Thursday, March 31, 2011


It has been some time since I last posted, and there are reasons for it that I'll not go into here. They are, ultimately, unimportant. Then again, so, too, is most of what I write here, but why should I let that stop me when so many others fail to?

I am aware of the ad populum fallacy I just voiced. Too bad.

I had the insight while I was teaching a remedial class last week that riddles might be a good thing to give to my students. Typically, I teach proofreading by writing examples on the board and having the class go through them; as they get things right, I make the corrections, and as wrong answers are given, I explain the concepts to which they are tied. This way, I address the concerns that students have while allowing them the opportunity to apply and reinforce the knowledge they already have.

Using riddles as proofreading examples allows the students to engage other critical thinking faculties. It forces them to pay attention to minor details and to evaluate data along multiple lines of thought. Really, it gets their brains working, and the classes have had a good time with the exercises thus far; I have done it with all of the English classes I have taught this past week and a half.

I gave several riddles to the class I taught today. The one that I actually meant to do (and thus did not come up with on the fly), amended because I know that the folks who read this have a firmer grounding (and access to reference materials), is something more or less like this:

I am a child of the son of the first Bach's first in English. I am the reply of a false gospel--two--to an objection of the cloth. From where a cousin to the source of brisket wades across the water I come, and from one whose name can be read as another Arachne. I give a great many words in fine order, though prose and poetry are minor among them. In me do beauty and love come before thunder in days not truly known to hornéd helms but well known as foes of the habitual. Say what I am.

I look forward to seeing guesses advanced.

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