Friday, January 9, 2009

Delicious Irony

When my daughter was born, her birth data was entered into some public records database. Throughout her life, we’ve received volumes of junk mail directed at her stage of development. Early on, it was diaper services and family photo studios. Later, the mail came from Montessori schools and toymakers. These days, we’re getting mail from colleges and universities.

Many of them are suspicious institutions of little or no reputation, because the good schools don’t need to advertise. But today, we received an interesting solicitation from Cambridge University in England, a very prestigious institution. They’re advertising two three-week summer study programs: the Academic Programme (proper British spelling) and the International Leadership Programme.

These programs claim to provide both high school and college credit, although you must apply for it. I suppose you could be turned down. How much can you possibly learn in three weeks? I can imagine sending my child to England for the Academic Programme, but I have to wonder what kind of stuffed shirts send their kids for the International Leadership Programme.

The letter was accompanied by a return postcard to request a full brochure. On one side is a charming photo of students posing at the River Cam near Queen’s College:


On the other side is the form you must fill out to request the brochure. At the bottom of the form, a photo caption appears:


How likely are we to send our daughter to England to study at a school that can’t spell the word “Scholars?”


Anonymous said...

Send your daughter on the Academic Course, then on her return, she could tutor you in correct English spelling. :-)
Lara P

Tim said...

Well, if our shedule permits, I'll send her to shool in England for 3 weeks. That seems like a good sheme, and shouldn't cause much of a shism in our family. I would feel like a shmuck if I denied her the opportunity. She'll learn how to sail a schooner and drink shnapps. God knows I can't drink that stuff, it makes me shitzophrenic.

burton said...

That's pretty funny. Some irony is so hard to believe that it makes you wander....yes, I meant I wandered and found:

a Sholar ship, an Organ Sholar, Sholars on family trees that are still unmarried, a St John's College Benefactor Sholar, a music sholar, a person whose absolute integrity as a sholar will be stressed, someone who claims to not be a sholar of Greek, a poet-sholar and finally someone who is proud of someone else in Israel to have produced such a fine sholar.

It seems like a very commonly published misspelling.