Threatening to shut down the government during Federal budget negotiations has always been an anticipated tactic. (Class of 2017, #17)
Growing up with the family dog, one of them has worn an electronic collar, while the other has toted an electronic lifeline. (Class of 2017, #18)
The Mindset List web site used to claim that it started as “a witty [sic] way of saying to faculty colleagues ‘watch your references.’” The line may be insulting to professors, but its meaning is clear.
In the past year or so, the line has been changed to “a witty way of saying to faculty colleagues ‘beware of hardening of the references.’” Huh?
The creators of the BML are an English professor and a P.R. flak so you’d think they would be able to write comprehensible English rather than the tortured, convoluted prose they regularly turn out. Since apparently nobody at Beloit College has stepped forward to edit the lists before they’re published, Professor Angry and I would be happy to lend our services. For my audition, I’ll rewrite the two choice Class of 2017 items above.
- “The threat of a government shutdown has always hung over Federal budget negotiations”
- “Their dogs wear electronic collars; they carry electronic lifelines.”
Accuracy is harder to fix.
Messrs. McBride and Nief like items that connect something that happened around the birth of the class to something that happened recently. Republicans in Congress shut down the government in 1994 and again in 2013—so it didn’t happen for first 18 years the Class of 2017 was alive. Since it’s a tactic used by Republicans against Democratic presidents, it wasn’t even anticipated for most of their lives.
Electronic shock collars for animals have been around since the 1960s so it’s unclear why it shows up on the Class of 2017 list—or how many Class of 2017 pets wear them given the controversy that surrounds their use.
College students being “connected” has been in the news for years, e.g., the Pew Research Center’s informative 2010 report “Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change,” so I suppose it was just a matter of time before the BML stumbled upon it, connected it to a more questionable assertion and turned it into a poorly constructed sentence.