February 16, 2005

Grad admission files (Engrish and other disasters)

Having been on the graduate admissions committee in Physics for, oh I guess it's been four year or maybe five now, I've come across a good collection of Engrish submissions and other unfortunate occurances. Fortunately, I have written some of them down, so I can share the warmth, share the love, with all. (Actually, technically some of these, including the first one, are not Engrish, but rather are bizarre turns of phrase which probably are due to lack of familarity with English, or lack of familarity with writing in English.) Obviously these are totally anonymized and no small furry animals were harmed in the making of this post.

  • "When I was seven I was at the beach. I looked up and saw a flight of seagulls. Ever since then I've wanted to be a solid-state physicist." Maybe aerospace engineer and I'll buy it.
  • From a letter of recommendation, "He said that he wanted to conduct pathfind in lately science." I'll assume that that is a good thing.
  • From another letter (for the same candidate, "All of these reflected his strong ability to be a young man with the thought of team working and cooperation working."
  • "...starting his experiment as early as 9:30." Yeah, that sells the candidate pretty well.
  • From a personal statement, "Although I never exert my full strength for grades and ranks in any course." Thanks Bruce Banner for not harming your course.
  • Mentioning that you want to work with faculty members who have passed away is generally considered a good sign that you haven't looked at the website recently. "Mostly I would work with [deceased]."
  • "Due to exempting to study from 'Master English', I could have to study more time and energy other special courses." Ooops!
  • Sample courses taken: Military art theory, Cultivation of ethnics (that one scares me quite a bit), Culture of USA (barely passed), Plutonomy, Moral Accomplishment for Students, Mao Zedong Thoughts (quite a spread in grades there), Special Physical Education (the semester after failing Mao's Thoughts)...
  • "Foreign langue: English, excellent profish" Me, I'm anti-fish, I like sashimi.
  • Continuing the seagull bit, here's student did research work on "Sulidae Gannets and Boobies." Those would be seabirds I'm pretty sure. Though I fully support mid-career transitions.
  • "My life belongs to Condensed-Matter Physics." Run while you can!
  • "In life I want to be living with Theoretical Solid State Physics like Superconducting." Don't we all?
  • Remove the "admissionsletter.com" advertisement from the bottom! We know that you bought the essay, but we would like some mystery in life to remain.
  • When the letters of recommendation come from multiple institutions, do use different letterhead for each institution.

    Posted by duver001 at February 16, 2005 12:10 PM