Thursday, November 12, 2009

John 1:1--repetitious and shows restricted vocabulary

The Guardian's Maev Kennedy riffs on the report of computer grading of mock-A Levels (the concluding exams for secondary or high schools):

I want to read to you a few extracts to demonstrate the scale of the problem we are tackling. Those of you whose names l mention, please stay behind after class to discuss your work in more detail.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God …

You will not be surprised to hear that the computer has marked this down for repetition and poor and restricted choice of vocabulary. I would like to add, class, that although John the Evangelist shows occasional flashes of inspiration, he is going to have to buckle down to some very serious work if he is to have any chance of achieving the grades he needs.

And as for

No man is an island.

Incomprehensible, the computer said. I say, John Donne, this is just a facile attempt to be smart. You might just as well write that no computer is a banana.

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