It’s not racism, kid, it’s just plain grammar

Ah, for the days of Dean Wormer. . . Students at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information accused a professor of racial discrimination after the professor corrected their grammar:

In a letter sent to colleagues in the department after the sit-in, Rust said students in the demonstration described grammar and spelling corrections he made on their dissertation proposals as a form of “micro-aggression.”

Ponder that:

  • graduate school students
  • in “education and information”
  • who haven’t mastered grammar
  • in their dissertation proposals
  • staging a protest when, maybe for the first time in their lives, they come across  a professor who’s doing them a favor
  • because they feel that not letting them get away with their errors is a form of micro-aggressive racism.


The protestors are upset that Professor Rust also corrected their citations and their bibliographies.

As a Latina, I particularly resent the students’ premise that this constitutes racism. I fully understand that grammar for bilinguals sometimes is tricky. However, all education that is worth its name is rigorous by nature. Deal with it, kids.

(As an aside, spell-check and grammar-check are your friends.)

Indeed, graduate students in Education and Information ought to be embarrassed that their work is substandard. A dissertation is not a quiz: it’s a work that takes months to complete. A dissertation proposal by definition must be carefully drafted, and ought to be subject to scrutiny.

I also suggest that Prof. Rust contact FIRE.

But back to Dean Wormer,

(h/t Weasel Zippers)

Linked by Pirates’s Cove and Da Tech Guy. Thank you!

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3 Responses to “It’s not racism, kid, it’s just plain grammar”

  1. OMMAG Says:

    What a bunch of ignorant whiners. Wait till they get called out for eM dash eN dash and hyphen abuse.

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