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(AEU restored. Tsk, Areff)

I have faint recollections of writing similar stuff as a ... read the book I couldn't remember the author's name.

*Eheu!

Gesundheit!

The Liebs
N.B.: The author's name was not given in the exam question
Richard Yates demonstrated how much content there was in the paragraph in his post. I repost his paragraph: (quote) "Despite ... "globalisation". We can even replace "globalisation" with "terrorism" or "undocumented immigration" and the new paragraphs work just about as well.

Not at all. I'm in the same position. Having been told this was a concluding paragraph we're not changing that fact, are we? I assume the mystery paper attempted to discuss the associations and ramifications and benefits and whatnot of premistrofication, whatever that is. I assume the writer knew what premistrofication was, and either explained it or took it as a given in the field. Why should I assume otherwise?
So, sorry, I don't see how that simple substitution affects my points one whit, jot, tittle, iota, or crumb.

Best Donna Richoux
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Not at all. I'm in the same position. Having been told this was a concluding paragraph we're not changing ... premistrofication was, and either explained it or took it as a given in the field. Why should I assume otherwise?

Substituting a nonsense word allows focus on the writing itself in two ways:

- It eliminates our tendency to not notice the gaps because we fill them in from our own knowledge base (cf. confabulation).
- It highlights the vacuousness, tautologicality (?), and internal contradictions of the writing.
It isn't just that, as a concluding paragraph, the writing does not include the foundation for its summary statements. Rather, the problem is that most of what you assume are just conclusions simply say very little, and use many words to do so.
Richard Yates demonstrated how much content there was in the ... immigration" and the new paragraphs work just about as well.

Not at all. I'm in the same position. Having been told this was a concluding paragraph we're not changing that fact, are we?

Of course not. But that doesn't make a difference. Concluding paragraphs are not supposed to be vacuous.
I assume

And this is your problem. You assume. A well-written conclusion will certainly contain unexplained information. It is, in part, a summary of what has been said in the body of the work.
the mystery paper attempted to discuss the associations and ramifications and benefits and whatnot of premistrofication, whatever that is. I assume

You assume too much with too little evidence.
the writer knew what premistrofication was, and either explained it or took it as a given in the field. Why should I assume otherwise?

Why should you assume anything at all? Unfounded assumptions cause all kinds of real problems in the real world. I won't bother to give examples.
So, sorry, I don't see how that simple substitution affects my points one whit, jot, tittle, iota, or crumb.

Why aren't you assuming that it does? It would be consistent with your demonstrated approach to discourse in this thread, at least.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor
For email, replace numbers with English alphabet.
I've had to edit enough academic texts where lecturers have said nothing in many words to feel sympathy for the student. They often have very poor examples to follow.

Good point, Steve. I agree wholeheartedly. This also explains why so many adults have assumed for so many millennia why the younger generation is going to hell. Every younger generation has had such poor examples to follow in every way.
And I have the same problem with my Taiwanese medical authors. They use whatever they find published in English-language medical journals as models for their own writing. Unfortunately, most of the medical writing they have to choose from is poor at best. But, like young students, they don't know the difference and are happy to foolow the leader without thinking critically about what they've said.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor
For email, replace numbers with English alphabet.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Sure, the writer could have done a better job at being clear and concise. No doubt about that. But this falls short of the promised hilarity. (Subject line.)

I grant that my idea of hilarious and yours may be quite different, but the idea that "the lack of a clear definition" or "the misuse of the term" could somehow bear upon the way globalisation affects people struck me as very amusing.
Which is not a request to see more, by the way I'm getting uneasy over what right the original poster had in reprinting an excerpt from the essay of a student of her husband's, without that student's permission.

This is a news group. We talk about the way people use English. This was an example of English used in a particular context that also raised a broader question about the influence of POMO on usage.

We quote published material without the express consent of the authors here all the time. We quote user manuals, public statements of politicians, things our friends and relatives have said, stuff we've heard on the radio or on TV, other posts and so forth. To the best of my knowledge, nobody here has ever sought express consent, and if they have they haven't made that clear, and they are a tiny minority.

I am not making a profit out of this, nor defaming any person (since nothing I've posted could be used to identify her, or the institution at which she studies).
How would the student feel if she knew that what she wrote as part of her educational course was being held up around the world as if it were an entertaining bad example?

She's most unlikely to know, but if she did find out, perhaps by searching google, she could respond and defend herself. If all of the people who know her remain blissfully ignorant, there is no harm, and if she finds out, she doesn't have to tell anyone it was her so again there is no harm. She can refute my claims posting anonymously. She might actually learn something.
Do schools have ethical policies about such things? It seems as wrong as reprinting someone's email. And without even a boffo joke to justify it.

What's a boffo joke?
Fran
It was indeed the concluding paragraph. The sarcastic tone reflected ... thoughts into a neat and comprehensible bundle at the end.

I sometimes comfort anxious pre-examination students by telling them what the agreed marking guidelines for a pass mark are: the student appears to understand the question, and to know what kind of answer is required, but doesn't have a clue what the answer is.

It's all about the outcome being measured. If "describes the nature and function of ..." is an outcome, then to get the mark for that, they need to demonstrate that. They can achieve that in a trivial way and get a trivial mark, or do it comprehensively and get a brilliant mark for that outcome.
We all have to do our bit to acommodate our (UK) Govt's ambition to get 50% of the population through ... avoid laughing, grimacing, or making other expressions of humour, despair, etc., since the students we were invigilating found this upsetting.

It might also constitute unwitting assistance to some, or perhaps confusion for others, introducing an uncontrolled variable into the testing procedure.
One takes quite a different attitude to this kind of thing when one has retired :-)

That's true, but as a teacher, I get more than a bit annoyed when I see mediocrity or worse. It's unavoidable in many cases, but we all have to do our bit to raise standards.
Fran
Here you are wrong Fran, and I happen to agree with Donna. I posted an url to my work in a sort of asinine psychological sparring with Tony Cooper, and my work was quoted and altered without my consent, and I still take issue with this. Your husband's student, by contrast, has no idea that you have copied her manuscript in Usenet in order to make fun of her, and this could lead to a liability issue if grades were altered due to this. I realize technology has outstripped the law here, but we seem to have lost respect for the intellectual currency of others. You did a stupid thing. Hopefully it won't come back to bite.
Joanne
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
I've had to edit enough academic texts where lecturers have ... the student. They often have very poor examples to follow.

Good point, Steve. I agree wholeheartedly. This also explains why so many adults have assumed for so many millennia why

Ooops! This "why" should have been "that".
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