|Canadian squirrel, eh?|
And yes, 2 people have already
written in to tell me it's not
ACTUALLY a squirrel. So, I'm
all good on being told my work
continues to be poorly done
and inconsequential. Did I
spell Friday right?
This year I think I may try to put a small dent in their illiteracy by kicking off lectures with a little "word of the day" exercise. I have my own pet peeves like "efficient vs effective" (that's germane to logical thinking) and "lose vs loose" (that's germane to not looking retarded). And I suspect I could also use this towards some process of snowflake melting. So perhaps I'll start with the word "fair", which my flakes seem to think means "in perfect alignment with my personal preferences, and the rest of the class be damned", as opposed to "on equal terms as all the other students, even if those terms bite".
I know we tackled a related topic a few weeks ago, where it was discovered that none of our students understand the word "deadline". But I'd like to focus here especially on the literacy issues that hurt the students the most - the "high-leverage, impactful issues" (how's that for sounding like a biz prof?).
So, my question to you:
Q: What are the individual word usage errors that are holding your students back the most? Do you have any good teaching examples or mnemonics that can help them appreciate and remember the correct usage?
I'm not looking for relatively subtle points, like how it is actually okay to "effect an affect." I'm looking for the mistakes that require direct application of a clue-by-four.
Bonus points if fixing the usage error also melts snow a little!