Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Funny Story...

Okay, here's a funny story. It was funny to me anyway. :)

I'm getting a TELL minor (teaching english language learners,) and one of the classes I have to take is intro to linguistics, focusing on the English language.

Yesterday the professor wanted to do a case study to see if people, in general, are more "grammatically accurate" in writing, or in speech. (I could tell you that one without a study, but anyway...) So she had us do a "case study." She put up some sentences with spaces where either the word "who" or "whom" needed to go. She had some of us write our first instinct, and then others were "interviewed" by the person next to them, and they said the first thing they thought of when asked the question.

The teacher tallied the results in two columns. She had us look at it, and she said, "So what can we conclude from this?"

I looked at the data. Data is numbers. I can do numbers. I'm a MathEd major after all. I raised my hand and said, "There isn't really a significant difference between the two (writing and speaking) with this data, but I think if we had more data, those who were writing would definitely be more accurate."

She looked at me and said, "No."

I paused. In my mind I was thinking, "Uh, this is the kind of stuff you learn on day one of high school statistics...I promise, I know what I'm talking about. I've mastered that by now...lol."

She continued, "You need to look at the ratios."

I paused. Uh yeah, that's sort of implied.

She said, "You see right here? 12 out of 12 of the writing people got this right this time, this time, and this time. If you look at the speaking people, only 13/15 got this one, 14/15 got this one, and 14/15 got this one. See?"

*bangs head on desk*

I said, "Oh okay."


*rolls eyes and chuckles*

I'll stick to applying my mathematical and statistical knowledge in places outside of my linguistics class I guess.



  1. I read all of your posts and I love your sense of humor. Always have. Your family is so special and I admire you all. I love that you added Stephen's picture. Thanks so much!
    As the title... you should add to click on the image to read Stephen's story--just so that they know!!! Again, thank you and I love you!