Red Ink is Evil

red_pen.jpgThis from Minette, a regular contributor to the discussion on this blog:

They are continuing this entire stupid idea of banning all possible hits to self-esteem even in the corporate world. I work for a government agency and we do a lot of training. I’ve been told that I can no longer use red ink to correct my trainees’ work because it would “hurt their self-esteem.” I have to use green ink. I’ve gone ahead and done this like a good little girl but my first reaction was, “Life sometimes sucks. Get over it!”

Yet another example of Adultitis running rampant. If red pen hurts your self-esteem, I have a news flash for you: you need a new self-esteem. Kim also was forbidden from using red pen when teaching kindergarten.

Here’s what I want to know: What happens when green becomes known as the evil and vicious self-esteem obliterating ink?

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  1. No color is safe. Maybe light pencil strokes are the most appropriate way to grade? Not too obtrusive and therefore not too self-esteem-ruining.

  2. I like the way you think, Lisa. Mixing up the media. Perhaps watercolor could add a touch of softness to any harsh criticism.

  3. As a proofreader I use a RED PEN and HI-LIGHTER every day at work. If I didn’t, corrections needed may get missed, wasting everyone’s time with continual edits. Thank goodness some of us know the difference between productivity and nonsense!

  4. How about we just get rid of wrong answers all together! 2+2=8? If that’s what feels right to you, then it’s ok by me. Here’s your gold star kid.

  5. Libby — I wish more people knew the difference between productivity and nonsense. You’re a dying breed!

    Beau — I like your idea. As a creative type, I’ve always felt math needed to be a little bit more touchy-feely.

  6. Minette says:

    Wow – I got a citation in the blog! I’m so honored! I like all the other ideas here. Personally when I’m editing my own work I use red ink and highlighter just like Libby. It does help me keep track of the edits I need to make on my reports.

  7. It was funny to read this. When I worked for as government-contracted employee I used to use pink, purple, green and whatever other color ink I could. (Usually for interoffice communication). I was about the only person to do so – everybody knew that it must be Shirley’s work if it was colorful. :0)

  8. Shirley — Sounds like a pretty good little “personal brand.” I bet you were one of everybody’s favorite coworkers!

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