NOT A TEACHER
(1) I think that "to set somebody up for failure" can be done on purpose or not
(2) For example, in my American city, the school authorities have decided that
every student should go to college. This puts tremendous pressure on those
students who do not want to go to college. Maybe they want to do other important
and needed work, such as being a computer repair person. Some people say that
their "all-college" policy is setting many students up for failure. How? Well, many
American students "drop out" of secondary school. They feel that Shakespeare and
English grammar are not relevant to their lives. And many of those students who do
manage to graduate and enter college often leave college after a short time.
(3) Sometimes, of course, people set people up for failure on purpose.
Tom: (who secretly hates The Parser): Hey, everybody, my dear and wonderful friend The Parser is one of the most intelligent people I know.
The Parser (embarrassed): Not really!
Tom: Don't be so modest, my dear and wonderful friend.
Mona: How much are 2 and 2, Parser.
The Parser: Oh, 2 and 2 are 5.
The audience laughs. The Parser leaves the stage in humiliation. Tom has succeeded
in his plot to destroy The Parser.
(4) You know that the Republican Party in this country is planning to choose a
candidate for the 2012 elections. Well, some of the candidates (I say this with
complete respect) do not know very much about certain things. So it is easy to
set them up. For example, if a journalist on TV wants to embarrass them, the
journalist may ask, "Mr. X, who is the president of South Korea?" Some of the
candidates, I am pretty sure, could not answer. He would then be very much
embarrassed, and the millions of people watching on TV would think: What
an idiot! I do not want him to be my president!