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Thursday, March 10, 2005

Making the grade. Alan makes mention of what a pain in the ass grading can be and the tendency students have to turn in first drafts of papers. I would be happy if some students would just take the time to hit "F7" and do the most cursory spellchecking. But even then, the kids are leaving themselves open to mistakes where they misspell their intended words but inadvertently spell something else correctly. The most frequent case of this is where a student intends to say "definitely" but instead types "defiantly." For example, a student may write, "I defiantly agree with the author's argument that blah blah blah." I like to imagine the student standing up straight, fist in the air, jaw clenched, then loudly proclaiming agreement with the author before throwing a brick through a storefront window.

My favorite example of spellcheck letting down a student was a student paper on religious rituals. Instead of typing "religious hymns," the student typed "religious hymens." That, I believe, is something entirely different.

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