Tuesday, 29 July 2008


I don't think I should be the one correcting the lecturer.

Sadly, it looks like my sub-editing class may be one of those ones where I have to. Our lecture today was on punctuation, and many of the examples given were taken straight out of Eats, shoots and leaves — examples I immediately recognised, having been reading the book for the past week.

However, not all of the examples were from Eats, shoots and leaves, and I had to correct my lecturer on one example she gave us about the correct use of an ellipsis... upon which she looked at the powerpoint in some confusion, admitted that I was right, and said she'd borrowed the example from somewhere. If you're giving a lecture on sub-editing, at least sub-edit the examples you filch off the net!

This class isn't shaping up encouragingly. We have no desks on which to write notes (when this was brought up, our lecturer said she hadn't expected us to take notes); and she seems quite frightened of us.

When asked if a particular use of punctuation was permissible, she hesitates, thinks it over, and answers either, "Well... maybe... yes, I guess you could do that" or "Well... maybe... I mean, no, not technically, but you could". Be firm! These students will go away with no clue as to what is actually allowable and what is really a maybe-rule; and this is a class training people to be journalists, after all.

Not me; I'm doing it purely for interest's sake, as I had an elective free at the end of my degree and it looked interesting; and the subject still seems interesting. But the teaching style... I guess I'll just rely on my other class to keep me sane. At least that one has a really good lecturer. And it's another writing paper. I love writing-papers!

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