20 years ago

September 4, 2008

Lists of howlers have been cascading in. A University of Marburg student's essay on local student life, sent in by Dr Alan Robertson of St Andrews University, (said): "Students in Marburg have little social life. They spend much time breeding over their books and occasionally have intercourse with the landlady upon the staircase." ... An explorative note from Ian McNay of The Open University: "The school is organised on the basis of mixed ability groping." ... And a truly Freudian slip from a Nene College psychologist: "Freud's phallic stage is when the youngster becomes interested in their gentiles" ... Technology comes from a trainee piano technician at the London College of Furniture, whose students were asked to define "Pythagorean comma". The engaging explanation offered by one student was that "The Pythagorean comma is the best left over when you finish tuning a piano." A humorist's answer, one feels, even that of an extrovert - or, as an OU psychology student put it, an "extravert ... an outgoing person, doesn't much like reading but enjoys going out."

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