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Spelling and Grammar on the Internet: A discussion

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
While I know this may be inviting a flame war, I positively despise poor spelling and grammar on the internet, among native speakers of the predominant language...

Capitalization doesn't matter as much, but, does it really take that much longer to try to write a coherent, somewhat well-spelled post?

Especially with the advent of OmniWeb and the built-in spell checker in OS X, i'm finding that my misspellings are becoming fewer and further between...

SO... what do you think? Should people try to maintain good spelling and grammar on the 'net?

Personally, it's the little things that matter- things like 'too and to' and 'buy and by'- the little things that make one's postings look like they were written by a 10 year old- that annoy the most.

So- what do you think? Does (generally) good spelling and grammar improve conversation in a medium such as these forums?
post #2 of 41
boo hoo

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post #3 of 41
LMAO!!! u no wut? Da way u spellz doent mata, zlong az da pepes no wha chu sayn, ayte??? Dis mindz me u da olden days AI, ya no: THa TrUTh TraiNZ A CoMin!!!1!!!

[ 03-19-2002: Message edited by: G4Dude ]</p>
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post #4 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by Jonathan:
<strong>Especially with the advent of OmniWeb and the built-in spell checker in OS X, i'm finding that my misspellings are becoming fewer and further * between...</strong><hr></blockquote>

* Wouldn't that be *farther* between?

Anyway, I don't mind, to a certain extent. I really think it shows part of a person's character and attitude toward what they do and how they present themselves. If they don't want to spell correctly or use proper grammar, that tells me that they're generally lazy when writing, or they don't care enough to proofread what they've written.

Sometimes I'll stop reading a post just because I'm tired of the grammatical errors or misspelled words.

NOTE TO OUR NON-NATIVE ENGLISH USERS: We give you a lot of (deserved) slack because obviously you aren't use to using English on as regular of a basis as we in the States and G.B. do.

That's one reason I don't like spelling or grammatical errors. It serves no educational purpose to those who are trying to pick up the English language better. <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" />

[ 03-19-2002: Message edited by: CosmoNut ]</p>
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post #5 of 41
Personally i would not take offense if somebody will correct my poor grammar. For spelling it's more simple i just read the dictionary. However i dont ask it , because people here on AI are not here to be english teachers, they are here to discuss and exchange informations and have fun.

I think that grammar is important especially for the long post. I quite understand that reading a long post with poor grammar and spelling is too annoying. It's easy to improve your spelling but unfortunately much more difficult to improve your grammar. It is also hard to translate the expression from my native language to english, and in a general way i have the feeling that speaking in english flatten what i try to explain ( and you know sometimes it' s hard to explain even in your native language).
post #6 of 41
I find it amazing that powerdoc, a Frenchmen, manages to speak English better online than _alliance_, who was born in the U.S. and is being "educated" at an American "university".



I think, for the most part, that non-native speakers do an excellent job.
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post #7 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by groverat:
<strong>I find it amazing that powerdoc, a Frenchmen, manages to speak English better online than _alliance_, who was born in the U.S. and is being "educated" at an American "university".



I think, for the most part, that non-native speakers do an excellent job.</strong><hr></blockquote>

i type this way online fer a couple reasons. i find it faster fer one, and i actually get a kick out of the people who "cant stand" it and throw a fit. its quite amusing watching reactions. i switch over to proper type and spelling as easy as flipping a switch for those rare times when i actually have to write a paper or whatever. damn, being a science major kicks ass. grammer means jack shit in what i do.
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"If curling is an olympic sport, then oral sex is adultery. If anything, oral sex should be an olympic sport...cause it's...
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"If it weren't for my horse...I wouldn't have spent that year in college."

"If curling is an olympic sport, then oral sex is adultery. If anything, oral sex should be an olympic sport...cause it's...
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post #8 of 41
Sorry, I'm with Jonathan on this one. Just a pet peeve of mine I guess. The odd spelling error is fine - I just get annoyed at posts filled with "gunna", "hella", and "prolly".

I can understand about the capitalization though - reaching way down for that SHIFT key every sentence is asking too much.
post #9 of 41
I used to be ok with spelling mistakes, but lately it's been pissing me off.
post #10 of 41
Hukd on fonix wurkt four me... <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />
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post #11 of 41
Even though I be edumacated myself, I don't mind if people accidentally have a few typos here and there. Mostly it depends on how many errors there are relative to the post length - and seriousness of the post. If someone just wants to chime in with a two-liner full of slang, no big deal IMO. If on the other hand, you're trying to make some kind of serious rebuttal or argument, then have the common decency to at least glance over your words before posting them.

I'll be the first to admit when something really pisses me off or I really want to respond to something, I tend to type so fast that little things like using "your" when I should've used "you're" or "teh" instead of "the" are known to happen. That stuff I don't mind so much - everyone does it at some point. The fact is, it's hard to review one's prose in a box that is roughly 3.5" wide and 2.5" high. I've given up on that; I just post it, go back for errors, and then try to correct them as quickly as I can.

That's why there are usually edit notices on my posts. I can't do that effectively from a stupid litlle text field. See?



[ 03-19-2002: Message edited by: Moogs ]</p>
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post #12 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by murbot:
<strong>
I can understand about the capitalization though - reaching way down for that SHIFT key every sentence is asking too much. </strong><hr></blockquote>

I even type IMs and mobile SMS messages with perfect capitalisation and punctuation. People always pick me up on it and say it's weird.

J :cool:
post #13 of 41
I always mess up "than" and "then". I type "then" all day long when I'm programming so I never remember to use "than".

Besides, some of us don't have spell checkers. Some of us have to use a PC at work and don't have any kind of grammar software installed.

If the post is coherent and the point gets across than whats the problem with a few errors?

Its not like we're RIGHIN BOUT DA TRUTH TRANE!

(new AI members won't get that reference)
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post #14 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by Willoughby:
<strong>

Its not like we're RIGHIN BOUT DA TRUTH TRANE!

(new AI members won't get that reference) </strong><hr></blockquote>

Didn't you just love his mad pictures!! <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />

Anyone have links to them?

J :cool:
post #15 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by CosmoNut:
<strong>

* Wouldn't that be *farther* between?

</strong><hr></blockquote>


Well, since "farther" refers to distance, and "further" to time, I'd say he got it right.
post #16 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by Gregg:
<strong>
Well, since "farther" refers to distance, and "further" to time, I'd say he got it right.</strong><hr></blockquote>

NEGATIVE, Ghost Rider.

Further is indicative of something additional:
"I need further (additional) information."
"The coffee is bad and furthermore (in addition to that), the creamer tastes like sandpaper."

Farther refers to a greater distance between two things:
"Hawaii is farther from New York than Kansas."
"My coherent thoughts are fewer and farther between in my old age."
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post #17 of 41
Thread Starter 
I hate when people use MAC instead of Mac. MAC stands for Media Access Control and is a physical address for a NIC. Furthermore, calling a NIC a "NIC Card" is redundant. NIC stands for Network Interface Card; thus, these idiots are really saying "Network Interface Card Card."

I also hate the use of an apostrophe when making words plural. "Mac's" as a plural for "Mac" is wrong.



[ 03-19-2002: Message edited by: ]</p>
post #18 of 41
Ok, Cos, I was wrong about "further" ...having looked in a dictionary now. Interestingly, the definitions for farther and further both start with "more remote or extended". In the case of farther, it adds "with reference to distance". For further, it says "in figurative senses". And both are noted as "comparative of far". The second definition of further (as an adjective) is "additional". But, as an adverb, the first definition is "to a greater distance or extent", and the second, "to promote or advance".

Someone needs to make another word, or eliminate one!
post #19 of 41
The first 6 months I used the net I used to talk like most newbies do--I really echoed G4Dude's sentiment in everything I said, to an extent at least. Then the next years after that, I quickly became an accomplished typist, and I decided that on message boards and other online communities, I might as well be correct about it. Then I had to take a stupid course in keyboarding/10-key as a prerequisite for a tech class and after that it's just natural for me. I try to be correct and pleasant in all that I write, with the possible exception of when I get lazy and I'm using IRC!

I was anal for a while about being that way, but then I just stopped caring. It wasn't worth it. I still don't like people who don't bother to spell out their words, and little annoys me as much as improper homonyms and other incorrect grammar being used during a "grown-up" discussion, but I am usually able to stomach it. Words like "prolly" and "kinda" and "gonna" don't really bother me at all, never did. The wordphrasecontractionslang "y'all" used to bother me, but now I find myself using it (while not in real life, and usually jokingly). I even like to make up my own words quite often, and use others' made-up words!

All in all, lack of proper grammar and spelling are a minor annoyance, but I think a better issue that this board could focus on would be the content of posts, and organization therein. Some posters are horrible when it comes to composition and standard writing forms. There are a few diamonds in the rough when it comes to that sort of thing, around here, but I don't know if I come close to being one of them. Maybe it's because I'm too stuck on grammar... perhaps we all are.

[ 03-20-2002: Message edited by: bradbower ]</p>
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post #20 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by murbot:
<strong>Sorry, I'm with Jonathan on this one. Just a pet peeve of mine I guess. The odd spelling error is fine - I just get annoyed at posts filled with "gunna", "hella", and "prolly".</strong><hr></blockquote>

Agreed.

[quote]Originally posted by Jamie:
<strong>I even type IMs and mobile SMS messages with perfect capitalisation and punctuation. People always pick me up on it and say it's weird.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I do that too. It just makes you look intelligent and more educated.

Oh, and it's capitalization, not capitalisation.

[quote]Originally posted by Willoughby:
<strong>I always mess up "than" and "then". I type "then" all day long when I'm programming so I never remember to use "than". </strong><hr></blockquote>

I used to do that, but I fixed it after my English teachers kept taking off points for it.

Oh, and what language do you program in?

[quote]Originally posted by starfleetX:
<strong>I hate when people use MAC instead of Mac. MAC stands for Media Access Control and is a physical address for a NIC. Furthermore, calling a NIC a "NIC Card" is redundant. NIC stands for Network Interface Card; thus, these idiots are really saying "Network Interface Card Card."

I also hate the use of an apostrophe when making words plural. "Mac's" as a plural for "Mac" is wrong.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I completely agree. It's like people think Mac is an acronym for something, like PC is an acronym for Personal Computer. By the way, are you familiar with Windows NT Technology? (i.e., Windows New Technology Technology)

And there is one pet peeve that I want to share - and this applies to email messages too. It drives me nuts when people use improper quoting procedures. On this board, you use the QUOTE and QB UBB Code, and in email, you use the &gt; character before each line and not &lt;&lt;message text&gt;&gt; or placing the original text at the end of a message without the &gt; character. The main reason or this is that Entourage doesnt use coloring on it to tell me that it is quoted text.
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post #21 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by graphiteman:
<strong>

Oh, and it's capitalization, not capitalisation.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Not where I come from! <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />

J :cool:
post #22 of 41
Lord knows I make my share of typos, but poor grammar really gets to me as well.

The one thing I really hate is when people write like:

"No 1 is kewler than u." and things like that.

Edit: Another typo! :o

[ 03-20-2002: Message edited by: Horned_Frog ]</p>
post #23 of 41
I have heard it said that poor grammar is the Internet equivalent of body odor.
post #24 of 41
I would concur with the first post. Proper english (or some clear hybrid) is more efficient for expressing one's self.

If one simply blithers on using limited vocabulary and poor grammar, it is very difficult to carry out a productive arguement/chat, what have you (or is what-have-you ?)

So for all the illiterate internet users I proclaim you "a pain to understand". Of course you expected an insult, because on the internet...its so easy.
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post #25 of 41
This is the internet, not 8th grade english class. :cool:
post #26 of 41
I just love how every famous stupid person claims to be lysdexic.
post #27 of 41
Yes, you're right this IS the internet.

I do not understand your point about this NOT being "8th grade english class".
Of course it isn't, who said it was?

Are you trying to point out that no one cares about good english skills on the internet?

If so, you would be 1. wrong and 2. "a pain to understand" as I've stated previously.
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post #28 of 41
We've all agreed on a rubric as speakers of our respective language, and to properly follow the guidelines shows respect to those you are communicating with.

It's difficult to have a discussion with someone who can't spell or use proper grammar (or worse yet, refuses to).
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post #29 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by markjo:
<strong>I have heard it said that poor grammar is the Internet equivalent of body odor.</strong><hr></blockquote>


I have also heard that said.
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post #30 of 41
....hmmmm.... I was hoping MadTool would have something to say....
post #31 of 41
Seems to me it's more important to have style than correct grammar or capitalization. Spelling...well, there's no good excuse for misspelling except for one: misspellings done on purpose.

That's why, e.g., I don't care about powerdoc's grammar. You can almost hear in your brain some of the French-into-English translating when you read his posts...and this is much better than some of the "correct" English posting 'round here, style-wise.

I'd end with the usual tag "IMHO," but everything one posts here is in one's humble opinion, n'est pas?
post #32 of 41
Style *is* important, but so is grammar.

From a peer grader's perspective, if my red pen starts bleeding red ink all over another student's grammar mistakes, chances are I'll find some dreadful style errors too.
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post #33 of 41
All of it bothers me. Poor grammar, spelling, style, or diction. It's not just what you say, it's how you say it. The more time someone puts into polishing a post, the more attention I'm going to give it. H4x0r-esque jokes are occasionally funny, but using it for a real post or just using it all the time gets annoying.

If anything, I think proper use of language is MORE important on the internet. We can't see your pretty face. =P
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post #34 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by gorgonzola:
<strong>All of it bothers me. Poor grammar, spelling, style, or diction. It's not just what you say, it's how you say it. The more time someone puts into polishing a post, the more attention I'm going to give it. H4x0r-esque jokes are occasionally funny, but using it for a real post or just using it all the time gets annoying.

If anything, I think proper use of language is MORE important on the internet. We can't see your pretty face. =P</strong><hr></blockquote>

Agreed. It can be very difficult and annoying to carry on a conversation or a debate with someone who uses references to oral sex for no reason.

See this post: <a href="http://forums.appleinsider.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=5&t=000514#000017" target="_blank">http://forums.appleinsider.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=5&t=000514#000017</a>
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post #35 of 41
I agree with gzl 100%.
post #36 of 41
LMAO!!! u no wut? Da way u spellz doent mata, zlong az da pepes no wha chu sayn, ayte??? Dis mindz me u da olden days AI, ya no: THa TrUTh TraiNZ A CoMin!!!1!!!
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post #37 of 41
You call that the old days? Huh. I would call the "old days" when PeterB was still posting. But I'm sure there are some around that would laugh even at that.
post #38 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by Timo:
<strong>That's why, e.g., I don't care about powerdoc's grammar.</strong><hr></blockquote>


I can't decide whether it's more pleasant to see an entire thread of persons willing to stick up for the proper use of English, or somebody properly using "e.g."

Gentlemen, I salute you.
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post #39 of 41
<img src="graemlins/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="[Chilling]" />
post #40 of 41
Thread Starter 
I'm sure that good ol' PeterB can be coaxed out of hiding... he IS on the new boards, anyway...

Isn't that right, DrPizza?
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