I'm thinking of playfully "banning" this phrase from my classes next semester. ("I'm confused.") Why? Because it drives me nuts. Because too often it's said to cover up the fact that the student did not read the syllabus, or the assignment instructions, or both, carefully. Plus, it's too often said whiningly.
So I'm thinking of requiring students to ask clarification questions instead, and requiring them to preface those with something like, "I'd like to ask a couple clarification questions so I can better understand what is expected of me here; I've already read the syllabus and instructions."
Your thoughts? Any ideas for some general constructive clarification questions? Plus, I'm thinking of supplementing this with "I'm confused" hang man in the first couple weeks (draw a hang man on the board, off to the side; every time someone says "I'm confused" instead of the above, a body part gets drawn in...)