Translating English into English

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I needed four students plus the one who wrote the above (actually 6 pages of the above) to translate this assignment for me.

“This is like discovering a new language in an archeological dig,” RD smirked.

One student kept translating this difficult handwriting, reading it as literally as possible. “That has to be ‘undergorgle.'”

Even the student who wrote it couldn’t decipher some of the cryptic script.

The harder we worked, the more students gathered around and tried to find words that actually made sense. “And the ‘SPOOP?’ It must mean ‘GROUP.'”

Though we laughed, it was clearly disheartening. What happened to the days when what we handed in was meant to show our work and our thinking in the best possible light? My own handwriting growing up was never very good, but it definitely was readable. What happened to the value of readability?

The author of the above is a very bright and intelligent student. She is facile at understanding difficult, complex, and abstract concepts. She said the reason her writing was so sloppy was that her ideas were flowing faster than her hand was able to keep up. But, she said, even if those ideas are coming fast next time, she promised to write more legibly and added, “Otherwise, if you’re not literally communicating clearly, what’s the point?” Indeed.

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