Because it’s a good thing these mistakes didn’t make it into the final versions… “Much of this analysis is based on Van Gogh’s panting of the peasant shoes.” I had no idea Van Gogh had a foot fetish. “Many will be familiar with this description, as it matches the claim Heidegger makes about his visit […]

A student sent me his “Statement of Interesting” for his university application. It didn’t live up to its name. Still, I’m looking forward to reading his Letter of Intentional. I just hope he doesn’t receive a Notice of Rejectionable. I’m also not sure the selection committee would have been convinced by:  “…the many learning experiences […]

I can’t say I share this writer’s perspective on empathy: “If I grow extremely close to a person, I may almost feel that she is a parrot of me.” Squawk! Polly wants an editor! Squawk! And in an unappetizing academic gaffe: “The program gave him only two moths to prepare.” They’re delicious with a little […]

This appeared in a student’s journal about his university experiences: “I was first to arrive for class, and only the professor was in the room. We smiled and knotted.” I know, I know, you’re consenting adults and all, but that kind of thing could land your professor in a heap of trouble. Next time you’d […]

ME: One of the most important strategies for excellent academic writing is to be as specific as possible. Highly specific writing is much more convincing. Let’s do a quick exercise just to make sure we all understand what it means to be specific. I’ll say a phrase and you make it more specific. Ok. “The […]

Something about singing flash mobs makes me over-the-top emotional. As in watch a YouTube video of practically any singing flash mob and in the first twelve seconds I’m rubbing my eyes with a Kleenex. So I was floored when I watched this dude propose to his girlfriend accompanied by a flash mob singing one of […]

I was captivated by these photographs in Der Spiegel of the work of “snow artist” Simon Beck. I imagine Beck as highly civilised yet slighty mad. The work is beautiful and I respond to it at a deep level, mostly by wanting to sit in my man-chair for a good round of Candy Crush while […]

Because a good editor just may save your marriage. I found this in the acknowledgments of a document I edited for a client: “I would also like to thank my wide Margaret, without whom this project would not have been possible.” Your “WIDE Margaret”? Unless your project was stuffing a phone booth full of people, […]

Seeking a creative individual to join the content management team at an innovative social media start-up. Skills required: 1] Must be able to rewrite song lyrics to feature the word “poop” 2] Must be able to work at least 7 minutes before looking at Netflix 3] Must have the ability to remember 40% of a […]

On my way downtown the other day a dishevelled and olfactorily challenging fifty-something plopped down at the back of the bus with his garbage bag full of cans. When he started chatting up nearby passengers, a small herd leapt up and stampeded down the aisle. Witnessing this icy reception, a bright-eyed young guy and his […]