Student Grammatical Train Wrecks

By: Mike McDaniel   My students, regularly, in their fierce struggles with the English language, say more, less, or something entirely different than they intended. It’s tempting to see these bite-sized bits of mirth as evidence of the supposed deterioration of education, but I’ve found that the worst students, particularly those that don’t really care or try, never produce anything so delightful, on purpose or by accident. It’s only the kids that are striving to improve themselves, and writing a little too fast, or perhaps, a little beyond their present ability, that step over the line of error into comedy.

Here, for example, is a student whose sudden enthusiasm for metaphor runneth over following a discussion of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol:

Metaphor Alert: Tiny Tim can bring most of the audience to their knees trembling in pity, because he is a young sick boy with a good heart that is on the dark side of the world, and can only see the light.

As the kids drum their feverish attempts at excellent writing into you, enjoy this edition of comic writings! 

So That’s What That Noise Is… “At my sixth birthday I got a drum set and I have been playing ever since. I played in church for five years and loved it. I am still playing the drums as I speak.”

Well No Wonder Your Grade Is Low… “Usually I get really mad and eat my test [mandatory, high stakes test] and get in trouble.”

Tales Of Old Age: “…and this story is mainly about an elderly man (Scrooge) who is in his 30’s if not older…”

By Eating Them? “The pheasants were not educated at all and the churches took advantage of it.”

And We All Know How Much That Can Hurt: “It’s kind of sad that George ended up shooting Lennie in the end…”

Easily Amused: “The movie [Dr. Strangelove] was a little boring at first but it got better. I liked the part where he shot the Coke machine and the money spewed out. It was awesome!”

A Firm Grasp Of Statistics: “He says that when you use stereotypes you’re 100% correct. I don’t agree with him because 98% of the time a person is fully all the way correct.”

Real Learning: “I learned a few things from doing it. I can’t really tell you, but I know I learned something.”

My, You Are Sensitive, Aren’t You? “As a little girl and even now, I’ve been very emotional, so my parent’s spit was really difficult for me to handle.”

Real Progress: “Look at me a year ago. I was after one girl, Suzie Smith. Now I am after all of them.”

Advice For Living: “I should be happy for the live I have lived, and in order to be happy about the life I have lived, I should strive to be wholly in the instant and live every day to my foulest.”

About Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”: “Why don’t they have an English version of this?”

Well, Sure… “Vincent van Gogh was clearly insane, but wouldn’t you be too if you were not successful in life but only to find our you were in death?”

Master Of The Obvious: “My first year in high school I was a freshman.”

Common Male Complaint: “The poem ‘Wish For A Young Wife,’ by Theodore Roethke, is about a man [who] can’t make his wife happen no matter what.”

I Guess Not: “There aren’t only violent video games, there are educational video games which help teach people the violent one are another way. Eminem and 2-Pac grew up in real life though 2-Pac is dead so he is not a very good example.”

Well, Sure… “My mom told me to put the dogs in the house before we started pooping the firecrackers.”

I’m Not Sure About That Comparison…“He [McMurphy] teaches the inmates how to play cards and gamble, similar to how Jesus taught the people about God.”

Just Like In High School…“All of this shows that America no longer cares about the rest of the world, but rather about the celebrity dating status, which is just like in high school..”

After They Blow Up? “The government can, however, afford to let (theoretically) a group of terrorists walk across the border and blow themselves up with impunity, and then walk back across the border.”

Fun, New Trends Department: “Eating disorders are more and more popular.”

In A Teacher’s E-Mail: “Thanks and sorry for the incontinence.”

Captain Crunch? “There was plenty to be afraid of, for instants, the dark, ghosts, psycho cereal killers, and other things along those lines.”

True Romance: “Roxanne noticed that Chris’ voice changed, but she was so raped up in the words she did not care.”

Scary Romance: “If the one you love doesn’t love you, then you should be willing to let them be happy, even if that means to scarify your feelings.”

Thank Goodness: “I had a superficial cute that did not need medical attention.”

Latin Vegetables: Requiscat in Pacem: “Rest in peas.”

Fun To Know And Tell: “I have a high self of steam.”

Fun To Know And Tell: “I have a bias in my pants.”

Is This Guy Really Such A Great Trainer? “He’s [an athletic trainer] taught me to respect human life and to not use my body as a weapon. He has seen athletes dies, five of his players died last month.”

Marine Royalty Department: “Diana, Princess of Whales.”

Terrorist Librarian Department: “It was recorded as the worst terrorism attack ever undertaken by Scholastic Library.”

In A JHS Basketball Newsletter: “Mason Smart caught fire and was absolutely unconscious.”

Historical Confusion: “Medieval Europeans were angry with women because of Eve. If Eve hadn’t eaten the forbidden fruit, everyone could run around in their underwear.”

Historical Confusion II: “Medieval Europeans were so very angry with just the whole women gender in general because of an ancient event. This ancient even caused their anger, yet, this even is unknown to many people, including me.”

Uh, What?: “Overall, this film is good art. It taught me to be more appreciative about life and not waste my precious time living.”

Not To Death! “Lennie loves to touch things that are soft, but he inadvertently kills them to death, not meaning to.”

Don’t You Have To Earn That? “Give me some respect or else.”

Amazing Insights Department: “In this chapter, Huck’s internal dialogue is with himself.”

Use “Deduce” In A Complete Sentence: “In tennis, they have deduce.

Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself: “My interpretation of ‘Plan 9’ is stupid.

That’s A Good Thing, Right? “The average person in today’s society bathes in the nude.”

How About Verbs? “Nouns go to Catholic churches.”

Shouldn’t Everything Be More Memorable? “She [a teacher] taught me everything, but I can’t really remember because it was back when I was in 6th grade and I can’t remember that far back.

Sounds Like Fun: “’Forbidden Planet is about a grope of 20 people.”

There are just some movies everyone should see!  More to come next week.

Mike’s Home blog is Stately McDaniel Manor.