Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Even Universities Offer Amusing Quips

First, let me encourage you to continue to email me any memories or thoughts you have on Jon for my NaNoWriMo endeavor. Even should I reach 50,000 words before you write me, or even if you don't get around to penning your thoughts until after the month has ended, I would appreciate reading and including them nonetheless. Now I hereby end this digression.

When preparing an examination for a professor, I saw this line on the front page, which appears in some format on every university midterm:
I understand that I must comply to the university's honor code when executing this examination.

I approve of the use of the verb "executing" in this sentence, as very few use it in this classy fashion. I do, however, find my mind wandering to the more popular meaning of capital punishment.

Humor me and consider the implications if we take the above statement to be using the latter definition. Especially since I imagine the students taking the exam would prefer to decimate the paper page by page instead of actually follow through with the request to conduct the exam question by question.

Does "executing" in accordance to a code have something to do with the Geneva Convention? Perhaps there are stipulations guarding the rights of the paper. But we are, after all, still allowing an execution to take place, as long as proper respect is paid. Perhaps it is okay to shred and tear, whereas slowly rubbing your eraser to produce holes is seen as cruel and unusual punishment.

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