Category: Language & Words

Congruent To Your Maturity

| Portland, OR, USA | Language & Words, Math & Science

(We’re learning about types of congruence in isosceles triangles in my geometry class, and this unfortunate type of congruence pops up.)

Teacher: “So this type of congruence would be Angle-Side-Side congruence, or ASS congruence.”

Stubborn As An Ox

| CT, USA | Exams/Tests, Language & Words, Teachers

(In elementary school, we are sorted into reading groups according to how well we can read. I am in the most advanced group with about four other students. One day, my group is given a worksheet on plurals of words. We’re supposed to work on it as a group.)

Classmate #1: *quietly* “[My Name], what’s this one?” *points to the word ‘ox’*

Me: “Oxen.”

(I’d played one of the Oregon Trail games before, so I’d run into the word already. The rest of the group trusts my answer, so everyone writes down ‘oxen.’ We finish the worksheet, and a day or two later it gets handed back. The only answer everyone got wrong was oxen.)

Me: “[Teacher]!” *the teacher walks over to my group* “Why’d you mark this wrong?”

Teacher: “Because it’s wrong. The plural of ox is ox.”

Me: *ten-year-old me is not happy with being told she’s wrong* “No, it’s oxen. It says so in Oregon Trail.”

Teacher: “Well, your game is wrong. The plural of ox is ox.”

Me: *pointing at the bookshelf where a dictionary is kept* “Nuh-uh! It’s oxen! You can check!”

(The teacher did check and changed our grades on the worksheet, but I was never offered an apology and there was a bit of tension between us for the rest of the year.)

Gaia Isn’t A Jewish Name Anyway

| VA, USA | Language & Words

(I am a world history teacher for incoming freshman at a local high school. I love my job, and encourage my students to speak and make jokes as we learn.)

Me: *explains about the Romans conquering the Mediterranean* “Has anyone circumnavigated the globe at this point? Remember, this is still BC!”

Student: “No one has circumcised the globe yet!”

A Sudden Surge In Students Taking Politics

| CA, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Language & Words, Rude & Risque

(We are discussing the political propositions in the state of California. One of the propositions involves the “adult film” industry — in other words, porn.)

Teacher: “How many of you are doing porn?”


Teacher: “No, that’s not right.”

Entire Class: *bursts out laughing*

Will Be Having A Word With You

| Langley, BC, Canada | Language & Words, Teachers

(The following interaction is one I’ve seen far too often.)

Teacher: *misspells a word on the board*

Student: “[Teacher], you spelled [word] wrong on the board.”

Teacher: “Well, I’m sorry, but I’m not an English teacher! I’m a [Math/Science/Technology] teacher for a reason!”

(Every. Single. Time.)

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