Using an acrostic to insult your professor

A colleague of mine whose name shall remain a secret until they reveal it themselves, told me the following story about a Ph.D. student and his professor. Certainly, it is one of the best stories on writing I have heard in a long time and I hope you will like it too.

Recently, this candidate graduated from our university, although I think he wouldn’t have, if the committee head read his dissertation more carefully. Our candidate was so annoyed with the quality of the guidance his professor gave him that he decided to hide a message in the first part of his conclusions section as an acrostic.

Some of you may not know what an acrostic is, so I here is a really simple explanation. The acrostic is a text in which the first letter of every word, line or sentence you write is the next letter of a new word or sentence, rather like this post in fact, just read the first letter of every sentence, together they make up a word.

It must have been really difficult for our candidate to write this message while still maintaining good academic quality of the text, but apparently it worked, because nobody noticed anything peculiar about the text. Certainly, he must have been rather nervous during the defense of his thesis, because he had manipulated the first twenty-two sentences of his conclusions to make the first letters of every sentence say “my professor is an asshole”.

(No, students in my class, don’t try this on me, please. I am sure I will fail your test!)

Author: Bob

Bob’s teaching career started at Nijenrode University, where he taught business English to students dressed either in expensive suits or track gear, who would literally jump in and out of his classroom through the window. Thankfully, it was located on the ground floor. After two years, the quickly growing Netherlands Institute of Tourism and Transport Studies employed him, first as a teacher of English, later as head of the English department. Nine years later, Delft University of Technology, which was dealing with more and more international students, was looking for a skills teacher who could teach in Dutch and in English. Since then, Bob has had the best job a skills teacher can have. He teaches students from all faculties: from Aerospace Engineering to Architecture and everything in between. Bob is head of the English department, he teaches Academic Skills, Intercultural Communication and English as a Foreign Language and he is co-author of Presentation Techniques (isbn 978

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