Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Re: Year's Worst Sentence?

I actually had to read over this sentence many times to even begin to understand its meaning. And even after I did that, I was still pretty confused, but this is what I came up with:

Students can give their instructors written consent to have their grades posted by partial UH number. Students who decline to have their grades posted must be given a reasonable means for receiving their grade.

If seeking written permission to post grades by partial UH Number, student's who decline to have their grades posted must be provided with a reasonable means for receiving his/her grade.

As the "sentence" was, I couldn't tell who was seeking permission and from whom that person was seeking it, so I defined the subject as students giving consent to their instructors. I chose "consent" because it seemed clearer to me than "permission" for some reason.

I also changed the pronoun for "students" from "his/her" to "their" since "students" is plural. And obviously the apostrophe in "students" is incorrect since it's plural and not possessive.


Mitchell H. said...

You beat me to it! Anyways, nice edit, Jen. I was debating breaking it up into two sentences myself. It's interesting that we both seem to have read this sentence as being meant for different audiences. I feel yours is geared more towards students—I'd could see it appearing in the Schedule of Classes or on the UH website somewhere—and letting them know their options, while mine is intended for faculty/staff and giving instructions. And to think, we both started with the same misbegotten sentence... O_o

ceruleanjen said...

Wow, how weird is that? I left you a comment the same time that you left me one, too. :o It's good to see that we both brought up similar points about the original sentence. It makes me feel like I wasn't totally off-track. ;) Although I totally missed how "UH Number" is quite vague. Again, really great editing work! I'm glad I can learn so much from you guys in this class! :)

Mitchell H. said...