Something to do....
[Taken from an article found in the Chicago Tribune.]
Professor Anders Henriksson, dean of history at Shepherd
College in Shepherdstown, W. Va., has made a sport of com-
piling his favorite bloopers from what he swears are real
history exams and term papers, such as:
"Hitler's instrumentality of terror was the Gespacho."
"The Civil Rights movement in the U.S.A. turned around the
corner with Martin Luther Junior's famous 'If I had a hammer'
"Revolters demanded liberty, equality and fraternities."
"John Calvin Klein translated the Bible into American so the
people of Geneva could read it."
More recently, during the Carter administration, according
to another student, the U.S. faced the "Iran Hostess Crisis."
He gets a kick out of another gem sure to send educators
around the bend: "Joan of Arc was famous as Noah's wife."
And: "Christianity was just another mystery cult until Jesus
Or: "China has so many Chinese that forced birth patrol
became required. This is where people are allowed to repro-
duce no more that one half of them elves."
"You talk to anyone who has taught and they have read this
kind of prose," Henriksson said. He stitched hundreds of
such gaffes into a slim volume, "Non Campus Mentis: World
History According to College Students," which has sold
briskly in the few months it has been out. In December the
book made the Top 10 on the New York Times Advice, How to
and Miscellaneous bestseller list.
One generational change Henriksson does see is an increase
in the numbers of students whose gaffes indicate they have
not read enough to realize that they have misheard common
"I don't know how many students said 'took it for granite'
or misuse a common catch phrase like 'the final straw in the
But one warning for history students who will be winging it
come next exam time. Henriksson is considering a sequel.
I know you think you thought you knew what you thought I said,
but I'm not sure you understood what you thought I meant.