How many times have I criticised a particular phrase or acted as a human thesaurus? Am I even allowed to mention this in a blog or must we maintain the polite fiction that parents and teachers don’t cast an eye over the children’s Personal Statements? The idea is that they must write them by themselves or the statement will not reflect their personality.
How come then that the naturally quiet and thoughtful Perran has managed to sound so manically cheerful that if the universities don’t want him, he should be able to land a job at TGI Friday’s?
“I wouldn’t say that you ‘love’ something more than three times in a statement,” I mention to him, “And I’d limit the number of ‘enthusiastic’s too. I think that people who are applying for maths and philosophy are probably allowed to sound a little reticent.”
Carenza is caught in indecision.
“There are several history books that I never finished. They say not to put down books you haven’t read thoroughly in case you get an interview and they ask you about them.”
“If you’d spent less long writing your statement,” I snarl, “You could have had them all finished. Come to that, you might even have had enough time to write your own history book.”
Their heads go down again and silence reigns. They are still editing.