The Basics: Grammar & Syntax
Semi-OT - a rant about bad academic writing disguised as a song parody
Semi-OT, but I have to rant about this, and this seemed like an appreciative venue.
In my other life, I'm an adjunct instructor, and I have to assign a paper every semester. Every semester, the writing quality gets worse and worse, even though I put more and more effort into providing "how to not suck at writing" resources that these people should have learned long before they ever got into college. That was the inspiration for how I came to write this:
THE LEGEND OF THE GHOST WRITERS
(To the tune of "Ghost Riders in the Sky" by Stan Jones, although for singing along with, I recommend the Spiderbait cover.) A student was a'writing up His homework one fine day He did a really half-assed job So he could go and play When all at once, a red-pen wielding Phantom horde he saw They snatched his essay from his hands And sniffed out every flaw Their hands were stained with crimson ink Their faces dark with rage They gnashed their teeth and hollered As they read through every page A bolt of fear went through him As he saw his free time die He saw the writers working hard And he heard their angry cry Yippee oy vey Yippee oh nooooo Ghost writers make you cry Yippee oy vey Yippee oh nooooo Ghost writers maaaake you cryyyyyyyyy They marked up every spelling goof And every comma splice They ravaged every paragraph He had not made concise His misplaced modifiers And his tense shifts made them howl And his sentence structure It was nothing less than foul. Their work was finally ended And he heard one call his name "If you want to save your grades from Hell And scholarly declaim Then, dumbass, change your ways today And learn to friggin' write. Or share our curse and ride with us Fixing papers every night." Yippee oy vey Yippee oh nooooo Ghost writers make you cry Yippee oy vey Yippee oh nooooo Ghost writers maaaake you cryyyyyyyyy ::Awesome guitar/harmonica solo:: Yippee oy vey Yippee oh nooooo Ghost writers make you cry Yippee oy vey Yippee oh nooooo Ghost writers maaaake you cryyyyyyyyy
--edited by Ian Nathaniel Cohen on 7/21/2013, 2:42 PM--
Actually, now that I think about it, while this was intended as a parody of the Stan Jones song, a parody of the Ghost Rider comic book with this premise would be made of awesome. Think about it - "Ghost Writer, Spirit of Grammar Vengeance," a supernatural vigilante who punishes bad writers - from bad novelists and screenwriters to students who don't know the first thing about grammar. As a take-off on Ghost Rider's Penance Stare that makes villains feel the pain of their victims, Ghost Writer uses his Red Pen-ance Stare to make his enemies feel the pain of every sentence they've mangled, everyone who's had to read their godawful work.
Hmmmm...anyone know a good artist? (Not to mention a lawyer?)
--edited by Ian Nathaniel Cohen on 10/28/2013, 2:23 PM--