To Err is Humorous (2017 Edition)

It’s that most wonderful time of the year: grading season. As I’ve noted before, there’s an occasional silver lining to this otherwise purgatorial duty, namely, occasionally encountering an amusing typo or other lapsus calami. Five years ago I posted a collection of these gaffes, and as an act of solidarity with my fellow professors, I now post a second batch. (All are genuine.)

First, however, let me repeat some important words of qualification from my earlier post:

I should emphasize that most of these are innocent mistakes and no reflection on the abilities of the students who wrote them. Some of them appeared in otherwise excellent papers. They’re the sort of errors any of us could make, and many of us have made, especially when under the pressure of a deadline or ambushed by the AutoCorrect feature of our word processors. So enjoy them, but don’t forget that these are human errors — and we’re all human.

From exams:

“Augustine’s philosophy of history is the idea that history is linear and not cylindrical.” (Something to do with the curvature of space-time?)

“the doctrine of penal substation”

“God is a personable being.”

“prepositional apologetics” (Arguing from God to God?)

“Christian apoplectics” (I think I’ve seen instances of this!)

“One of the purposes of apologetics is to bring gory to God.” (Horror!)

“John Locke taught that the human mind was a ‘tabula rosa’.” (A rose tablet?)

“The rationalists were weary of sense experience.” (I can sympathize.)

From papers:

“the spender of the Three-in-One”

“We must submit ourselves to the inherent Word of God.”

“Eve was created to compliment Adam.” (I’m pretty sure it was the other way around.)

“mid-evil Christianity” (The dark ages?)

“Reinhold Niebuhr was born in Wright City, Misery.” (Not a happy place, then.)

“Westminster Lager Catechism” (I’ll drink to that!)

“I would like to star in Genesis 2.” (Sorry, you missed the auditions.)

“According to a recent gallop pole…”

“In Islam there are seven main tenants of sin.” (I’ve heard of ‘living in sin’ but…)

“…by examining two major periscopes from the biblical text…”

“The confession lists several of God’s diving attributes.” (Perhaps that’s where the periscopes come in.)

Finally, this year’s winner:

“We should do all we can to bring people to Chris.”

(Chris works in our admissions department, so… yes.)

1 thought on “To Err is Humorous (2017 Edition)”

  1. James Westcott

    Now that is funny, you might want to get Chris a bigger office… its real nice to have the innate quality, or should I say capability , to make mistakes…that is where the learning really takes place. To err is to learn.

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