I always try to write everything correctly too, but might miss a couple of mistakes. I have found I'm more likely to not be bothered to go back and correct minor mistakes when typing on a touchscreen.
I try to avoid typing on a screen and only do so when I need to respond to a text message. Occasionally I'll pull S/N up on my phone, but I don't log in, only lurk.
The GP has a very good point. I just modded someone down earlier this morning for what could have been stupidity or a simple typoo; he said "loose" rather than "lose" and the sentence made no sense; both words are verbs and they have different meanings. Don't say "horse" when you mean "cow" because you're not communicating at all.
BTW, the above typo was an illustration of how the guy might not have been either an idiot or someone whose second language is English.
I wish I could throw you some karma points. "loose" when the writer means "lose" is a scourge.
Thanks, but I've been at karma cap sine the place opened. You only need to mod me up if you want the comment to be more visible.
I TRY to use correct grammar and spelling, but as I'm not a native English speaker, I definitely make a lot of mistakes. Also, when texting it's another story, abbreviations come handy.
PS: Option "Only when Trolling" made me laugh
Heck, even native English speakers don't agree on what's proper. You are doing well. From what I gather, English is a messy language anyway. Unlike Spanish, can't tell how to pronounce words just from how they're spelled. Has lots of exceptions to the rules. I thought one good feature is that it might be more compact. Most things take fewer and shorter words to say in English, or so it seemed. But maybe not. At least it's one of the many languages with a small, phonetic alphabet, and reaps the benefits of that. Whether Roman or Greek letters are better is another tough question.
If simplicity and uniformity is such a good thing in a language, maybe we should all switch to Esperanto, or try to create something even better.
Isn't French the lingua franca?
Of course your German and English texts are not exactly equivalent. The literal English translation of the German line is:
Dear guests. We ask you not to throw litter on the ground.
The literal German translation of the English sentence above would read:
Bitte Müll nicht auf den Boden werfen.
And actually, when in Germany that's the version you'll more likely find (possibly without the "bitte"). Except for the fact that nobody here would think of putting up that sign because the vast majority of Germany would consider that a matter of course, and the few who wouldn't would not care about such a sign anyway.
By listening to the articulation and phonation of the language, listening to the German language sounds like a declaration of war.
Whereas in French it sounds like ordering a meal.
And they both could be saying the same thing...
When in doubt, Webster's, the OED, and other such tools are your friends. You are right, though, English is a hard language compared to Spanish. I had little trouble learning Spanish, but if I had been born in a Spanish-speaking country I'm pretty sure learning English would be a lot harder.
English is both hard and versatile for the same reasons: it's a bastard language composed from words from other languages. That's why "knife" and "cough" are spelled like they are; they were borrowed from Germanic languages.
Occasionally someone will advocate changing spelling to be like words sound, and my answer is "do you spell it kah (Boston), car (midwest), Cwar, (New York City)? Tire, tyre, tar (southern) Tah (Boston)? Actually we should spell it "tyre" because that's how it's spelled where they were invented.
I can barely understand folks from Massachusetts.
Speaking of languages, something surprising happened at the bar last night. A native Spanish-speaking immigrant had forgotten the Spanish word for "basement". He said he struggles to speak in that language any more. The old adage is right: use it or lose it. Neither I nor any of the 3 or 4 guys who knew Spanish could remember how to say "basement" either until I got my phone out and looked it up on Google.
At least English doesn't suffer from the common annoyance of conjugating every goddamn part of speech. Do we really need to genderize adjectives, adverbs, verbs, prepositions...? Just leave it at subject-verb and be done with it.
Oh, and another thing...are there any languages where the genders actually make any sense? I've taken German and there at least it seems almost totally random what gender all kinds of inanimate things are going to end up with, instead of just making them all neuter.
On the other hand, English spelling is horrible. German is at least predictable in regards to spelling (except maybe double-vowel umlauts).
Well, the only languages I'm very familiar with are English, Spanish, and Thai (I never did speak Thai that well) and unfamiliar with German. Maybe it was because I was in middle school when I learned Spanish, but the gender-specific verbs weren't that much of a difficulty for me. Far harder was remembering "crap, what's the word for 'basement'?"
I took that class out of curiosity, because I'd pick up Spanish language radio on the AM radio from Mexico (AM skips like short wave) and wondered what they were saying. It turned out to be very useful when I lived in California and especially Florida; you actually had to know Spanish to shop at the convenience store by my apartment, and half the foreign tourists I dealt with at work spoke only Spanish.
It's been so long since I've used it, I have to admit that I don't remember if they made any sense, so I don't know.
Thai was a bitch to learn, I was 21 by then. Learned from a book and the help of the Thais themselves; I was in the USAF and that's where they sent me. Knowing the language saved my life once!
I concur, which is why I chose the Other option.
Any mistakes I make are unintentional.
People who don't attempt good grammar and spelling online don't respect their readers.
I would consider the same with one caveat: I will get lazy.
Particularly with instant messaging, such as Steam Chat, I leave off things like capitalization and punctuation, or leave letters reversed in misspellings instead of correcting (eg. teh, not on purpose!).
I'm the same. I had to vote "other" because while I might put in the effort, I'm not immune to the occasional bouts of FFB (Fingers Faster than Brain) Syndrome, and occasionally will use the wrong "your"/"you're", or transpose letters ("ei" and "ie" bite me in the ass frequently).
As a loyal student of computer logic, "always" means "always" to me. :)
Exactly. No option for that, therefore I chose "Other".
Grammar Nazis have been fighting this war for centuries, and we're still losing.
So I only ever do it when trolling anymore.
I belif its pronounced loosing.
I love trolling grammar nazis. They *always* bite and bite sooooo well. And then I'm all like There, Their, They're, it'll all be better soon.
You forgot to capitalize "Nazi".
I try, and I even try to force myself to use the preview, but usually I find some mistakes after submitting. Reasons (excuses) are plenty: Either I'm typing on my mobile phone, where long texts are hard to proofread, or I'm in a hurry (yeah, I know, this is not a very good excuse), or I genuinely mix up words/spellings as I'm not an English mother tongue.
And it gets really bad when I write a longer text and start jumping back and forth to modify parts of it.
But the one "Only when trolling" has a point: Especially when the discussion gets heated, I try not to make stupid mistakes in order to not give an easy target. (Unless I provide an obvious target to be able to discredit the opponent as spelling/grammar-nazi after he bites :-))
The same here. I try to use proper grammar because that was the way I was taught. Besides, I'm an intelligent, well-educated person. Why should I stoop to the level of less educated people when writing? I despise the dumbing down of so much of our society to reach the common denominator. Instead, we should "smarten up", and in the process encourage those who are less educated to improve themselves. I'm doing my part by writing to my level (making mistakes all along the way, of course) and working to improve my writing skill.
I despise the dumbing down of so much of our society to reach the common denominator.
I agree, and I read something here or possibly on the green site that I found very insightful. It was an observation that we're becoming an illiterate society. I really do think that a lot of people are quite literally losing the ability to communicate in a written language. I know that I'm not nearly the writer that I once was. I was digging through some old boxes and found some papers I'd written in high school and college that my mom had saved. I was blown away by how good my writing was. I mean, I was using clever wordplay, my vocabulary was amazing, but none of it masked the thesis -- it was really shocking. Yes, there's a bit of selection bias (my mom wouldn't have saved my terrible stuff), but... I'm no longer capable of writing at that level. Not even occasionally. Too many years of lolcats and other memes, too many functionally-illiterate coworkers, too much TV and not enough (well-written) books...
I do try. And I think I manage to be better than average (perhaps not the average here or on other "smart" sites, though). Very far from perfect, though. It makes me a little sad. I used to be proud of my writing. Now I'm just not embarrassed by it.
Mmm, yes. I know that feel. Too many internet chat messages tends to gum up the works. And now that I think about it, I instinctively started this message with memespeak, irony!
One thing I found that helps my vocabulary is playing a word game on my phone, the only game on there that I play regularly. "Spelltower" (For Android) is the name, I exclusively play in puzzle mode because it is endless, and there is no time limit, so I have a chance to think. The game gives you row by row of random letters, and you make words out of them which removes those tiles, every time you make a word it gives you a new row of tiles. If you get 12 rows high, you lose. You cannot use the same word twice, and some letters have to be in words that are 6 letters or longer. It can get tough, but I have not lost yet, I play about two hours a week and have had the same round going for several Months. The game forces you to use your vocabulary at its limit, or lose, so it keeps me up on my game.
I think this post turned into an advertisement, and I would like to apologize, but hey, free game!
I was digging through some old boxes and found some papers I'd written in high school and college that my mom had saved. I was blown away by how good my writing was. I mean, I was using clever wordplay, my vocabulary was amazing, but none of it masked the thesis -- it was really shocking. Yes, there's a bit of selection bias (my mom wouldn't have saved my terrible stuff), but... I'm no longer capable of writing at that level. Not even occasionally.
That's strange. I guess the difference between you and me is that I've never really stopped writing, at least not for very long. I graduated from grad school not because I was a great student but because I can write great academic papers, papers that contain the meat the profs wanted but weren't dry like so much academic schlock. I've always hated that and resolved never to emulate it. Apparently, my profs also disliked it.
Later in life I started a long correspondence relationship with a person who is now a close friend. Even though we only live 80 miles apart and have each other's phone numbers, we usually communicate via the postal service. I eventually started corresponding with prisoners and have come to know a couple very intelligent ones who appreciate a long, well-written letters that discuss intellectual endeavors that most people, inside and outside of jails and prisons, would not pay any attention to.
But I think the thing that has helped me become a better writer over the years is reading great literature. Charles Dickens, in my mind, is the great writer in the English language since Shakespeare. I would do well if I could emulate a tenth as well his writing skill in his later novels. I've learned a lot from reading his books. And, of course, there is Mark Twain, even when he is not being funny. I'm going to make an attempt to read a well-regarded translation of Tolstoy's massive War and Peace soon. I think all these things are the key to being a good writer.
I agree, and I read something here or possibly on the green site that I found very insightful. It was an observation that we're becoming an illiterate society.
I don't agree. People read far more today than when I was a kid, but they don't read books and only something like 3% of us do or ever did. When I was a kid, it was easy to spot a nerd -- he had glasses on his face and a book under his arm. Few folks wore glasses then, almost everyone does these days. The reason is computers, tablets, and phones. Reading a lot at a young age causes nearsightedness, which is why so few of us wore glasses and so many do today.
Few are illiterate, but most are aliterate.
if they pick on an easy target, just troll them more about only picking the low hanging fruit and insult their intelligence for good measure }:)
Just write short phrases.
They'll end up like haiku, though.
I really hate them.
> I try, and I even try to force myself to use the preview, but usually I find some mistakes after submitting.
Old copy-editor's trick - read it outloud to yourself. You must engage the vocal chords. This technique engages a different part of the brain than just reading so your brain processes it almost as if someone else wrote it. It is like getting a "second pair of eyes" on it.
Old copy-editor's trick - read it outloud to yourself.
I see that doesn't work for you.
orangutang verb whatnot.
arachnid sushi goatse.
Ahem. Should be:
Orangutang verb whatnot.
Arachnid sushi goatse.
Should Goatse be capitalised also? it always results in a capital OMG
Damn, I've got the same combination on my luggage!
Your banana doesn't look right...
I love language. I love English, despite its many difficulties, and I enjoy other languages too. I used to be one of those snobs who looks down on people who use incorrect grammar or spelling and greengrocers' apostrophes, but no more. This superbly constructed argument [youtube.com] from the esteemed Stephen Fry is what really cemented the change in my opinion. I won't attempt to summarise it, since I couldn't possibly do Mr Fry justice. I recommend that all pedants and grammar nazis take a look at the link, it might just open your mind.
For those foreigners who don't know who Stephen Fry [tvtropes.org] is, he is a British comedy institution, a much loved well of knowledge and trivia and all round nice guy. Some of you might be more familiar with his friend and comedy partner Hugh Laurie, AKA Dr House.
In rebuttal, I offer "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves" and the sociological and legal difference between "Let's eat, Grandma." and "Let's eat Grandma.".
Fry and Laurie generally make me think "Blackadder" before "Jeeves and Wooster".
Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo.
The content of your link is probably good, but the presentation is abysmal. Is there a transcript anywhere where I can just READ it? Christ, that was worse than a talking head! The talking distracts me from the text and the text distracts me from the talking. Horrible presentation.
Text is far better for communication than speech. Did the Beatles sing "that was a hit before your mother was born, though she was born a long time ago" or "that was a hippie four. Your mother was born, though she was born a long time ago"?
Once after the economic meltdown someone on the green site said "the banks should loose their money." I agreed in my response, saying yes, it was far harder to get a loan than before and they should indeed free some money up.
Written communication is only hard for the dyslexic and the aliterate. When I see the "there/they're/their" errors, I can only assume that either English is their second language or they're uneducated and possibly have a reading disability.
When I see the "there/they're/their" errors, I can only assume that either English is their second language or they're uneducated and possibly have a reading disability.
Actually, English is my second language and I have no problems with "there/they're/their". I also have no problems with German equivalents like "das/dass".
It seems to me that orthography is somewhat independent from language. Sure, you need a certain amount of knowledge of the language you use, but above that point you are either good at orthography or you are not.
Actually (as a non-native speaker myself), I can usually tell by the errors that people make whether they're native speakers or not... Native speakers' errors are often brought about by phonetic guesswork when someone doesn't know the correct spelling, but roughly the way it should sound. The there/their/they're category is a good example of this; another would be "definately" or "existance", which would not happen to e.g. a French speaker. A non-native speaker is more likely to have learned a word or phrase consciously, including the right spelling.On the other hand, non-native speakers are prone to bring syntax or vocabulary over from their own native language... Apparently, it is perfectly possible to write German sentences with English words, which is completely unreadable for English speakers :-)
I don't make any particular effort to use proper grammar or spelling on the internet any more than I do in regular life. I'm aware that my grammar is iffy at times and I've always been a horrible speller. I try to avoid the "how r u" stuff I see so often in text messages and the "me haz gammarz" approach. When it comes to typos my posts are littered with them.
I try to write correct sentences everytime but they, don't come out perfect all the time.I'm more of a lurker, but when I write even three lines (in english, not my native language), it could take between 3 and 15 minutes to get done with it.I will proofread my message 10 times and change the meaning of a sentence or two in the process.Also, I definately (sic) make stupid mistakes because I see them alot (sic) on other websites, although I didn't make them in the beginning.
The non-native speakers and writers who do best tend to be the ones who totally immerse themselves in English, to the point they do not watch their native media. Hard language, English is.
How often do you correct someone else's grammar/spelling on the Internet?
Only when that "someone" is being a total dick.
My spelling / grammar / usage are not always perfect, but I attempt to get my point across. I'm not perfect, and know that others aren't, as well.
When I can do it humorously, or if their mistake apparently alters the meaning of the sentence they've written (e.g., "loose" when it should be "lose").
I don't correct others unless I know them, and know that they'll appreciate it. Otherwise it just starts a discussion i don't have time for (but yes, I've time to comment; ahem).
I'm not usually bothered by loose use of grammar, but I like to use semicolons correctly; this doesn't happen often.