Professor tells student "Australia isn't a country" and gives her a failing grade


#61

I mean, we’re supposed to believe there’s a giant island overrun by animals that are clearly supposed to be some kind of hybrid between a deer and a tyrannosaurus? That’s some comic book craziness.


#62

We have only your word for that. I’ve never actually seen that alleged country.


#63

Won’t they be surprised when they find it’s the Winter Olympics. Or does Australia have a bobsled team now? :wink:


#64

No wonder they teamed up with Germany, which also felt their country was very unique :wink:


#65

One of my favorite memories ever was watching 6’3" of Australian navigate an icy slope in New England. It was like watching a newborn deer.


#66

That’s a valid description of the homo sapiens australensis morphology


#67

As opposed to some people’s minds.


#68

SNHU is a fake university. So awful what has happened to higher ed in this country. More proof that capitalism is NOT the solution for everything.


#69

You might recommend this for their marketing campaign. Could get a sweet consulting gig out of it :wink:


#70

This all makes sense once you learn the Professor is from New Zealand


#71

The plane pilots are all in on this

It must be a tough job keeping track of all those conspiracies: Australia doesn’t exist, the Earth is flat, and half the fuel tanks are full of that chemtrail stuff.

Hmm. Ask that professor if Australia is a continent or an island.


#72

Yeah that’ll be me. Never tried it in New England but I did have a go in Galway, Ireland. The footpath won that little battle. Turns out we do have a bobsled team. Maybe our practice of push starting our cars will give them a competitive boost.


#73

I think It is time to someone release an unified conspiracy theory.


#74

My 9th grade science teacher told us ‘there are more brain cells in the brain than atoms in the universe!’. I raised my hand and said ‘that’s impossible. Aren’t brain cells made out of atoms?’. I got detention.


#75

Maybe he was thinking in Australasia… Maybe his handwriting was very bad.


#76

Well, it’s true that they did, so she’s right about that part.

Here’s the OED:

potato, n.

Pronunciation: Brit. /pəˈteɪtəʊ/, U.S. /pəˈteɪdoʊ/
Inflections: Plural potatoes, (nonstandard) potatos.
Forms:
α. 15 potaton, 15–16 potade, 15–16 potatus (perhaps plural), 15–17 patata, 15– potato, 15– potatoe (now nonstandard), 16 partato, 16 patatto, 16 potado, 16 potata, 16 pottatie, 16 pottato, 16 puttato, 17 pottatoe, 17 putatou, 17– pertater (regional and nonstandard), 18– potater (regional and nonstandard); Eng. regional 18 poltatie (Cornwall), 18 pottato, 18 pottytus (plural, Lancs.), 18– pertaayter, 18– pertatie, 18– poltate (Cornwall), 18– potate, 18– potaty, 18– potito (Lancs.), 18– puttate; U.S. regional 18 petator, 18 petatur, 19– patata, 19– pateta, 19– patetta, 19– pertetter, 19– puhtettuh (chiefly in African-American usage); also Sc. pre-17 patatie, pre-17 pitato, 18 partatow, 18 patatee, 18 patawtie, 18 petawta, 18 petawti, 18 petetou, 18 pewtatie, 18 pitata, 18 pitatie, 18 pitattie, 18 pitaty, 18 pitawta, 18 pittattie, 18 pittayatee, 18 potaaty, 18 potatae, 18 potaty, 18 potauto, 18 potawto, 18 potawtoe, 18 purtatoe, 19– patattie, 19– petaty, 19– pirtawtie; also Irish English 18 pitatey, 18 pitaty, 19– pitatie; also Caribbean 17–18 patata.

β. 18 bidaade (Irish English (Wexford)); U.S. regional 19– batado, 19– batayda; Sc. 18 bitatoe.

See also pratie n., tater n., tatie n., and tattie n.

So, yeah, people have been spelling it “potatoe” since the 15th C., and the spelling persists today, though it is now considered “nonstandard”. Says the OED.

Bear in mind, though, that the idea of standardized spelling — the notion that there’s only one correct way to spell a word — didn’t become pervasive in English until after Johnson’s Dictionary (1755).

Prior to that, spelling was mostly phonetic and variable. If your reader could understand your intended word by “sounding out” the word, it was a reasonable spelling, and different authors used whichever variant (see all the other “potato” forms above) they thought preferable.

So, once upon a time, people spelled words every which way, and patatto potada potato is no exception.

But appealing to pre-standardization variants as authority for varying spellings of present-day standardized spellings is a laughable misunderstanding of how standardization works.


#77

I had an engineer once ask me if I included the CO monitor on my graphic page. I told him we do not have a CO monitor in the building, and He said,` it’s right on the first floor! I responded with, you mean the CO2 monitor? He gave me a snide look and said , same thing. I said I hope not because it’s reading 800 PPM.


#78

And the mammals lay eggs. Yeah right.


#79

I had a professor in an English Composition “Honors” course downgrade one of my papers to a “C”, primarily because I used the word “monocentric” in my thesis paragraph. The instructor drew a red X across the word and said that it was not an English word: minus 15 points. She added a note on the paper saying that this was a demanding class, and inaccurate and confusing terminology would be heavily penalized.

I was studying science at the time and had seen the term enough to know it (it means having a single center). Unfortunately, in those just-before-the-web days it was an uphill effort to prove anything to a tenured professor.


#80

Or maybe she was coming down hard on you for using jargon? That seems to be what her comment was indicating. Whether or not she should have dinged you for that is another question of course. But many english professors will indeed demand clarity in writing, I imagine especially in an honors class. If you were writing on a specific topic that demanded jargon, then maybe she would not have taken off for a definition of the word itself.