From the Michigan Corpus of Academic Spoken English, a 16,000 word transcript of an undergraduate math study session. In case you ever wanted to know what it really sounds like when students work on our homework.

**S1: ** what if- what if A plus B, equals two times Y and C plus D equals two? [S3: yeah. ] it just has to be proportional so you can’t break it up… but if we have A and C being whatever, then let’s make them something that works.

**S2: ** like one?

**S1: ** let’s… like what if you made, A equal Z and C equal one or something.

**S2: ** but they can’t equal whatever because in the bottom A over C has to equal Z.

**S1: ** i know. [S2: okay ] you make it so that it works.

**S2: ** so you want A to be equal to Z, and C to be equal to one.

**S1: ** okay, so what if we do that…? well no then that gives us uh, Z in the Y equation. unless B equals like Y minus Z or something well it could be done… it’s gonna get complicated though… so if A equals Z,

**S2: ** i think this sucks.