Doing the reading (was: Best Books 2002)

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at
Mon Jan 13 13:40:59 EST 2003

On Thu, 09 Jan 2003 13:55:01 -0700, rohina at wrote:

>> Seconded. With much fellow feeling. A certain university refused to
>> award me my MA unless I handed in two further copies of my
>> dissertation, with "corrections" - which meant adding page 
>> numbers. And
>> I couldn't just write them on the original copies, I had to print the
>> whole thing out twice over again! 
>At the risk of siding with the "petty" people - the purpose of requiring a corrected copy with page numbers is so that your university can store a copy, and other people can read and cite your thesis if they need to. Most institutions do actually provide funding for printing and binding, but you have to ask; possibly this is something which is precluded by being in a snit.

What's more, the requirement for pagination ought to have been overtly
mentioned, since it *is* important.  It's like criticizing you for not doing
something they never said was a requirement.  And the idea that a postgrad
should just know these things...well, there are all sorts of stupid
requirements that the administration/teachers/departments take for granted
because they have been overseeing such things for ages.

The only story I have about people getting snippy about proofreading errors
is kind of a ridiculous one.  My first semester at college, I was using an
old Apple IIc computer (this was in 1990) and of course there were no
printers readily available.  But I had a friend who also had a IIc and her
own printer, so I used to trot up to her dorm to print my stuff.  So that we
are all perfectly clear on this, I don't make proofreading errors of the
spelling and punctuation variety.  It may possibly be some kind of
superpower.  So when I started getting these papers back which were marked
down for spelling mistakes--LOTS of spelling mistakes--I thought someone was
going crazy.  (Well, you know me; I thought it was the *teacher* who was
going crazy.  The possibility that it was my fault never entered my mind. :)
It turned out that my friend's computer and/or printer had some kind of
internal problem that caused it to insert garbage characters at random,
maybe two or three per page.  The infuriating thing was that, when I pointed
this out to the professor, explained what had happened, SHOWED HIM that
these were not normal kinds of typos, he still wouldn't change my grades.
Humph.  I had to get an A just to prove him wrong.

I bought a Packard Bell next semester.

(Yes, they come with their own problems, and I know my husband is shouting
"But it's a proprietary system!"  It was tons better than the alternative.)

Melissa Proffitt

To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at

More information about the Dwj mailing list