it to the best of my ability. Sometimes I wonder how professors with degrees in English cope with this sort of things. :P
[tags]mailbox, mail, correspondence, spelling, grammar, punctuation[/tags]