i have just finished reading the most recent
issue (November 2015) of University Affairs; it is
an interesting and useful publication. Being of
pedantic disposition, a vice not infrequent
among professors, I was rather disturbed to find
some elementary mistakes of syntax and even
spelling. This is troubling enough in an ordinary
publication, but in a journal aimed at academics
it is particularly lamentable.
I draw your attention to the following cases:
( 1) pg. 25, in red letters, “idealistic students con-
tinue to affect change …” This would mean that
they make some sort of difference to change, but
not that they actually accomplish it. Yet the per-
fectly acceptable French version, pg. 29, implies
that the author meant “effect.” This is a common
error but not one would expect from UA.
( 2) pg. 34, left column, last paragraph, the
phrase “this disinterest” is a common error for
“lack of interest.” “Disinterest,” of course, means
“impartial.” “Désintérêt,” on the other hand, in
the French version is acceptable.
( 3) On the same page, in the central column,
last paragraph, there is the more minor matter
of a rather inelegant split infinitive, “to truly
cooperate,” which sounds rather awkward, espe-
cially given the reference again in the last line
of the paragraph to “truly compelling proposals.”
I might just add that there is, perhaps, an
overuse of buzzwords, e.g., on pg. 19 in the section in red, referring to “core values”; or pg. 40,
“transformative teaching and learning.” What
exactly are these things? They do rather carry the
whiff of la langue de bois, I might suggest.
Dr. Greatrex is a professor in the department of classics and
religious studies at the University of Ottawa.
Editor’s note: we love pedants and thank Dr. Greatrex
for his pointed but polite feedback.
UA AU universityaffairs.ca ffairesuniversitaires.ca
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