Like just about everyone else on the blogroll, I am grading and having some Sweeney Todd fantasies about running amok with the red pen.
Apparently, though, there's an internal mechanism that translates Bad Professor thoughts into Good Professor words.
Bad professor thinks: "Your paragraph is so chaotic that I have no idea what you're trying to say."
Good professor writes: "A stronger focus in this paragraph would make your point more clearly."
Bad professor thinks: "If you cut out the wordiness, you could take a Caribbean cruise with the time you save."
Good professor writes: "Using active verbs and specific nouns (instead of words like "aspect") make your writing more vivid."
Bad professor thinks: "George Eliot won't care if you praise her writing with empty words like 'wonderful' and 'full of human interest,' and neither will I. These are page-filling words, not meaningful ones."
Good professor writes: "Can you make a more specific point about Eliot's writing and support it with evidence from the text?"
And so on. Have any more?