Poor Gramar/Spelling

By me(who else?) ยท 39 replies
May 24, 2004
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  1. Maybe it's just me, but I've noticed that a lot of people who join the forums write in broken sentences or with poor grammar. I can understand if you really don't understand English well that a few mistakes is OK, but using capitals and periods to form proper sentences is to be expected from someone who has spoken English their whole lives (or most of)...

    There was actually a poll about this, and I remember that most people said that quick spelling is only acceptable on MSN. I usually add a little note about spelling on my posts, but I feel that it isn't doing anything, so I'm going to make one post and leave it at that.

    P.S. Excuse this poorly articulated rant, I'm becoming very annoyed when I can't understand the people I'm trying to help.
  2. Akio

    Akio TS Rookie Posts: 249

    Amen to that! Hahaha.
  3. Akio

    Akio TS Rookie Posts: 249

    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention! If I use poor grammar and punctuation, please excuse me! I'm not from here! :grinthumb
  4. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    Just to start with my favourite reply to posts like these...

    When making a post about grammar, spelling and general readability, it's often advisable to proof-read ones own post ;)
    (Though yours hardly had any faults in it)

    But think about it. This is an international forum, with members from all over the world, and of all ages. Thus you can not expect everyone to be able to write a 100% grammatically correct post, since they may not be old enough to know the proper syntax/rules, might not have the needed education (due to school system in their mothercountry which has another language than english as their mother-tounge) or migth just not be very good to explain themselves in a written langauge.

    I do however agree that if you want help you'll have to write a post which either is understandable, or willing to help us understand what you're trying to tell us by trying to re-word you post when asked (no matter how many times) until we get it.

    Then you have the problem with general layout.
    Some... like... to... use... a... lot... of... dots... in... their... posts... Some prefer to use 3 dots when either wanting the people reading the post to think about what is beeing/has been said... And some are very strict about only using one dot at the end of a line. And starting the next with a capital letter.

    Here I would say that the two latter ways of using dots are the best, as the first might make the post undue hard to read, and thus reducing the chances of gettnig an answer.

    When it comes to CAPITAL LETTERS, that's also bound up to what rules the mother-tongue, for that member, has.
    So as long as they realize that THERE IS NO NEED TO USE CAPS LOCK AT ANY TIME WHEN WRITING A POST, just let it go.

    My point is that you'll have to allow each member to have their own writing style since we're not all native english speaking here, and have no interest in limiting our member mass to just those who can write correct english.

    And last, one little curio for you to ponder about.
    When you compare the english of those who have it as their native language with those who have it as their second or third language, it is often the latter that has the best written english of the two groups.

    A bit long post, but I too has certain viewpoints on the matter.

    Oh, and btw: I can also make a long post about the use of indentation, quoting & the likes, but I'm saving that for if this thread takes of or not ;)
  5. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    Some very good points there MrG. The point is everyone is not perfect and we all have to adapt to the various writing styles in the forum.

    If you come across a post which you don't really understand, I m pretty sure that you can ask the person to elaborate more.
  6. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    A spell checker for the reply box would be nice. Not sure if such a thing exists yet. I have noticed my own spelling getting worse since I started posting here :=).
  7. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    We actually used to have that back when we used JawBreaker as our forum software.

    It was very helpful for me as I have english as a second language, and I used it for allmost every post... These days I check the words I'm a bit unsure of with Dictionary.com...

    But yeah, if it's a feature we could turn on I'd be very nice. Especially if it would also work in the quick reply box :)
  8. Godataloss

    Godataloss TS Rookie Posts: 482

    The 6 O'clock new this ain't

    Is it really necessary to PROOF READ a post? I could care less if someone spelled every word phonetically as long as their thoughts are logically constructed and articulated in a manner that is either easy to understand (in the case of questions/answers) or entertaining (in the case of discursions).

    I'll admit that poor grammar grates on my nerves. Tense shifts, dangling participles, improper run-ons all tend to reflect poorly on the person doing the posting.
    Case in point-
    But who am I to criticize others? :eek:

    And damit Akio, I may not always understand EXACTLY what you mean in your postings, but hey, I'm laughing along with your every "Hahaha!" :grinthumb <- Please note the correct capitalization of Hahaha.
  9. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    There are 2 m's in grammar :)
  10. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    You are how you spell, on the Internet.

    If you spell like a *****, then you appear to be one.

    If you spell like an educated person, then that's what people expect.

    Just like in person, people make judgements on looks, speech, posture, hygiene... etc. The only difference is the only way to express yourself on the Internet is through typing (mostly...)
  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +419

    I just found it pretty amusing that the poster couldn't even spell the topic correctly.

    Rick is right on impressions based on what they write/say online, but most people have tolerance for those that do things that aren't gramatically correct. To complain about it and botch the very thread title leading to the complaint is just... well you fill in the word.
  12. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,580   +961

    I have noticed that same pattern, with about half of new people posting to the forum making it on a disorganized manner, bad grammar, etc.

    Usually it also happens that people staying longer than a few posts correct themselves in the short term which is a good thing, I believe we should enforce our posting guidelines a bit more heavily but without annoying or scaring potential members away.

    One change I have already made effective is to quote our posting guidelines in our "Welcome" email, long standing members probably never got one :eek:, this feature hasn't been up for long and went up by the same time I put up the introduction forums which have been extremely successful.

    Here's the quote:
    Any other ideas on how we could encourage users to read and follow these guidelines? PMing users works great but I'm asking for other automated/permanent way to have this up.
  13. me(who else?)

    me(who else?) TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 387

    Cut me some slack, I'm 12 years old...;)

    And I wasn't saying the occasional spelling mistake isn't to be expected, I'm saying that certain people (who I won't name) have yet to make 1 post with any attempt at correct punctuation. I thought you guys would be a bit more mature than to insult a simple spelling mistake (yes, that means you, SNGX). I was just trying to establish some kind of standard for using proper english on the forums.

    Julio: Isn't the kind of thing the mods could assist with? Not actually correcting people's spelling, but PMing them when they get to a certain number of posts with excessively poor grammar. I also think that we could find a small CGI program (or something of the likes) which can correct the spelling of words. I'll start looking tonight.
  14. Godataloss

    Godataloss TS Rookie Posts: 482

    Glass houses...
  15. Akio

    Akio TS Rookie Posts: 249

    Me(who else?), are you sure you're 12? You type so well! You must be in advanced classes. I mean, you get stuff that I don't! And I'm 23 come on! Maybe I'm just an *****....
  16. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    I have also noticed that many people who post here are absolutely clueless about computers and make serious factual errors. I mean why do they post in tech forums when they have absolutely no computer skills? Perhaps the mods should delete the posts that offend common tech sense. Or maybe let us modify the really stupid posts..
  17. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Just in case I change my signature:

    Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by itslef but the wrod as a wlohe.
  18. me(who else?)

    me(who else?) TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 387

    I've seen that before, realBlackStuff. Wasn't it a study that determined that it doesn't matter what order letters are in , as long as the first and last letters are intact. It takes people longer to figure out what the words mean, though. (If I remember correctly)

    Akio: Yes, I'm sure I'm 12. There was one time I forgot how old my little brother was, but I usually remeber (I think I can remember my own age). It just proves that if I can type properly, (almost) anybody can.
  19. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Maybe its better just to leave those posts untouched. Then they can live with the embarassment. Besides, I've seen posts that were wrong, yet the majority seemed to believe they were correct. in such a circumstance who is to dictate what is correct? Not all mods can be relied upon 100% of the time, as they are as fallable as anyone else.
  20. me(who else?)

    me(who else?) TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 387

  21. Godataloss

    Godataloss TS Rookie Posts: 482

    Someone please rename this the High Horse Thread. :unch:
  22. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +419

    Well my point was that if you are going to be the one to create a thread complaining about something, in this case spelling and grammar, then you yourself need to be perfect on it for at least the next few weeks until people forget it was you that posted it. It just didnt' look good for you to make one complaining, and not have it be a flawless post.

    As far as the mods doing something about this, thats not really what we are for. We are to make sure there aren't any TOS violations and to try and keep things under control (ie flame wars).

    Anyone and everyone can use the PM feature, so if you see something someone is doing and you don't like it send them a PM. Maybe it will help maybe it won't, but I bet you'd get about the same results that any mod would by doing the same thing. You can also post when you think someone is being misled, just be sure you can back your statement up -links are preferred in that case-.
  23. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Have a look at this and then decide whether this piece of spam is a hoax or not (anyone have any official links on this "research"?):
  24. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    I read that same article over ten yrs ago in a magazine(Time, Newsweek, maybe something else, hell, could have been MAD for all I remember) I believe it is somewhat valid though, since what it says is that the words can be misspelled but still must contain the proper letters. It has to do with the way the human brain interprets the information.

    PS: can everyone please stop whining about this and just try to use their best ability to make posts that people can read
  25. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    Very good point! Let's all try to live up to it shall we?

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