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To Admit Error Is Divine, Too

Six weeks ago we noted an awful piece of writing on the Admissions department’s website that was larded with quotes from Phil’s speeches:

Admissions ReplacementB.jpg

To date, the page has not been updated, and an alumnus who is a faculty member at another school writes in to complain:

Have you noticed that the Dartmouth admissions website still has the same amazing drivel that you took to task a few months ago? Would it be a waste of time if you pointed to it once more? I’m sure they couldn’t change the fatuous substance (if they tried, they’d be like a jeep spinning its wheels in soft sand), but they might at least fix the grammar:

“We have been, and will continue to be, a magnet for human talent. I hope that you will apply so you can be considered to join Dartmouth’s class of 2018 where you’ll receive a liberal arts education for the 21st century - an education both in and beyond the classroom, plus the preparation to go out and change the world.”

There “where” has no referent, and “so you can be considered to join” etc. isn’t even English. After staring at it, one sees that the writer is conflating two idioms, e.g. “they are considered to be” etc. and “they are being considered for the job” etc. What he or she meant was just, “so that you can be considered for the class of 2018 at Dartmouth, where” etc.

After reading that, if I were a prospective applicant or the parent of one, I’d instantly cross this place off my list. By itself the hype and drivel isn’t fatal, perhaps (one half expects it, in any Admissions web site) — but illiterate English is just unbearable.

Hear, hear. One does wish for Dartmouth’s sake that Madame Laskaris ‘84 ‘fess up to the grammatical and syntactical inexactitude of her prose and re-write the damned piece.


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