Thursday, May 22, 2008

Excuses and Explanations

These words, by very definition are not the same. They are not even synonyms. They are completely different animals (one has stripes.)

Yet, this is this dreadful abuse of Excuse. The word Excuse has been violated by thickskulled asses. An explantion of events is not asking to be excused for the situation.

I hear so many students telling me how this or that happened-- students who are very honest and hard working-- yet in their story, they will repeatedly mention how they know it's not an excuse. Well, hand me a red pen and call me a teacher, but there are legitimate excuses, and more importantly, there are explanations. Both are fine. Being late with an assignment because your grandpa spent the night in the hospital, yeah, that is, on it's face, an explanation. I may excuse you. Unless you've already had five grandpas die this year. Even then, if you've been through a few parental divorces, that may be legit too.

Intent, while being the hardest to guage, is also the key to an excuse. If a person is looking to slide out of trouble or repirmand like a wet baby, then it's a slimy excuse. If the person is explaining facts and understands that they have not done as expected, then it's a different matter. A matter treated more compassionately.

Of course, a corporate-minded world doesn't like compassion. Or 'exceptions'. Or anything human or humane. This corporate philosophy and all it's vileness is spreading like cancer into all realms, from health care to education.

There's no excuse for that. And the explanation is pretty poor too. People are human. Treat them well and most will respond in kind.

And don't abuse the word "Excuse."

The English language suffers enough. ;-)

  • Novel Progress: Editing Chapter 31 (holding just under 69k)
  • Current Song: Fell in Love with Girl by the White Stripes

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