Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Non Campus Mentis

As a rule, I don't keep track of things my students write in papers that are silly or downright stupid mistakes. The reason: it would be far too easy to compile a book like Non Campus Mentis. Anders Henriksson has here compiled a group of student faux pas in history papers that rivals that of the great chain emails of yore. A sampling -- including my most favorite, on that "duelist" religion founded by (ironically enough!) Zorro:

"Zorroastrologism was founded by Zorro. This was a duelist religion."
"During the Dark Ages, it was mostly dark."
"Death rates exceeded one hundred percent in some towns." (on the Black Death)
"Without the discovery of the flying buttock it would have been an impossible job to build the Gothic Cathedral."

And of course, for those who think we're "after history" -- well, according to some, we are:

"History, a record of things left behind by past generations, started in 1815. Thus we should try to view historical times as the behind of the present. This gives incite into the anals of the past."

Of course, I'm being slightly facetious when I say that the reason I don't keep a list of funny errors because I'd want to write a book.

I'm actually more afraid of the book you could write just by compiling my collected high school papers.