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Published:June 30th, 2008 19:36 EST
High School Student Gets Credit For Two Word Essay

High School Student Gets Credit For Two Word Essay

By Robert Paul Reyes

A British high school student received credit for writing nothing but a two-word obscenity on an exam paper because the phrase expressed meaning and was spelled correctly.

The Times newspaper on Monday quoted examiner Peter Buckroyd as saying he gave the student - who wrote an expletive starting with f, followed by the word `off` - two points out of a possible 27 for the English paper.

`It would be wicked to give it zero because it does show some very basic skills we are looking for, like conveying some meaning and some spelling,` Buckroyd was quoted as saying.

The expletive was used in 2006 by a student in response to the question: "Describe the room you are sitting in."

Quotation from the Associated Press

Most readers find this story outrageous, but I would have given the young man a much higher score.

I would have given him five points for brevity, less is more -- especially in writing.

I would have awarded him three points for spelling "off" correctly, that`s one of the most misspelled words in the English language.

This young student deserves another two points for the simplicity and clarity of his message. I`ve read hundreds of rambling and incoherent essays; there is no doubt as to the message of this brilliant scholar`s words.

I would dole out another two points for the appropriateness of his response; most exam rooms are drab and totally devoid of any cheerfulness. A concise "f*** off" was a worthy response.

I would bestow him with four points for expressing a healthy contempt for authority, that`s a virtue in a world of conformity.

I would present him with eight points for originality; his answer was so unique it made the AP wire.

I would give him two points for neatness, there is no indication that there were marks or smudges on his page.

I would have given the budding young intellectual a score of 26 out of 27. If he had punctuated correctly, he was have been awarded a perfect score.