To be, or not to be margreted

  • And? Have you been margreted again?

Larcus Mandall was grinning. As usual, my evil twin at Bond University was sitting behind his tiny desk, that defensively facing the door.

His question was his way to invite me to one of our regular intellectual fencing sessions.

No, not this time. I tricked her.

Margret was the wife of my room neighbor, a patronizing maths professor from a different epoch. Worse, Margret was an English teacher, and even more worse she had gotten this little Bond side business where she proofread our exam papers.


It was all part of Gopal Gupta's little network of favours he cultivated while he was dean here. But the setup was continued long after he was gone.

  • And how did you trick her?

The problem with Margret was that in her overzealousness she started to question IT terminology or technical lingo. She even did not shy away to suggest improvements to my SQL statements or XML tags. And none of us professors really liked it to be treated as 15-year olds in a secondary school.

Well, ...

I paused for the effect and leaned casually at the door frame. Larcus waited patiently.

... this time I created an exam question around a Shakesperean sonnet, encoded that into XML and put that as XSLT question right in front of the exam paper.
That seemed to have done the trick to lull her. Clever, ha?

Larcus did not make me the favour to commend me on my brilliance to absurdify an existing absurdity. But his eyes glistened. And I knew he was looking for an opportunity to apply the technique to some gullible Bond manager.

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