The Wall Street Journal has an article this morning about college rejection letters, the good the bad and the ugly (one school accidentally sent out acceptance letters to students they rejected and then had to reject them again! ouch!).
The meanest is from Bates College. Their letter was translated by one 17 year old recipient as saying, "you have been rejected because you suck."
Years ago when Steven was in the "apply for everything, more than once if needed" phase of professional development (he calls it the "be like a fly on poop" strategy, and if you can suffer through the piles of rejections from grants, residencies, jobs and exhibitions, it actually works pretty well) he had an idea to send a letter to some place that had rejected him and reject their rejection.
Something like this:
I received an unusually high volume of high caliber rejections this year, from many qualified and compelling institutions. Unfortunately, I am just one person and can only accept a certain number of rejections each year. I regret to inform you that I will not be able to accept your rejection at this time.
I appreciate your lack of interest in me and wish you well as you prepare for my arrival.
My decision is final and I will not be accepting appeals.
I wish he'd done it, it would have been hilarious.