February 5

By now every high school and college teacher has read one of the collections of student bloopers that circulate relentlessly on the Internet. “Francis Drake,” we are told, “circumcised the world with a hundred-foot clipper.” “Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife”. “Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock”, etc. It behooves me, therefore, to salute some of my University of Manitoba students who in their essays and exams contributed these gems.

• Who defeated the Spartans at Thermopylae? “The Persian emperor Xerox”.

• Aristotle was one of the “Immorals of Science”.

• Emperor Charles V “abolished Luther at the Doctrine of Worms”.

• Clovis, king of the Franks was a “barbaric worrier”.

• Define “buboes”: “The black plaque that hid Europe.”

• Define hedonism: “Geek pleasure”.

• One of Luther’s doctrines? “The just shall live by fate.”

• One of the contributions of medieval philosophy? “Ockham’s Raisin”.

• At what point did the French Revolution become less radical? “The 1794 Thermodynamic Reaction”.

• Who were the Flagellants? “The people who wiped themselves”.



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