Is it worth discussing grammar?

This is a discussion on Is it worth discussing grammar? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; One of the higher uses of an internet forum must be the cultivation of tolerance. I must admit however to having to bite my tongue ...

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  1. #31
    Distinguished Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    One of the higher uses of an internet forum must be the cultivation of tolerance. I must admit however to having to bite my tongue a few times over some posts. While I find bad spelling and the misuse of homonyms annoying, the worst are misplaced modifiers. Usually I can figure out from the context what the poster means but sometimes it's just impossible. There are times I question if the poster himself knows what he means. While I'm thinking about it, let me complain about those who string together a series of pronouns referring to more than one person while never once using an antecedent: He ran into the house, he shot him, and he ran out. Who ran into the house? Who shot whom? Who ran out? We'll never know.
    I won't even get into the neither/nor issue.

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  3. #32
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    While some grammatical errors can be worked through, it is very difficult to read posts without paragraphs.

    Double spacing makes for easier reading, too.
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  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlr1m View Post
    You can catch more than just spelling errors doing that.
    Thats how they found them satanic messages hidden in them old rock and roll albums back in the day.

    Michael
    When they play country music backwards...you get your wife back, your dog back, your house back, and your job back...well, you get the idea.
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  5. #34
    VIP Member Array HKinNY's Avatar
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    All I know about Grammar is she slept next to my Grammpa.
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  6. #35
    Ex Member Array dcselby1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbqgrill View Post
    Leaving punctuation aside, English grammar can be very frustrating but, there are some very basic issues that are, I suppose, my pet peeves for instance:

    There, their and they're
    There, placement or location: put it over there, there is a place for everything.
    Their, shows possession: their laws are very restrictive, I like their new truck.
    They're, contraction: they are

    Is it legal for them to go in there if they're carrying their handguns?

    Similarly your and you're
    Your, possession: is this your pistol, your dog is well trained
    You're, contraction: you are

    If you're carrying your firearm then make sure it is properly holstered.

    So anyone else share these peeves or others? Oh, by the way, I learned this in our public school system so don't take this as high and mighty over schooled nit-picking. Nor, do I claim to be a world class proof reader or master of English writing. Also, I see these same errors in professional correspondence where the misuse of words frustrates me more than in this forum.

    With the huge number of visitors we have; and, given that some of the visitors are likely our mutual detractors why do we give them one more issue to condemn us, our point of view or, our intellect?
    Big pet peeve with me, as well. Which is my problem, I guess. HOWEVER, most people simply don't write any more. I wonder how many people under 40 have ever written a letter? Nor is it stressed in school from what I can see after many years of reading resumes. I, too, learned basic grammar in elementary school, but have learned to accept people for who they are not how they write. What is REALLY frustrating to me, though when I was working are the e-mails I would receive from "highly educated" employees, people with degrees up to, and including a PHD or two. Writing is really a big problem with young people who text each other all the time. All shortcuts and acronyms, almost illegible to me. (As are some in many forums). My biggest pet peeve is poor spelling, though. Probably stems from when I edited a daily news sheet in the Army. (Before I took the stencil I typed to the print shop to be mimeographed. A while back. Let's see if anyone asks what "mimeographed means!). So many basics are missing from our schools. I understand that, in Indiana, they will no longer be teaching cursive writing. I hope that' not true. I get embarrassed when I write something on line, preview it, post it and THEN spot the errors. I HAVE however found a FREE spell checker download for IE, which I love. Haven't found a grammar checker, though. Here's a link if anyone's interested: ieSpell - Spell Checker add-on for Internet Explorer

  7. #36
    VIP Member Array boricua's Avatar
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    I think it is a matter of personal pride and choice. English is not my primary language, but I had to learn enough to enlist and retire from the US Army.

    It has always been important to me how others perceive me by my writing, especially when I had to prepare lesson plans, type memorandums or evaluation reports . Therefore, I always re-read everything I write before I publish it or send it out to the intended reader, and almost always I edit it or correct something. Of course, I still make frequent spelling and grammar mistakes, but life goes on.
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  8. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExactlyMyPoint View Post
    To me, spelling and grammar are a paramount issue that reflects on how the person was educated. But truly, it is a losing battle. Either you know how to do it or you don't. Pointing it out to someone is useless, because unless they take the time and effort to educate themselves, you might as well talk to the hand. It is an education issue that goes back to grade school.

    I once got in to an online p*ssing contest with someone over grammar. Now that I think about it, I wonder what ever happened to him.
    Very true. People have different talents and skills. English was easy for me, Math, not so much.

  9. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    Piss poor grammar and spelling are indicative of the state of society.From what I've been reading on various forums in the last few years, I'd say that we (we as a nation) are hosed and there is no coming back.Too many people seem to be proud that they excel in ignorance. On second thought, it's probably the only thing that they are excellent in.
    So true. I've encountered MANY people over the years who seem to delight in never having read a book since high school! But again, that's an individual preference. As for society going to hell, I would place a good portion of the blame on our educational system. More specifically, the one in Washington. The DEPARTMENT of Education. As much money as they spend you think they could actually spend some on insuring that kids are actually educated! Or, how about the National EDUCATION Association which was formed to improve education and spent a whopping SEVEN PERCENT of last years budget on students!

  10. #39
    Ex Member Array dcselby1's Avatar
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    OK, since we're on grammar, here is an (shortened version) old one!

    A gentleman wanders around the campus of a school looking for the library. He approaches a student and asked, "Excuse me young man. Would you be good enough and tell me where the library is at?"

    The student, in a very arrogant and belittling tone, replied, "I'm sorry, sir, but at this school, we are taught never to end a sentence with a preposition!"

    The gentleman smiled, and in a very apologetic tone replied, "I beg your pardon. Please allow me to rephrase my question. Would you be good enough to tell me where the library is at, a**hole?"
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  11. #40
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    Written expression is an intelligence test. People who communicate badly online express themselves as being stupid. You can pretty much assess IQ based on frequency of typos and grammatical errors.

    At the same time, there is no profit to be had from correcting the mistakes of others as you find them. Nobody appreciates the grammar scold. There is no constituency for the English expert. Run around pointing out errors in others' missives, you'll be tagged as a d-nozzle.

    The way it is, we expert linguists and grammarians are technicians who operate at a level so far ahead of the ignorati that it isn't funny. But if we climb on our soapboxes and exhort the veracity of ending sentences with prepositions and splitting infinitives, we're marked as so many bluestockings. What's painful is watching the false rules inculcated by the unwashed be propagated ad infinitum. The unlearned protest the appositional "hopefully," and tilt against the windmill of beginning sentences with conjunctions.

    Because that's what they were told by some dingbat English teacher in the 5th grade.

    Don't worry if your command of the language is deficient. The pros won't chide you. The knockanollies will.
    "It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."

  12. #41
    Ex Member Array dcselby1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    A new young monk arrives at the monastery. He’s assigned to help the other monks in copying the old canons and laws of the church by hand.

    He notices, however, that all of the monks are copying from copies, not from the original manuscript.

    So, the new monk goes to the head abbot to question this; pointing out that if someone made even a small error in the first copy, it would never be picked up.

    In fact, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies.

    The head monk, says, “We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son.”

    So, he goes down into the dark caves underneath the monastery where the original manuscript is held as archives in a locked vault that hasn’t been opened for hundreds of years.

    Hours go by and nobody sees the old abbot.

    So, the young monk gets worried and goes downstairs to look for him.

    He sees him banging his head against the wall, and wailing “We forgot the R. We forgot the R.“

    His forehead is all bloodied and bruised and he’s crying uncontrollably.

    The young monk asks the old abbot, “What’s wrong, father?”

    With a choking voice, the old abbot replies, “The word should be celebRate!”
    I would say that the forgot the "i" as well.
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  13. #42
    Ex Member Array dcselby1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdprof View Post
    Spell check? Yeah, right!



    The rest is here:
    Owed to a Spell Chequer

    It often grates on my nerves when reading a posting that shows the writer just doesn't give a hoot. Certainly, we all make a typo or grammar flub now and then, but some people just seem to have a consistent lack of knowledge or caring in correct writing.

    From the old Air Force "Tongue and Quill", "Write like you speak. Assuming, of course, that you speak well."
    (Hmmm, should that first comma have been inside the quotes?)
    Yet ANOTHER of my pet peeves. NOT utilizing the spell or grammar checker! That is what amazed me most while reading many, many resumes. While the resumes were written on computers it was evident that spell checkers were NOT used. I was never sure what that meant, though. I'm still guilty, though, of relying on them so much that I sometimes fail to PROOFREAD my writings.

  14. #43
    Ex Member Array dcselby1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shockwave View Post
    Written expression is an intelligence test. People who communicate badly online express themselves as being stupid. You can pretty much assess IQ based on frequency of typos and grammatical errors.

    At the same time, there is no profit to be had from correcting the mistakes of others as you find them. Nobody appreciates the grammar scold. There is no constituency for the English expert. Run around pointing out errors in others' missives, you'll be tagged as a d-nozzle.

    The way it is, we expert linguists and grammarians are technicians who operate at a level so far ahead of the ignorati that it isn't funny. But if we climb on our soapboxes and exhort the veracity of ending sentences with prepositions and splitting infinitives, we're marked as so many bluestockings. What's painful is watching the false rules inculcated by the unwashed be propagated ad infinitum. The unlearned protest the appositional "hopefully," and tilt against the windmill of beginning sentences with conjunctions.

    Because that's what they were told by some dingbat English teacher in the 5th grade.

    Don't worry if your command of the language is deficient. The pros won't chide you. The knockanollies will.
    What he said!

  15. #44
    Ex Member Array dcselby1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlr1m View Post
    A close friend prepositioned a lady cop one night.

    Michael
    Was he "busted?"

  16. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoganbeg View Post
    One of the higher uses of an internet forum must be the cultivation of tolerance. I must admit however to having to bite my tongue a few times over some posts. While I find bad spelling and the misuse of homonyms annoying, the worst are misplaced modifiers. Usually I can figure out from the context what the poster means but sometimes it's just impossible. There are times I question if the poster himself knows what he means. While I'm thinking about it, let me complain about those who string together a series of pronouns referring to more than one person while never once using an antecedent: He ran into the house, he shot him, and he ran out. Who ran into the house? Who shot whom? Who ran out? We'll never know.
    I won't even get into the neither/nor issue.
    English is Mrs. Hopyard's 4th language. Though she has lived here for 41 years she still struggles with personal pronouns. In her native language they apparently do not have the equivalent of "he" and "she." They use a word that is more like, "that person." So when Mrs. H tries to tell me a story about her friends, and often without sufficient preface or use of antecedents, and with the personal pronoun misuse thrown in, I quickly lose her drift.
    This is always attributed to my hearing and inattentiveness, and never to her language skills. That keeps domestic tranquility.
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