By Jeremy Hoodaman
SparkNotes, the sworn enemy of English teachers everywhere, recently announced “SparkNotes: SparkNotes Edition”, a new website with abbreviated versions of its summaries. Students have long complained about the amount of time needed to read an abridged version of a book, and this new website is created specifically for the cramped-for-time demographic.
After the first quarter of school, where parent signatures and tissue boxes constitute the majority of one’s grades, students have begun to notice that their classes get really, really, tough. Between AP classes, sports, clubs, and alleged “social lives”, Deerfield students barely have enough time to clip their toenails. As students attempt to manage their workloads efficiently, reading assignments are often the first things to go unless your English teacher checks for annotations, in which case: LAME. Since the Protestant Reformation, SparkNotes has been used to fake the completion of reading assignments, and in many cases, it is used by those who do not have the patience to find irony, allegories, or alliterations themselves.
However, some students have neither the hours nor the minutes to read books or web pages. “We realize that in this day and age, young people are not interested in reading anything longer than a Twitter post,” says Stanley Gilstrap, founder of SparkNotes LLC, “and unfortunately, most novels are slightly longer than 140 characters. For this reason, we are confident that ‘SparkNotes: SparkNotes Edition’ will be the ‘fun-sized’ version of your favorite SparkNotes entries.”
In fact, the new website abbreviated versions of the abbreviated versions of classic works are simple sentences, summing up hundreds of pages into a bite-sized piece of information.
For example, the entry for Arthur Miller’s critically acclaimed The Crucible, reads simply, “Witches be crazy.” Attempting to access any work of Shakespeare redirects Internet browsers to a page reading either “Everybody dies” or “Almost everybody dies.” Searching The House on Mango Street yields “Vignettes = Poems = THIS BOOK IS FOR GIRLS.”