I spent all of yesterday deciphering the hand writing on my students’ exams. It was worth it, for I happened upon this gem:
“God allows evil to exist although He can easily defeat goodness.” Well sure, but why would he want to? On the other hand, this does explain the success rate of Cleveland sports.
Another student apparently thought that felix culpa, the Latin phrase for “happy fault,” was a person, for she wrote that “The contrast view originated from felix culpa.” I’ve met kids with bizarre names, but this one would be especially hard to overcome. Imagine starting every day with “Good morning, Happy Fault.”
These funnies reminded me of my all-time favorite bloopers, so here, in memory of a satisfying semester and the hope of a productive summer, are my top ten mistakes from my student’s papers (with my commentary following each one).
10. “Even though having sex with someone other than your spouse is adulatory…”
He meant to say adultery, but instead wrote “something worthy of high praise.”
9. “Before the tree, Adam enjoyed sex without knowing that Eve was naked.”
Adam was one dumb guy.
8. “Progress was replaced with repetition. It could be said that the most famed scholars perpetually graduated from the School of Redundancy School.”
This one speaks for itself.
7. “Urbanization and telecommunication have effectively brought the world to our living room and even our front door.”
If it’s already in your living room, the front door is a moot issue.
6. “Rogers has stumbled upon, what I believe to be, the side effects of the church’s attempt to beat believers into submission.”
Isn’t the point behind a beating the beating itself? Does one really care about the side effects? I’ve never heard anyone say, “Too bad about those side effects, otherwise I would have really enjoyed that beating.”
5. In 1059 Anselm made his way to the Benedictine abbey of Bec in Normandy. The following year Anselm entered the abbey.
He shouldn’t have waited so long to knock.
4. “Erasmus and Luther exchanged monograms concerning the ability of man’s will.”
The student meant to say monographs, but instead had Erasmus and Luther swapping initials. “I don’t want to distract from our very important dialogue, but I would like to trade you my Gothic ‘L’ for your Helvetica ‘E.’”
3. “The power of Christ could not be overcome by Satin’s power of death.”
That 800 thread count is a killer.
2. “Notice the tow ‘ifs.’”
If you want someone to notice a specific word, don’t misspell the word right before it. Because that’s all they’ll see.
And my all-time favorite, submitted by Craig Jarvis, a terrific pastor in Chicago who is still brings this up every time we talk…
1. “Many ill-informed churches have swallowed a popularized notion that John Calvin was a harsh man who taught that much like a rosy-cheeked Santa, with a wink and a nod, God damned crates of humans to hell.”
Someone is harboring some bad Christmas memories. Can you imagine little Craig walking with his parents through the mall? “Look, Craig. It’s Santa!” “No, not Santa! Aieeeaahhhh!”