Errors by tour guides

<p>The kids who give the college visit tours generally do a good job and their enthusiasm is really infectious. I admire them.</p>

<p>But kids being kids, they sometimes make amusing mistakes. My favorite was a young lady at Cornell who repeatedly stressed that the school was founded way back when "on a non-secretariat basis." Took me a while to realize she meant nonsectarian.</p>

<p>Our Syracuse tour guide also claimed that their library has 22 million volumes. If I'm not mistaken, that would make it about as big as Harvard's and Yale's libraries combined.</p>

<p>Any similar stories? :-)</p>

<p>My favorite was the tour guide who took a group of parents on a walking tour of Boston and described the Church of Christian Science as "that group that Tom Cruise belongs to..." Had to give her a little information on L Ron Hubbard and the fact that the building she was describing was built before L Ron was born!</p>

<p>I wish everyone was as forgiving as you all. You'd be surprised by how many people don't see that tour guide as just a year or two older than their child. :)</p>

<p>I am suprised they are as patient as they are...some parents on those tours, if I had a sock, I tell yeah...</p>

My thoughts exactly. Yes there are some good student tour guide stories to tell but no sophomore student guide has been as offensive or loopy as the parents on the tours with their questions. myself excluded. of course.</p>

<p>I kept waiting for a guide to fall in a pothole. How the heck do they all walk backwards in grass, gravel and stairs while wearing flipflops?</p>

<p>Hi Roscoe, are you the one whose son transferred to Cornell? If so, was it a worthwhile move? He's probably graduated by now...</p>

<p>I used to have the walking backward conversation with the Dean at my last school all the time. </p>

<p>As an undergrad, I was so proud to know my campus well enough to be able to walk backward the entire tour. It was also the best way to get a large group around campus in one hour (talk and walk at the same time). The Dean at my last school thought it looked silly and insisted that students walk with the group, not in front of it, but that was on a much smaller campus with very small tours (usually one or two families at a time).</p>

<p>It is an art and there are flubs. One of my tour partners once fell completely in to a snow drift on our quad...and kept talking the entire time. :)</p>

<p>I was intrigued to find out that Kenyon College offers "Sanscript" as a foreign language.</p>

<p>My fave was the Reed tour guide who had been there for two years but had never been to Portland. :rolleyes:</p>

<p>My daughter and her friends used to publish a 'zine. Two years ago, they did a "College Issue", and she wrote a "How To Handle Rejection" piece that included the following (which reflected one of her criticisms of her tour guide at a college to which she did not apply):</p>

2. Retaliate.
This might take a couple years. But when you are successful (and you will be), you can diss the college all you want. Refuse to work there after you win your Nobel Prize. That’ll show them. Or if you can’t wait that long, just send them your own rejection letter, like: </p>

<p>Dear College,
You are in the middle of nowhere. All of your students drink too much. My tour guide ignored the famous sculptures. And you only produced ___ Rhodes Scholars! Whatever, College. I am too good for you anyway.
Love, Sylvia. </p>



<p>Reminds me of a law school graduate I met in Michigan who was attempting to sell me on his alma mater (I didn't attend law school, btw), and explained that, as a smaller, locally based law school, there was some "astigmatism" attached to its graduates. </p>

<p>Actually, a lot of this could be remedied if they went back to the old warriners english composition books for a chapter or two. Some of them had commonly misused words, such as remuneration. In lieu of is also one of my favorites. We should start a thread for the benefit of the kids on the board.</p>

<p>BTW, maybe the Cornell guide was referring to the equestrian program in the ag school.</p>

<p>Anyway, not all of these are mistakes. I think my cursive writing style was actully sanscript.</p>

I was intrigued to find out that Kenyon College offers "Sanscript" as a foreign language.


<p>Loved this one. That's what you get when you don't have a script.</p>

I think my cursive writing style was actully sanscript.

And your "actually" is sans a. :) But I think it's a typo and not a mistake or misspelling.</p>

<p>We had a charming blonde young lady as our tour guide at my D's mid-size state school (out of state for us). She was truly a gem, very bubbly but also sincere. It was obvious if you read between the lines that she was from a family without much money (probably a work-study job) as she didn't have her own computer but quite cheerfully told how she used the ones in the computer labs and it wasn't a problem for her. She really did help sell us on the school.</p>

<p>When it came time for her to drive us over to the other part of the campus, she couldn't start the minivan with her key. She went in to ask for help and a guy came out and started the van with the OTHER key on the keyring. She just turned to all of us with a smile and a little shrug and said, "Some days are blonder than others."</p>

<p>Dadx wrote:

Actually, a lot of this could be remedied if they went back to the old warriners english composition books for a chapter or two. Some of them had commonly misused words, such as remuneration. In lieu of is also one of my favorites. We should start a thread for the benefit of the kids on the board


<p>This made me think of an article I read here <a href=""&gt;;/a>
in The Chronicle of Higher Education entitled "Like A Bowl In A China Shop". A creative writing professor was discussing some of the words and phrases that his students inserted into their papers and how, although they were misused, they actually made a kind of sense. Here's an excerpt:</p>

Not only does "mute point" sound like "moot point," but a moot point does (or should) end up being silent, unheard, squelched, and yep, mute. Far from being a result of sloppy proofreading or stupidity, "mute point" actually demonstrates that the writer — though wrong — is logical, informed, and inventive.</p>

<p>I'll also mention that "mute point" is an "eggcorn" — a new category of writing mistake that linguists have identified and my fellow college teachers might find useful in responding to student writing. I'm certainly glad to have a new tool that helps me climb down from the high horse I have occasionally mounted in 10-plus years of teaching creative writing, essay writing, business writing, and you-fill-in-the-blank-here writing. It's nice to have a way of explaining mistakes that doesn't make students feel stupid.</p>

<p>So what's an eggcorn? Originally, the word "eggcorn" was just an amusing misspelling of "acorn." Linguists — especially those on the Language Log blog (see <a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;) — noticed that "eggcorn" made a kind of intuitive sense and was an apt guess if you didn't know the real spelling.</p>

<p>Linguists Arnold Zwicky, Geoffrey K. Pullum, and Mark Liberman had been collecting similarly intuitive misspellings, and soon those goofs were given the eggcorn label; more than 560 eggcorns can now be found at Chris Waigl's Eggcorn Database (see <a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;.&lt;/p>

<p>Anyone can point an eggcorn out, and I'm proud to have spotted "on the spurt of the moment," "leadway," "boggled down," and "put the cat before the horse" in the wild and contributed them to the collection.</p>

<p>All eggcorns makes sense on some level. For example, the eggcorn "girdle one's loins" is far more understandable than the archaic "gird one's loins." "Free reign" — an extremely common misspelling — expresses a similar laxness to "free rein," and there's a kind of exclamatory kismet between "whoa is me!" and "woe is me!" Another eggcorn, "woeth me!" makes an old-fashioned-sounding word even more so. And since a rabble-rouser may eventually cause some rubble to exist, "rubble-rouser" is a nifty invention.</p>

<p>What makes all of those coinages eggcorns is their logic, poetic or otherwise.


<p>Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread~ now back to our regularly scheduled topic! :)</p>


<p>Thanks for the detour" Loved it. Urban kids have no real understanding of how a horse relates to a cart, so it makes sense for them to put the cat before the horse (and are they from Boston, by any chance, with that silent "r" in "cart"?)</p>

<p>Maybe the rubble-rousers are the ones who engage in gorilla warfare and pheasant revolutions.</p>

<p>Our Yale tour guide made the error of drinking too much coffee prior to the tour and half way through had to excuse himself and duck into a dorm to use the bathroom. We were glad because we followed him right into the building (if not the bathroom) and got an unscheduled look at the inside of a dorm.</p>

<p>Our MIT guide proudly boasted how the famous Nobel laureate, Eric Lander, taught a freshman-level science class every year. I didn't have the heart to tell him that Prof. Lander was indeed probably the smartest man in America now that Ben Franklin is dead, but that he had won exactly zero Nobel prizes. And who knows? Perhaps someday the Swedes will come around and Lander will get a Nobel, making our guide not really wrong but actually prescient.</p>

<p>Not a tour guide, but the Dean of the College of Engineering at a school that shall remain nameless was talking about their computer engineering program. He told the audience of prospective students that the newest Boeing aircraft was built from computer designs with no real testing. DH, who is an aero engineer, had a hard time keeping his seat after that one. DS will not be applying to that school.</p>

<p>Some days are blonder than others..I can relate and I'm brunette!</p>

<p>Actually I think that Boeing thing is pretty true. Sure they test eventually but most of the early work was all simulation. I live in Seattle and remember that claim.</p>