bell curve

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Aug 7 14:41:54 UTC 2012

On Aug 7, 2012, at 10:34 AM, Charles C Doyle wrote:

> And for many years now, in student parlance, "curve" in reference to grades has meant, simply, 'raise'.
> Almost never does the hopeful query "Are you going to curve these grades?" mean "Will you be lowering my B- to a D?"
> --Charlie

No, but it might mean "Will you be lowering all those other A- and B+ grades so my *real* A will be worth more?"

> ________________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Jonathan Lighter [wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM]
> Sent: Monday, August 06, 2012 9:46 PM
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Who dreamed up that idea of "curving" grades anyway?
> What BS. (Well, maybe if you were a beginning teacher who had no idea what
> a reasonable exam was like and nobody scored above a D.)
> But otherwise, what BS.  Instead of the predicted bell curve, I often got
> an inverted one: i.e., lots of F's and D's and a good number of B's and
> A's. Diagnosis: an easy test for anybody who bothered to study even a
> little.
> JL
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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