Title text: You should start giving out 'E's so I can spell FACADE or DEFACED.
In some schools in the United States, a student's grades are determined mainly using letters for quick reference. In this case:
- A — 100%–90%
- B — 89%–80%
- C — 79%–70%
- D — 69%–60%
- F — 59%–0%
Traditionally, these schools send 'report cards' in which the student's current grading of the semester or even the entirety of the class the student is taking is denoted using these letters, for example:
- English — A
- Mathematics — A
- Science — A
- Social Studies — A
- World Building — A
The student may have noted that, if s/he aims for certain scoring (for example: altering the quality of his/her homework or even sending out his/her homework only at the times needed for his/her grades to reach a certain level), s/he could make the report card spell every letter grade in alphabetical order. Deriving from the previous example, the student would aim for the following report card:
- English — A
- Mathematics — B
- Science — C
- Social Studies — D
- World Building — F
Interestingly, since even a 0% grade would mark the required 'F' grade, the student does not need to work at all (not even send out a school assignment) to get the required 'F' grade, this leading to the situation presented in the comic above.
The title text references that, not only can the grades in the report card inadvertently spell out certain words (for example: 'CAB' or 'FAD'), but also that the letter grade system denoted omits the letter 'E' in standard letter grading. The reason for the missing "E" is complex and explained at this Slate article
- [A teacher is talking to a student, sitting at a desk.]
- Teacher: If you don't turn in at least one homework assignment, you'll fail this class.
- [The student holds up his report card.]
- Student: Yeah. But if I can fail this class, the grades on my report card will be in alphabetical order!
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