University of Rochester

Rochester Review
September–October 2010
Vol. 73, No. 1

pdf image
Story as a PDF


Review home

Alumni Gazette

Who Was ‘Too Loose Latreck’?
bloopers (Photo: Rochester Review)

From the best students, professors can learn. From the most hapless ones, they can get a laugh. Anders Henriksson ’71, a professor of history at Shepherd University in West Virginia, reads some pretty funny things on student exams and papers, and so do his colleagues, in virtually every discipline and in universities across the country. Now we can all share in the fun, with College In A Nutskull: A Crash Course in Higher Education (Workman, 2010), Henriksson’s second edited collection of student bloopers. According to Henriksson, each blooper has been lifted directly from exams and term papers written by actual (albeit anonymous) “unwitting student collaborators.” We offer a few highlights:

What you never knew about philosophy:

“A priori knowledge is things that you have already prioritized.”

New discoveries in art history:

“Too Loose Latreck could be found at work in cafes and brassieres throughout Paris.”

The lives of literary greats:

“Keats frequently downloaded his emotions on an unsuspecting public.”

Know much about history?:

“Thomas Paine thought the problem with monarchy was that it tended to rely too much on having a king.”

A stab in the dark:

“The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave equal rights to civilians.”

Another stab in the dark (and a favorite of Henriksson’s):

“Pontious Pilot was an official in the Roman Air Force.”

A bit of B.S.:

“The Dawes Plan let Germany pay its debts excrementally.”

Free association:

“Hamas is an Isrealy leader who refuses to remove his sediments from the bank.”

And in other malapropisms . . .

“The only career option other than peasant was often beggar or village idiot. Some, however, went to town and became gelded craftsmen.”

And what was not covered on our Chaucer quiz:

“Even today a few people have heard of Chaucer. It is, however, a little known fact that he did not know a word of English. Canterbury Tales is about pilgrims on their way to Thanksgiving. This was Chaucer’s seminole work.”

Excerpted from College in a Nutskull (Workman Publishing Co., 2010). © Anders Henriksson. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.