Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Microsoft Word Synonym Tool Credited As Co-Writer of Prize-Winning Essay"

Eighth grader Mark Richie, who won the Fulton County Annual Presidential Essay Contest for his paper "What I Would Do As President" will have to share the title and prize with the Synonym function on his version of Microsoft Word 2003. School officials suspected there may have been a ghost writer involved when they read over the well-structured essay and found words like "magnanimous," "astonishing," and "tremendous." Allison Lindberg, Principal of Webb Bridge Middle School, said, "It was clear immediately that Mark didn't write these adjectives. Anytime a teacher reads a student's essay that contains words longer than five letters, they must report them to our Council of Academic Honesty." Mark will be able to keep half the prize, because he is responsible for the five-paragraph structure. However, half of the $20 Barnes and Noble gift card will be sent to Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. Mark responded to our story via email saying, "Without the remarkable help of Microsoft Word, my exhilarating essay would not have been achievable."

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