Wednesday, April 30, 2008

When Deans Speak

I don't usually go in for pointing out grammatical mistakes or typos in other people's emails. After all, we're dealing with an electronic medium, spur of the moment writing, relaxed proofing standards, etc... But when (a) the author in question is an administrator of an Ivy League school, (b) that Ivy League school is my alma mater and (c) she's a representative of the administration actively seeking to disenfranchise alumni from our traditional involvement in campus affairs, well then, all bets are off.

So anyway, when Dartmouth Dean of First Year Students Gail Zimmerman emailed the student body about some campus incident or another (see the background details here), she included this embarrassing nugget (emphasis added):


Whether that ability exists or not, it would not likely stop her emails from reaching your inbox given the dearth and ready availability of other free email systems such as hotmail, gmail, and yahoo.

Dean Zimmerman is an administrator who insists that Dartmouth students use diffuse constructions like "First Year Students" instead of "Freshmen." I guess she's too busy harnessing the power of language to build a new social order to bother consulting a dictionary.

Via the Dartmouth Review.

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