Author Topic: Grammar WHO CARES?  (Read 76882 times)

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Offline mrbasehart

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Re: Grammar WHO CARES?
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2011, 10:48:08 AM »
Of the two extremes though i would much rather have to dig through poor spelling and grammar to get a point i find profound then waste the two seconds to read a clear yet assinine thought.

I'm usually the opposite, actually. I tend to assume that if the argument is lazily written, then it's not worth reading. After all, if somebody can't spend a few seconds to try to make it easier to parse, it seems logical to me that their argument or general point is just as careless as their sentence structure. If they don't look like they put forth the effort to make it comprehensible, why waste time trying to comprehend it?

It's perhaps not a very fair assumption, but it's one I constantly make.

Same here.  It's also an innate reaction to the horrible prevalence of text and internet speak that's become so popular.

 It probably means I'm now old.  


Offline daltysmilth

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Re: Grammar WHO CARES?
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2011, 10:53:46 AM »
Granted, the rules of spelling and grammar in any given language do tend to change gradually over time.  It would take a lot of effort for most of us here to comprehend anything written in old English, for example.  But it seems like in the past there weren't as many people who got the rules of spelling and grammar as consistantly wrong as people do nowadays.  I may be wrong, though.
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Offline D.B. Barnes

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Re: Grammar WHO CARES?
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2011, 10:54:52 AM »
As one of the folks who have brought up this topic in the past, I'd just like to reiterate my point. I believe proper written communication shows you have enough respect for your ideas that you're willing to present them in the clearest, most accessible manner possible. It also shows you have a certain level of respect for those who read your ideas.

Would it kill people to capitalize the first letter of each sentence? Would it kill people to use paragraph breaks so as not to burn the eyes of the person attempting to read your lengthier posts? Would it kill people to capitalize the first-person pronoun "I" and its contractions "I'll" and "I'm"? Would it kill people to use apostrophes? Would it kill people to use spell-check?

It seems to me that it's well worth the minimal effort required to achieve proper written communication in order to make certain your ideas are presented as effectively as possible. It also eliminates the possibility of a person ignoring your ideas based solely on poor presentation.
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Offline Tripe

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Re: Grammar WHO CARES?
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2011, 10:55:19 AM »
Anyway there is a difference between intentionally writing incorrectly to prove a point or because that's how the character you've created would write and just being too lazy to care about spelling or grammar.
Not in this case, I cite them because they illustrate the distancing  effect of poorly written and constructed sentences. Of course they are deliberately written that way, but that is why Banks and Keyes employ it, because they distance the reader from the text.


Offline daltysmilth

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Re: Grammar WHO CARES?
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2011, 10:57:01 AM »
Anyway there is a difference between intentionally writing incorrectly to prove a point or because that's how the character you've created would write and just being too lazy to care about spelling or grammar.
Not in this case, I cite them because they illustrate the distancing  effect of poorly written and constructed sentences. Of course they are deliberately written that way, but that is why Banks and Keyes employ it, because they distance the reader from the text.
Why would they want to distance the reader from the text?
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Offline sarcasm_made_Easy

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Re: Grammar WHO CARES?
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2011, 10:58:48 AM »
The problem is laziness in thought is pretty damned common and lots of people assume that when something is well written it must be thought out.  Grammar is easier to learn than critical thinking.  Again I would point at no point have I said grammar is unimportant.  


Offline Pak-Man

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Re: Grammar WHO CARES?
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2011, 10:59:47 AM »
As a professional editor, there's something in my brain that jumps up and screams at me every time I notice an error. That's because it's my job 8 hours a day to find and eliminate these things. There are some cases, though, where you just have to let it go.

It really all boils down to context.

If you're an author writing a novel, or a big company sending out a press release, or a student writing an essay paper, or a President of the United States about to address the nation, then you'd better get the grammar right. Your goal, in that case is to sound like you know and own the language you're using, and if any of your audience catches the mistake, it makes you look bad.

When you're texting your friend Gary that you're going to meet for Pizza, then "Gry. Pza L8r!" is probably fine. You know Gary. Gary knows what you mean and where you're meeting, and it's pretty hard to type on a phone, so Communication achieved!

The Internet is where most of the middle-ground falls. It really depends on the particular neck of the woods in which you find yourself. In your AOL chatrooms and Instant Messages, eschewing grammar is fine. Nobody wants to put the time or effort into doing it right there, and as an editor I have to remember that it doesn't come naturally to everyone else. For many, it requires a bit of effort and I don't blame them for not taking that effort in the quick-and-dirty communication situations.

Most internet message boards are a bit more verbose than the chatrooms and the tweets. You aren't submitting your term paper, but a lot of the time you'll be trying to prove a point, and if you want the point to be taken seriously, it helps to put a layer of polish on the text before sending it out to the world to make sure it looks nice. You probably don't need to worry too much about comma splicing, or proper use of a semicolon, but if you're trying to sound like you know a thing or two about Archaeology, then you're probably better off not spelling it arkeyology. It's not impossible to sound smart when you're not capitalizing your sentences (Sarc, you're an example of someone who can) but you have to work a bit harder to prove your legitimacy.


Offline Tripe

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Re: Grammar WHO CARES?
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2011, 11:01:53 AM »
Anyway there is a difference between intentionally writing incorrectly to prove a point or because that's how the character you've created would write and just being too lazy to care about spelling or grammar.
Not in this case, I cite them because they illustrate the distancing  effect of poorly written and constructed sentences. Of course they are deliberately written that way, but that is why Banks and Keyes employ it, because they distance the reader from the text.
Why would they want to distance the reader from the text?

Why? Because it's an interesting thing for the writer to do. In the case of FE it helps establish the character and the mes-en-scene as being distinct from the mundane.

In the case of FfA it helps establish that Charlie is of low intelligence which allows his increasing intelligence to manifest in clearer communication as the book progresses (and like it or not, Dim is not alone in reacting to poor grammar and spelling by assuming the person communicating in that way is not terribly intelligent)


Offline Action Batch

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Re: Grammar WHO CARES?
« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2011, 11:02:46 AM »
Looks like the answer to the topic is:

Lots of people.


Offline wurwolf

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Re: Grammar WHO CARES?
« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2011, 11:09:41 AM »
As a professional editor, there's something in my brain that jumps up and screams at me every time I notice an error. That's because it's my job 8 hours a day to find and eliminate these things. There are some cases, though, where you just have to let it go.

It really all boils down to context.

If you're an author writing a novel, or a big company sending out a press release, or a student writing an essay paper, or a President of the United States about to address the nation, then you'd better get the grammar right. Your goal, in that case is to sound like you know and own the language you're using, and if any of your audience catches the mistake, it makes you look bad.

When you're texting your friend Gary that you're going to meet for Pizza, then "Gry. Pza L8r!" is probably fine. You know Gary. Gary knows what you mean and where you're meeting, and it's pretty hard to type on a phone, so Communication achieved!

The Internet is where most of the middle-ground falls. It really depends on the particular neck of the woods in which you find yourself. In your AOL chatrooms and Instant Messages, eschewing grammar is fine. Nobody wants to put the time or effort into doing it right there, and as an editor I have to remember that it doesn't come naturally to everyone else. For many, it requires a bit of effort and I don't blame them for not taking that effort in the quick-and-dirty communication situations.

Most internet message boards are a bit more verbose than the chatrooms and the tweets. You aren't submitting your term paper, but a lot of the time you'll be trying to prove a point, and if you want the point to be taken seriously, it helps to put a layer of polish on the text before sending it out to the world to make sure it looks nice. You probably don't need to worry too much about comma splicing, or proper use of a semicolon, but if you're trying to sound like you know a thing or two about Archaeology, then you're probably better off not spelling it arkeyology. It's not impossible to sound smart when you're not capitalizing your sentences (Sarc, you're an example of someone who can) but you have to work a bit harder to prove your legitimacy.

I could not have said this better myself. Nicely done.
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Offline sarcasm_made_Easy

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Re: Grammar WHO CARES?
« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2011, 11:11:33 AM »
Quote
In the case of FfA it helps establish that Charlie is of low intelligence which allows his increasing intelligence to manifest in clearer communication as the book progresses (and like it or not, Dim is not alone in reacting to poor grammar and spelling by assuming the person communicating in that way is not terribly intelligent)

Is knowledge = to intelligence?


Offline Tripe

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Re: Grammar WHO CARES?
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2011, 11:13:57 AM »
For many people yes. More importantly, presentation is equal to intelligence in the minds of many. I'm not talking about the result of an IQ test here I'm talking about the effect of presentation on others. That's what it's always about. One can rail about how unfair it is that others react this way or that but ultimately they react in the way that they do whether you like it or not.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2011, 11:15:53 AM by Tripe H. Redux »


Offline sarcasm_made_Easy

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Re: Grammar WHO CARES?
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2011, 11:22:46 AM »
For many people yes. More importantly, presentation is equal to intelligence in the minds of many. I'm not talking about the result of an IQ test here I'm talking about the effect of presentation on others. That's what it's always about. One can rail about how unfair it is that others react this way or that but ultimately they react in the way that they do whether you like it or not.

Granted that type of thinking is exactly why snake oil salesmen are so successful.  Presentation is immaculate and appeals on an emotional level. 

Also yeah many people believe that knowledge = intelligence.  They are wrong. 


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Re: Grammar WHO CARES?
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2011, 11:27:51 AM »
For many people yes. More importantly, presentation is equal to intelligence in the minds of many. I'm not talking about the result of an IQ test here I'm talking about the effect of presentation on others. That's what it's always about. One can rail about how unfair it is that others react this way or that but ultimately they react in the way that they do whether you like it or not.

Granted that type of thinking is exactly why snake oil salesmen are so successful.  Presentation is immaculate and appeals on an emotional level. 

Also yeah many people believe that knowledge = intelligence.  They are wrong. 

bring out the nerd in me, qui gon jinn said it best: the abiltiy to speak does not make you intelligent.


Offline sarcasm_made_Easy

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Re: Grammar WHO CARES?
« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2011, 11:31:02 AM »
Heh damn you Shodan I now have to point out that there is something cool in The Phantom Menace.