Brickbat: Rough Around the Edges

Florida's Burns Middle School has placed teacher Anna Garrett on paid leave. Students at the school claim she punished them for misspelling words by forcing them to trace the letters of the words on sandpaper with their fingers until their fingertips bled.

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  • Professional Target||

    Somebody's been reading Harry Potter.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Idiots. Don't they know she's a modern day Fagin, grooming these children for her criminal gang of fingerprintless urchins?

  • ||

    They only use the fingertips, Fisty Knockers, so that wouldn't work. They would need to callus the entire pad of the finger to distort the print, otherwise said urchins would be identified via partial print.

    Don't you watch crime dramas? MIB? You sicken me...

  • ||

    Fisty Knockers? You're weird

  • ||

    I missed you too.-)

    It's from an old Mad Magazine bit that featured a character, named "Chesty Knockers," and how she received a gold watch for her 10,000th lap dance. I figured Fist reached his 10,000th post by now, so Fisty Knockers, he is.

  • Ted S.||

    You're weird

    Aussies should talk. :-p

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Whatever, Sherlock.

  • ||

    Just one more thing...-)

  • ||

    otherwise said urchins

    This really chaps my ass, and I see it more and more over the internet, especially from John here on H&R. Was there a memo banning the use of such normal constructions as "they" or "the urchins"?

    Or are we using this ironically to only seem like basement dwellers who receive 90% of their calories from Cheetos? No offense to Warty, of course.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It's called deixis. In a primarily text-based medium, such as an Internet forum, interlocutors might use the construction "said [noun]" as an endophoric reference to in an attempt to lessen potential ambiguity.

    FoE used the word, "urchin" in his post. When GM replied to his post, he originally used the pronoun "they":

    They only use the fingertips, Fisty Knockers, so that wouldn't work. They would need to callus the entire pad of the finger to distort the print,

    Now from GM's point-of-view, this construction is cataphoric, that is, the referent of the pronoun hasn't been identified, so he "marks" it by using the term "said":

    otherwise said urchins would be identified via partial print.

    From the point of view of a third person reading the conversation, the context is clear; however the use of "said" may be due to the psycholinguistic effect of communicating with such a relatively long time between responses, leading to a feeling of "ambiguity".

  • ||

    Ok, so my knee jerked on this. The more usual construction I see (especially from John) is where this is applied in a sentence where the referent was already used in the first clause of the sentence.

    "I paid $5 to an urchin for a reach around, but sadly received scabies from said urchin."

  • AlmightyJB||

    Really? This is what "chaps your ass"? Must be awesome that on a Monday morning this is your big life issue. Making me a little jealous I must say. Don't bother correcting my grammer mistakes because I really don't care.

  • mnarayan||

    What? That's a perfectly cromulent word usage.

  • ||

    My objection is to style. Barf.

  • ||

    Is this school a school for the blind? Do they do this for readers of Braille? Did this method work for Helen Keller?

  • Almanian!||

    -1 fingertip

  • ||

    +1 Stevie Wonder, Pt. II

  • Almanian!||

    Why, back in my day, if we made a writing mistake, the teachers would put our fingers against a grinding wheel, and they were ground down to the bone. For the bad spellers, it cost them whole HANDS full of fingers. But we knew how to spell.

    And that's just the way it was and we LIKED it.

    These kids today....SOFT!

  • ||

    if we made a writing mistake

    We didn't make any. Not after one of us was fed to the class crocodile in kendergarten

  • ||


    It's the lack of crocodiles in my living room that makes me so sloppy

  • Ted S.||

    Sure, but being Aussie, you've got a bunch of other deadly creatures nearby.

  • ||

  • Bardas Phocas||

    Hold a Gom Jabbar to their throats as they do their spelling test.

    The old woman said: “You’ve heard of animals chewing off a leg to escape a trap? There’s an animal kind of trick. A human would remain in the trap, endure the pain, feigning death that he might kill the trapper and remove a threat to his kind.”

    The itch became the faintest burning. “Why are you doing this?” he demanded.

    “To determine if you’re human. Be silent.”

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I don't see the problem.

    Academic rigor.

  • Rich||

    "By the end of the time, my whole table was bleeding."

    Photos, please, or trace the letters of that sentence on sandpaper with your *tongue*.


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