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We must stop correcting grammar

Dave the Gnome 28 Nov 17 - 06:39 AM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Nov 17 - 11:26 AM
Tattie Bogle 28 Nov 17 - 11:26 AM
The Sandman 28 Nov 17 - 02:40 PM
Steve Shaw 28 Nov 17 - 04:20 PM
Dave the Gnome 28 Nov 17 - 04:26 PM
Tattie Bogle 28 Nov 17 - 08:03 PM
mg 28 Nov 17 - 08:13 PM
leeneia 29 Nov 17 - 12:28 AM
robomatic 29 Nov 17 - 02:49 AM
Mr Red 29 Nov 17 - 03:36 AM
Nigel Parsons 29 Nov 17 - 03:38 AM
Ebbie 29 Nov 17 - 04:16 AM
Jos 29 Nov 17 - 04:41 AM
Raedwulf 29 Nov 17 - 04:57 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Nov 17 - 06:02 AM
Doug Chadwick 29 Nov 17 - 06:53 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 29 Nov 17 - 07:41 AM
Nigel Parsons 29 Nov 17 - 08:22 AM
Raedwulf 29 Nov 17 - 09:34 AM
Anne Lister 29 Nov 17 - 10:45 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Nov 17 - 01:04 PM
Steve Shaw 29 Nov 17 - 01:05 PM
Steve Shaw 29 Nov 17 - 01:09 PM
Doug Chadwick 29 Nov 17 - 01:14 PM
michaelr 29 Nov 17 - 08:52 PM
Rapparee 29 Nov 17 - 09:05 PM
robomatic 29 Nov 17 - 09:15 PM
Joe Offer 29 Nov 17 - 09:27 PM
Tattie Bogle 29 Nov 17 - 09:37 PM
Joe Offer 29 Nov 17 - 09:47 PM
Ebbie 30 Nov 17 - 12:04 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 30 Nov 17 - 03:16 AM
Iains 30 Nov 17 - 03:34 AM
Mr Red 30 Nov 17 - 03:39 AM
Steve Shaw 30 Nov 17 - 05:16 AM
Doug Chadwick 30 Nov 17 - 05:55 AM
Tattie Bogle 30 Nov 17 - 06:10 AM
punkfolkrocker 30 Nov 17 - 10:13 AM
robomatic 30 Nov 17 - 06:58 PM
ripov 30 Nov 17 - 07:20 PM
michaelr 30 Nov 17 - 08:37 PM
punkfolkrocker 30 Nov 17 - 10:50 PM
michaelr 01 Dec 17 - 12:45 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Dec 17 - 03:35 AM
Steve Shaw 01 Dec 17 - 05:16 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Dec 17 - 05:51 AM
Steve Shaw 01 Dec 17 - 07:14 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Dec 17 - 07:57 AM
Mrrzy 01 Dec 17 - 08:43 AM
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Subject: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Nov 17 - 06:39 AM

This really strikes a chord

Applies to many posts on here too. Are you listening? You know who you are :-)

DtG


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Nov 17 - 11:26 AM

I agree, Dave. Correcting grammar should be done in only a few situations.

1. Between parent and child
2. In the classroom
3. For a foreigner, who will truly be helped. I had a student asking me for the pattern for a "hand" recently. I taught her that the word is "potholder."

Here on the Mudcat, correcting is used mostly as a way to embarrass someone. Not nice.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 28 Nov 17 - 11:26 AM

A friend got a bit uptight when I corrected something he had written, and told me in no uncertain terms that there was nothing wrong with his spelling and grammar. Rather than lose a friend, I apologised, to which he replied,"Your welcome"!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Nov 17 - 02:40 PM

I'm sitting in the garden in my little Noddy suit
With a sparrow on me fishing rod and frog spawn in my boot
Oh it's tiddling down with rain, I've got water on the brain,
But I'll sit here by the pond like King Canute.

The kids have knocked my nose off, and my boots are getting thin,
And the way that they all treat me here, it really is a sin.
And there's a pigeon I can see, he's aiming straight for me,
And the gardener strikes his matches on my shin.

Well, long ago I used to be a king upon a throne.
I met a wicked fairy and she turned me into stone.
And that is why I'm sitting in this garden all alone.
It's not much fun being a gnome.

I'm sitting here a fishing but these fishes never bite.
And anyway it's been so long I've lost my appetite,
Oh it really is a strain, here's that pigeon back again.
Has anybody got some dynamite.

There's a doggy comes to see me every evening after tea,
I used to wonder why he was so very fond of me.
And then I found out why, it hit me in the eye.
Have you ever been mistaken for a tree.

My earhole's full of cobwebs and my doublet doesn't fit.
Sitting on this toadstool well I feel a proper twit.
And the way that they all treat me here it makes me want to spit.
And it's not much fun being a Gnome.

But I'll sit here in the garden in my little Noddy suit.
With a sparrow on my fishing rod and tadpoles in my boots.
Oh it's piddling down with rain, I've got water on the brain.
But I'll sit here by the pond like King Canute, RULE BRITTANIA!
I'll sit here by the pond like King Canute.


[The Gnome, by Miles Wootton]


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Nov 17 - 04:20 PM

Having your grammar/spelling/punctuation corrected is very annoying, but the beauty of it is that the person correcting you is invariably guilty of much more of said inelegance than you are. It's generally very easy to pick them to pieces on account of their own peccadillos, always far more numerous than yours, and the temptation to move in for the kill is too great to resist. Very naughty, but I'm only human.



It's "Britannia" by the way, Dick. Heheh!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Nov 17 - 04:26 PM

Very good, Dick. I would have been even more impressed if it had have been an original or if you had credited Miles Wootton.

It is not true of course. It is great fun being a Gnome.

:D tG


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 28 Nov 17 - 08:03 PM

It will not be that long before we in Scotland get into the season celebrating our great bard, Robert Burns.(Possessive Burns' or possibly Burns's)
But it really gets up my nose to see BURN'S so often included in even official invitations, and also on our dance band set list (we have a Burns' Waltz Set and a Burns' reel set, both of which get wrongly placed apostrophes by the sender of the set list!) Now if someone was called James, you would, I hope, never write Jame's, so why Burn's??
And Britannia - only right about 50% of the times you see it in print! Oh yes, we have the Brittania Two-Step on our set list too!
So....why must we STOP correcting grammar? (I did read the attached article!)


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: mg
Date: 28 Nov 17 - 08:13 PM

I also correct the correctors but not the original poster.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: leeneia
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 12:28 AM

"So....why must we STOP correcting grammar?"

Tattie Boggle, stop wasting our time. You're not that naive. ============
Our relationship with apostrophes is far more wonderful and complex than the grammar books suspect.
=============
Re: Britannia. This is another of those words that have two of something, but many people are not sure which. (You'd think people would realize that if Britain has one T, then Britannia has one T.
But many people don't analyze language. They just let it flow over them.) Other examples:

zucchini or zuchinni?
Conecticutt or Connecticut?
brocolli or broccoli?
paralellepiped or not?

I have a friend whose last name is Henesey or Hennesey or Hennessy. Because of her, I started keeping my address book by my friend's first names.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: robomatic
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 02:49 AM

From Brann The Iconoclast:
Do you understand, Jenks? Can you discover the beau-
tiful moral of the story without a diagram? Right here,
Jenks, I will present you ? ^as a worthy representative of a
considerable contingent of smart Alecs ? with a slug of
advice that is more precious than fine gold. Treasure it
tenderly and transmit it as a priceless heritage to the
Jenkses of the next generation : Whenever you encoun-
ter a grammatical error riding gayly along on a train of
thought, "Kill it and go on." Remember that even the
good Homer nods sometimes. If you aspire to be really
useful go sit on the bleaching board and watch an ama-
teur game of baseball, bestride a dry goods box and save
the country, spit at a mark, preach prohibition, play
croquet with a bevy of old maids, suck a cane? do anything
but play grammar sharp.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Mr Red
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 03:36 AM

Correcting grammar may avoid errors of communication. Language is communication. Pure and simple.

Life ain't binary nor is language. The rule should be - can the other person understand?

English is full of homophones, homonyms and nuances. What you say is perfectly understandable to you. But does it communicate?

And are the receivers actually listening - grammar is a two-way process.

case in point that has no real resolution is: A through B is the same as A to B inclusive in the UK we may understand the former (depending on context) but does the US understand the latter?

And I always try to say "in the circumstances" which a lot of people would not notice and prefer "under" - but logic (not a hard and fast rule in English) should tell you circum surrounds you, not on top of you. Does it matter - not in this case but there are cases and they only reveal themselves when it costs you money, time or even life.

Anyone remember those temporary road signs that said "Wait while red light shows"? In Yorkshire** (predominantly) while means until. There were accidents with people who "knew" what it meant but took a chance by invoking Yorshirese in their defence.

** roses of other colours are available.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 03:38 AM

From: leeneia - PM
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 12:28 AM
zucchini or zuchinni?


When faced with a word which I have trouble spelling, I either look it up, or use a different defence mechanism:
zucchini or zuchinni? "courgette"

Cheers
Nigel


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Ebbie
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 04:16 AM

Well. I grant that the article makes a good point, but I hate to give up the right to correct. Even if not publicly, at least in my own mind. Words are important, they have power, they are the means by which we create so many things.

I deplore the current trend of abbreviating and phoneticizing so many words on our phones and in our advertisements. How do we expect the upcoming generations not only to be able to spell correctly but to recognize the fact that communication is vital, that there is formal language and there is casual language?

On the other hand, I was humbled one night on a number of emails, even though it ended up being hilarious. See, a friend in New Mexico and I were in a leisurely conversation about words and their usage and we congratulated ourselves on our attention to detail.

We wrote back and forth perhaps four times - and each time we each made a mistake! We finally agreed to give it up and say good night.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Jos
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 04:41 AM

While "in the circumstances" could refer to favourable circumstances, enabling you to do something that might not have been possible or sensible otherwise, "under the circumstances" suggests oppression, where the circumstances are preventing you from doing what you would have preferred to do.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Raedwulf
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 04:57 AM

Why should we stop correcting grammar? Why do we have so many different languages in the first place & so many people therefore can't communicate with most of the rest of humanity? Since we all came from a small group of common ancestors (allegedly) who presumably all spoke the same primitive language, how the hell did we wind up with the vast chasm between inflected & non-inflected, never mind odd quirks like glottal stops? (And yes, I'm just going to assume that everyone understands what I'm referring to; naughty me!)

The author of the article frankly strikes me as being something of a berk. "being a good person is HARD." No it isn't. It's dead fucking easy. We all have our off moments, but it's not difficult to not be a self-absorbed, self-centred twit 99% of the time. Oh, wait, sorry, for him it is. So can I just point out that it's not "who'd o' guessed?!"; it's "who'd `a' guessed?!" The vagaries of pronunciation mean a lot of folk do indeed say "of", but the word you are abbreviating is "have". There, that's my grammar Nazi moment for this quarter out of the way!

Spolling (sic) is a miner (sic) matter - it applies only to the written word. Grammar applies to both written & spoken, but remains a minor matter. HOWEVER! The point of both is that they are attempts to provide a structure to language that makes communication easier. Do you know what txtspk is? Do you know what l33t is? Have you come across the popular "mxeid wrods" meme / post? I can read them all, but my comprehension is slower, and I am more likely to misunderstand something, especially if I'm being rushed for some reason. People misunderstand each other easily enough as it is; you want to make it easier for that to happen?!

There is always, if you are so inclined, pleasure in demolishing a badly constructed argument, whatever its weaknesses, whether it's bigotry & ignorance, false arguments such as strawman or ad hominem, etc. What? I said I was good, I never claimed to be nice; not the same thing! :p Random (i.e. outside of actual education) grammar correction, in my experience, always occurs online, but a large part of our education, both formal & informal and throughout our lives, comes through the written word. Spelling & grammar may be minor, but that doesn't equate to unimportant. Good is not the same as nice, simple is not the same as easy; a car is easy / not hard to learn to drive for most people, but a simple piece of machinery it is not!

For the most part, it is not worthwhile correcting spelling or grammar; indeed, it can be counter-productive & you make yourself look a twit. One good reason for not doing it - you probably know nothing about the other person. They might be dyslexic. Stupid & ignorant - two words that also don't mean the same thing. Are they incapable of learning / understanding beyond a certain level? Has their education been disrupted? Almost certainly, either case is not their fault.

But there are two reasons why I will savage someone. The first is someone trying to be superior - "sorry, you're claiming to be better than them & you can't even..." The second is hypocrisy. Hypocrisy should, in my view, always be challenged. It's easy to hammer both of the author's examples "Why dont the Muslins cant not LERN ENGLISH??????" Why should they when you obviously couldn't be bothered, pal? The immigrant-bashing grammar Nazi is even easier - "How come you're not correcting your fellow racist bigots for whom this is supposedly their FIRST language?"

There's a third reason too, and it's why I deliberately used an aggressive word - "savage". The chances are you will have no useful effect whatsoever on the poster you are taking issue with. But the world is almost never bipolar. The light switch only goes on & off, the ballot paper may only have yes & no on it. But a thermostat has a range of settings, and a ballot paper usually has several choices. The world is rarely black & white. I hate preaching to the converted; it's pointless. I've a dear friend who nearly fell out with me. She's a bit of an eco-warrior, so frequently shares stuff from groups like Sea Shepherd. I don't like the killing of whales & dolphins, but I detest the hyperbolic garbage they put out & I'm on their side of the fence! Having eventually blocked them, I now won't see anything of theirs & I certainly won't support them. Well done, Sea Shepherd. The people who are going "Yeah!" already support you; the people going "No!" never will. It's all the shades of grey you want to influence. If you've pissed me off & I'm on your side, what have done with everyone else...

In making any counter-argument, you are unlikely to influence an original strong opinion. But you may well influence those who are less certain. In attacking a poster's grammar, you are committing a minor ad hominem (it's the only time I'll willingly & knowingly do that), but if you can further weaken someone else's poor argument by making them appear ignorant / ill-educated, I'd say that's legitimate. In general, I wouldn't (& don't) bother to correct people, unless they ask for help. But in the scenario cited by the article? Far from "never", I'd go for the throat every time that I could us it as a supporting argument, or if language was their original point.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 06:02 AM

Well we're not here to write legalese. We shouldn't be in a state of tension when typing a post just in case someone's out there hawkishly looking for flaws. Many flaws are not really flaws in any case. Grammar nazis frequently cling to rules that are not rules at all. It's never been wrong to routinely, or sporadically, or even just in isolation, split infinitives, for example. The nazi in that case doesn't understand what an infinitive is. When I look back at some of my posts, I see that I'm guilty of constructing somewhat elaborate and tortuous sentences at times. They might not contain actual mistakes but they give the reader too much mental processing to do. As has been well said, it's all about communicating ideas clearly. But just don't even think of gratuitously picking me up for little errors unless you want me to go for the jugular, that's all. I can't help myself!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 06:53 AM

When leeneia took Tattie Bogle to task for "wasting our time", I looked back at Tattie Bogul's post to see what had caused leeneia's reaction but accidently skipped the relevant post and went to an earlier one. On re-reading this earlier post, I realised that there was a punchline

          .............to which he replied,"Your welcome"!

that I hadn't seen. I read it with its intended meaning without noticing the deliberate grammatical mistake.

As leeneia said:      ....many people don't analyze language. They just let it flow over them.




Raedwulf,
Do you know what txtspk is? Do you know what l33t is? Have you come across the popular "mxeid wrods" meme / post?

I understand "txtspk" and "mxeid wrods" but what does "l33t" mean?


DC


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 07:41 AM

Have a look at Dave Gorman's "Modern life is goodish", the episode from last week, to see his theory about the textspeak geberation.

Basically, he believes that he is in the generation that uses correct spelling and punctuation because that generation were not brought up with mobile phones as children.
The next generation is using textspeak as they were brought up with them.
The previous generation are learning how to use smartphones from their grandchildren and so are also using textspeak.

Robin


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 08:22 AM

l33t = Leet
Wiki


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Raedwulf
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 09:34 AM

Indeed, Steve. To put the point another way, grammar (spolling inc!) should only ever be the nail in the stick, never the stick itself. In other words, if you feel you have a reason to argue with someone, it's an extra spanner in the toolkit, but if it's the reason you're arguing with someone, you probably ought to take a step back, find a mirror, and take a look at yourself!

Doug - Nigel has kindly provided a link. In brief, it is (99% of the time) replacing letters with numbers. C U ltr is txt; str8 i.e. straight is l33t. As a gamer, I use a certain amount of txt myself; gn for goodnight, np for no problem, etc; though I dislike txtspk generally. C U for 'see you' is, to my mind, just being bloody lazy - learn to type, learn to spell, both are useful skills! It usually takes me longer to proof-read; to ensure I'm saying what I want in the way I want to say it, as well as to correct errors; than it does to actually type a message! L33t I detest & won't use at all.

The only genuine reason for using either that I can see ("being in with the cool crowd" is not a genuine reason) is if you are being charged or limited by character count. Since I neither text nor Twit... ;-)


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Anne Lister
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 10:45 AM

I don't correct grammar, except in my head. However when I was engaged in internet dating, the ability of my correspondents to use language well was certainly a factor in my deciding whether or not the communication had any chance of resulting in a worthwhile encounter. It paid off, too - we've been together now for almost eighteen years! I am always surprised at the relatively low level of literacy skills in a lot of Facebook interractions, although not, generally, from people who are friends of mine (ah, but is that my selection process going on again, even for friendships?). However, I almost lost a friend when I asked her to read a draft of my novel to check for any inconsistencies and mistakes when cutting and pasting some sections and she took me to task for what she perceived as my grammatical mistakes. These turned out to be matters on which we completely disagreed with each other. I've been a language teacher and was trained in drafting clear English in a rigorous job before then. I'm having to fight a bit of a battle with the PhD thesis I'm currently writing, as I want to keep it clear and unambiguous but keep being told by my supervisors that my English isn't "academic" enough. Meanwhile an American friend posted a couple of days ago about the misuse of "nauseous" and "nauseated", and yet according to the UK English dictionaries this isn't a misuse, just a different usage.
It's a funny old world.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 01:04 PM

Yes, we hear that one here ad nauseum. Heheh...

"Nauseum" is just an ignorant blunder, but we have to be careful when discussing usage. Hanging on for dear life to a cherished meaning when so many around you are using the word differently is futile and puts you in danger of becoming a grammar cop and looking like a twit. It's fine to say that you're feeling gay today but unless you deliberately want to sound facetious you'd sound a bit daft. In writing, so many people write "alright" these days. It does me brain in, but there's no point arguing about it any more (anymore). I think most dictionaries have included it as standard English in some usage contexts (and dictionaries there to reflect, not judge). Some time (sometime) in the future we may (might) be looking back on all this, lamenting the degradation of the language. But the language will (er, not shall) continue to evolve regardless (irregardless - arrgh!) it's what people actually say and write what (wot, which, that) matters most.

And should there be a full stop outside that final bracket? I've never quite worked that one out!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 01:05 PM

Dictionaries ARE there...


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 01:09 PM

Gawd, I didn't 'alf muck the end of that up! New sentence after "aargh!" and it was that bracket that I was referring to. I've lost my reading glasses.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 01:14 PM

Thank you Nigel and Raedwulf.

DC


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: michaelr
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 08:52 PM

If we don't encourage the use of correct grammar and spelling (which means discouraging incorrect use) we will revert to barbarism. Society is already well on the way.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Rapparee
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 09:05 PM

Words are for communication, grammar and punctuation enhance communication:

"Let's eat, Grandma!"
"Let's eat Grandma!"

have two entirely different meanings which are clarified by the comma. In speech this is done by inflection and other vocal means, in writing such must be done by spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Yes, I can read and write 1337 and other things. Have for a very long time. I've also used emoticons when they help get meaning across.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: robomatic
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 09:15 PM

"I'm a Panda! Look it up!"

(Eats Shoots and Leaves)


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 09:27 PM

For a brief time in the recent past, I bore the somewhat inflated title of associate editor of the "Rise Again" songbook. During that time, I corrected spelling and grammar with wild abandon. For the son of an English teacher, that was the ultimate power trip. Trouble is, there was somebody above me who bore the title of editor. But most of the time, I prevailed.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 09:37 PM

Not entirely sure what Leeneia was getting at there, but she didn't even spell my name correctly........
Nor did Doug Chadwick....
And my mother was an English teacher too.
You're welcome!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 09:47 PM

I've always felt a certain kinship with you, Tattie Bogle. Guess it's because we're both Hated by Humanity,being the offspring of English teachers. My mom taught Latin, too - and now I'm a Latin tutor. There's no hope that anybody will EVER love me....


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 12:04 AM

And sometimes it is a fad or something, I guess. My daughter - who was an English major!- says, or used to (haven't heard her lately) something is 'funner'. Now, I know she knows better so I have never corrected her but why does/did she say that?


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 03:16 AM

Leeneia, did you mean friends' ? (It makes a difference.)


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Iains
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 03:34 AM

The only function of grammar is to aid clear communication. In this day of texting, with accompanying word contraction anyone on this forum
insisting on correcting grammar and even spelling is a pedantic fool. They are more concerned with demonstrating their own superiority than anything else


Arrogance, pedantry, and dogmatism...the occupational diseases of those who spend their lives directing the intellects of the young.
Henry Seidel Canby


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Mr Red
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 03:39 AM

"under the circumstances" suggests oppression, where the circumstances are preventing you from doing what you would have preferred to do. - "outwith" might service (in the lowlands of Scotland!).

as long as the receiver understands the nuance!
In verbal/song communication? Very unlikely. In text or e-mail? Unlikely. On paper - maybe, but who reads a newspaper twice? In a book - or a poem - ya got me there, re-reading especially for performance - sure. Subtlety is the name of the game.

The truth is that language morphs, and the words that morph slowly (if at all) are the ones used most of all. The peripheral words are considered fair game to a generation that want to to be associated with their peers. Those of us who were that generation long ago have to be dragged screaming, into this century, to be able to communicate with the young.

Then there is context. eg wicked or is it wkd ? And the vigilantes who misread paediatrician for paedophile. And could they spell it? In Brittain?

It's a jungle out there.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 05:16 AM

"And the vigilantes who misread paediatrician for paedophile."

Yes, absolutely shocking for those poor foot doctors.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 05:55 AM

....she didn't even spell my name correctly........
Nor did Doug Chadwick....


I apologise Tattie Bogle.

I did get it right the first time. The fact that I spelt it wrong again within the same sentence just confirms my lack of attention that I admitted to in the post. If it's any consolation, I spelt leeneia's name wrong at first and had to check it during the proof reading. I checked yours as well but didn't notice I had used it twice.

DC


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 06:10 AM

I actually thought that might be your little joke, just testing me, to see if I'd pick it up!
No hard feelings!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 10:13 AM

In the back of my mind is a paragraph of a text book from 35 years ago..

At that time it was a key insight for my developing politicised undergrad student view of the world.

Essentially, it pinpointed how pedantic imposition of over precise rigid rules of English Language
was a ruling class elite tool of oppression and power consolidation...

..something like that.. buggered if after 3 decades I can even remember the book or it's author,
let alone enough of the paragraph to paraphrase it adequately...


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: robomatic
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 06:58 PM

Let's not forget the longstanding insult of the AM radio commentator crowd in shortening the adjective Democratic by leaving out the 'ic'.

I've been trying to come up with an effective countermeasure:
Republican'ts Republiwon'ts
Republic*nts
Replicants
or just kicking them in the b*lls.

I'll just have to try 'em all and see which one catches on.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: ripov
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 07:20 PM

I remember an establishment in Kent where they had gone to great pains to put the apostrophe in the correct place - the sign read CAF'E


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: michaelr
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 08:37 PM

pfr - "pedantic imposition of over precise rigid rules of English Language was a ruling class elite tool of oppression and power consolidation"

Well, in Britain, how one spoke was historically an indicator of class, was it not? (said he through his nose) So your statement makes some sense, until one asks the question what "over precise" means: who decides it's "over" just precise?

I grew up and went to high school in Germany, with teachers for parents. German is a much more precise and inflexible language than English, second probably only to Latin. No one speaks it the way it is written in literature, mainly because it would take too long. However, in my mind precision is a good thing. It affords the speaker a greater probability to have his meaning understood, which furthers communication. I hope we can agree that is a Good Thing.

I came to love the English language for its flexibility and degree of imprecision, shorter words and the possibility of shorter sentences. I would hate to see it degraded.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 10:50 PM

I could have omitted "over precise"..

I was just trying to quickly string together a sentence that fairly paraphrased the little I could remember of a key paragraph
from an otherwise long forgotten social sciences text book...

While I needed a quick tea break from more important chores, like sorting out the recycle bins....


One of the best skills I learned at 6th Form College was how to precis long winded pompous writing.
We had one lesson a week dedicated to training our ability to shorten and improve the clarity
of an unreadable extract of legal/business/administrative/journalism/academic/etc text, within a set time limit.

This was one class I excelled at when I was 17...

It's ingrained in my character to seek essential core meaning and ignore superfluous waffle and flab.
Precision in communication genuinely matters to me.
I fully support the aims of "Plain English Campaign".

Unfortunately 4 decades of contending with the shit life throws at us, has deadened my intellect, screwed my ability to focus and articulate,
buggered my grammar and vocabulary,
and reduced me to the crap careless writer I now am...
Writing is a struggle........

So I really let down those teachers who had such high expectations I would have a career as a writer.
Probably why they were teachers and not fortune tellers...????

In fact out of my close group of old school friends I am the only one who has never made any money from writing.
That's the curse of being the only one of us who had boy band good looks and sex appeal....


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: michaelr
Date: 01 Dec 17 - 12:45 AM

What an enjoyably honest post, pfr. I can relate to most of what you said, particularly "to seek essential core meaning and ignore superfluous waffle and flab". That is what we're all called to do in this age of insidious distractions. Those little grey cells are still capable of doing important work.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Dec 17 - 03:35 AM

A bit off topic, but for me, grammar is a literacy problem that can be dealt with by simply pointing out the errors
What concerns me far more is the steady slide into sloppy and ugly speech, led largely by the broadcasting media who has banished word endings and inserted glottal stops - this has permeated everything from newsreading to shampoo adverts.
The beautiful sound of our language, including vernacular speech, is steadily replaced by the ugly grunting of Estuary English
I have little time for the old BBC Establishment, but come back Lord Reith and his respect for the language, all is forgiven.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Dec 17 - 05:16 AM

I don't think degradation arises from splitting infinitives or starting sentences with coordinating conjunctions. But I do think it's a shame to not fight back against the phenomenon of the persistent ignorant misuse of words allowing that misuse to become enshrined as standard English. I think that there is a distinction worth preserving between "disinterested" and "uninterested," though it always came down to usage in the end, not a lost rule, because there never was a rule (as with those confounded split infinitives). Once, when compiling the reports for my class, I sent one back to the PE teacher who had written "Paula has not done as well as expected because she is disinterested in athletics." He hadn't broken a rule but (to my mind ignorantly) had selected by far the less appropriate of the two words. I was overruled.

Another misuse that is now acceptable is "begging the question" for "raising the question." It now hardly ever possesses its original meaning, but hey ho. A little piece of me wants to smirk at this example of pompous misuse, but, well, if that's how people want to use the expression...

But don't get me started on "albeit" or "prior to," both crimes against our beautiful language, punishable by loudly-expressed derision. I'm not having "alright" either, not ever! Although I already realise that I may not be altogether rational in rejecting it almost out of hand...


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Dec 17 - 05:51 AM

Well, that's alright then...

:D tG


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Dec 17 - 07:14 AM

This suit of armour'll be alright on the knight...


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Dec 17 - 07:57 AM

I thought you has sword off making bad puns.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Dec 17 - 08:43 AM

I know it is rude, but I do, sometimes, correct the grammar of native speakers who really ought to know better. With foreigners, I ask if they would like to be corrected if they make a mistake. When I speak foreign languages, I ask to be corrected if I make a mistake. I rarely make mistakes in my native languages, but appreciate correction if I do. But I won't dumb down to the level of the ignorant just to be polite.
I have learned to use local phrases like "store-boughten" but my tongue is visibly in my cheek when I use them.


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