I, The Absolute

Some gyan to the wannabe ISBians

Posted by itheabsolute on July 6, 2005

I will repeat ad nauseam – verbal score is the key for high GMAT score. But it is not easy to master the verbal portion, not only for Indians even for the people who have English as primary language. Today I will handle one element of the English language, punctuation. Many (not all) examples have been shamelessly lifted from the book “Eats, Shoots & Leaves” by Lynee Truss (explanations are mine). No one ever expected this book to get into the bestseller category. But it did.

 For a puritan English loving person, it is quite irritating to see the following: we sell CD’s, DVD’s and Book’s / We are Ladie’s hairdresser

Look at the change in meaning punctuation marks / their positioning can make

 A woman, without her man, is nothing (a woman is nothing without man)
 A woman: without her, man is nothing (man is nothing without a woman)

 Leonara walked on her head, a little higher than usual (she walked on her head)
 Leonara walked on, her head a little higher than usual (she walked, with her head high)

 The convict said the judge is mad (judge is mad, says the convict)
 The convict, said the judge, is mad (judge says that convict is made)

 The oft-repeated blunders: it’s (which is ‘it is’) / its (possessive – belongs to it)

 Cannot is one word; all other nots’ are two words – did not, does not, would not, etc

There have been situations where a comma caused difference between life and death

Don’t stop killing.
Don’t, stop killing.

It helps a lot to keep an eye on the punctuation mark and such detail. Knowing punctuation will be key to cracking many sentence correction questions.


Why is diversity important? If all students at ISB were like me, ISB would be a lot more silent place, there would have been no elections (because no one will participate), and thinking would have been a little more eccentric (not necessarily acts). At ISB, there are as many types as one can imagine and no one will complain because the types of people, the kinds of acts, the idiosyncrasies, the weirdest outlooks, are simply too many to not engage attention and interest. Any one looking for fun, apart from studies, can find a lot of it here.
Those who are planning to apply to ISB, and who can afford time and money, should come down, go around the campus and interact with the students here. Decision making will become much easier. Motivation will be much higher. Sure, it will be fun too.

PS: The title of the book refers to a Panda, which Eats ‘shoots and leaves’. But by placing a comma after Eats, the author refers to a serious change in meaning which is that Panda eats and then shoots (someone) and leaves.

6 Responses to “Some gyan to the wannabe ISBians”

  1. interesting discussion. the error factor in any decision making / event cannot be controlled by anyone. the reasons y someone dint get admission can be many and all may not be explainable. while the admission at ISB, nor at any b-school, cannot be foolproof, can say that it is fair and closely follows what has been tried and tested in many US b-schools. admissions are very important. and no institution can sustain lack of credibility in admissions.


  2. Ketan said

    Mistakenly i posted as anonymous…

  3. Anonymous said

    Hi Anon 555,

    I do not want to clutter Vijay’s blog with our discussion, so if possible, we can have a seperate mail discussion. You can reach me at ketanm@gmail.com

    Well, I believe that admission in any institute can-not be entirely fair. And its a function of various factors. And this might include overall personality of an applicant rather than simply based only on his past expertise or skills or experience. It will also be a factor of adcom’s state of mind at the time of evaluating that applicant. And it also depends on the application pool for that particular year.

    I believe that NO INSTITUTE in any part of the world can be entirely fair, what they can be is a bit more transparent. Yeah, I agree that ISB is yet to reach that state and it can become more transparent in its admission procedures.

    BTW do mail me about the experiences narrated by those four students you met in ISB…

    Just to clarify, I am not a b-school student. And I agree that with all its sun-shine there got to be some rain somewhere in ISB….

  4. Anon 555 said

    I concur with you on the view that it makes no sense sitting along with 300 engineers in a B School class. For that matter if everyone in this world were alike, then it could turn out to be a very boring place. I too advocate diversity in the classroom.

    My comments are perhaps based on what I got to hear from some of the last year’s applicants in the yahoo groups. I do not recall exact details. One applicant with good acads + international recognition in architecture field was not taken in whereas someone with mediocre acads + mediocre performance + a champ (a few years ago) in short sprint was selected. How does one being a short sprint champ add value to a class room discussion? As against the prev guy? I have neither applied to nor am I part of the school to verify facts in this case.

    When I visited the school in the past, more out of curiosity than anything else, I have seen quite a few guys (about 4) of the prev batch who had felt and expressed that they feel doomed having joined the school. They also felt almost cheated by the school. They had no clarity on what they aim to achieve at the end of the course! I do understand that joining a B School is an extremely personalised decision and an individual must take every care before deciding to join one. Once admitted, its also upto the individual to put in the neccesseary effort and benefit in the process. But on the same note, it does no good to a school that selects candidates like this. And hence my comment on the admission process at the school. If you are a student, you could have better access to information than what I do. Opinions could, therefore, differ. Opinions are, afterall, formed on the basis of data one gets to see! For all you know the (sample) data that I saw was more an exception than the norm!

  5. Ketan said

    Hi anon 555,

    Its always considered good to express opinions even if you are being critical, but then why hide? Why dont u put ur name?

    Anyway, I believe diversity from the perspective of a student is very desirable especially in a b-school. I dont give a damn, what it means to have a diverse class for ISB, but for me (being an engineer), sitting along with 300 engineers in a b-school sounds crazy… A diversity of experiences helps you understand different perspectives and even sometimes different industrues…. so that would definitely be a deciding factor for me to choose a b-school.

  6. Anon 555 said

    This could sound a little bit sensitive…..having diversity in class is good. But diversity for the sake of having it is perhaps fruitless. I am not convinced about the effectiveness of the admission process at the school. This however does not mean to say that ISB is not a place to join. Despite its shortcomings, I do appreciate the school.

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