By Nathan Schmidt
This week, an upper-level English class descended into chaos after the professor discovered that none of her students could spell the word “debauchery.” The incident arose after a group activity involving writing on the whiteboard, where freshman Joel Hanesby wrote the word “dabosherie” in a description of the Greek god Dionysus.
The professor, one Dr. Rachel Markhellion, is quoted as having said, “I see you spelled Dionysus correctly, but not debauchery. Could anyone take another try at spelling that word?” After fifteen seconds of painful silence during which the students all stared intently at their desks, Dr. Markhellion called on a student in the back, who verbally spelled the word out as “denbotchery.”
At that point, Dr. Markhellion asked all of the students to write down the way they spelled “debauchery” on a piece of paper passed around the class, without using their phones or laptops to look the word up. The resulting twenty or so spellings included such examples as “debousherry,” “Du Boucheri,” “daebocherry,” and confusingly, “The botched tree.” After receiving the list, Markhellion went silent for approximately half a minute, before excusing herself to retrieve a bottle of vodka from her car.
Stagnation reporters were able to secure an interview in Dr. Markhellion during her office hours while approximately two dozen students waited outside for their turn. Asked about the incident, Markhellion said, “I don’t know what these students expect me to do for them anymore. Debauchery is the bedrock foundation of college. They should be able to spell it.”
The failure of so many students to spell the word implies a severe lapse in either the American education system, the English language itself, or Fairfield University’s core curriculum. After meeting for deliberation on the matter, campus faculty have chosen to blame the English language.
“It’s just not phonetic enough,” said Markhellion.
In response to this incident, students can expect an upcoming poll on whether they would like to abandon English and learn the constructed language Esperanto instead.