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For the Grammar Nazis among us
For those of you who are disturbed by all the horrible Grammar and spelling you see, you now have a your own little corner to bitch about it.

I hate it when a Grammar Nazi starts picking a post apart or tries to belittle someone because they can't spell. I find it to be an abusive tactic. I care more about the idea someone is trying to convey than whether they can spell.

That said, I also know my grammar sucks and I don't mind if someone wants to teach me better grammar.

If your goal is to genuinely be helpful and teach us better grammar, please do so here. That way, we get an education without derailing the conversations in the other threads.
Edited by RayvenAlandria on 08/15/2008 19:07
Personally I think of spelling as a flexible medium, a canvas of sorts in which to express one's innermost thoughts through all manner of Freudian slip.
I tend to be a 'grammar Nazi', but on discussion forums, it is generally not worth the effort. I was a proofreader for a time, so my proclivities toward noting errors were sharpened.
Grammar Nazi says:
You're argument was superior, but you forgot "I" before "E" except after "C", no now it is invalid!!!

(we need more smileys)
Edited by Skeeve on 08/03/2008 19:58
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
Spelling, grammar and typos are only worth picking up on if there's a good natured smile in it for everyone -- including the poster. Some innocent trypos can be a laugh. Neil

PS: And, of course, the grammar and spelling amnesty should not extend to Christians whose language is, in itself, a blasphemy against their all-perfect religion and a source of untold fun. Neil
Yes, a correction done in a spirit of teasing silliness can be funny. I made this forum for those people who can't control the desire to pick apart other people's posts in a mean-spirited fashion.

If someone genuinely wants to teach me better grammar, I don't mind them doing so. I know my grammar sucks and I actually would like to develop better grammar. If they want to help us learn better language skills they now have a place to do so. I don't mind that kind of Grammar Nazi, it's just that it tends to distract from the subject if done in the actual threads. If grammar is someone's talent, they can even use this forum as a little classroom to help us learn better grammar. That would be cool.

The kind of Grammar Nazis I don't like are the ones who dismiss what someone says just because they have poor grammar and/or spelling. They use *correcting grammar* as a weapon and purposely demean people. Those kinds of Grammar Nazis piss me off. This forum was a polite way of letting them know they should think twice about trying to use passive agressive tactics to demoralize people.

I have come across many people online who had terrible spelling and/or grammar and yet had very insightful things to say. I could care less whether someone got an A in English class or a D, or has a learning disability. They still have valid thoughts and opinions. I want those kind of people to feel safe posting here.

I suppose it's kind of personal for me. My D-in-Law has a severe learning disability. She was diagnosed as a young child but her crazy mother refused to acknowledge something was wrong and refused to allow the school to give her special aid. As a result, she was just passed along through the grades and no one ever took the extra time to help her. Kim is nervous about posting at places like this because she doesn't want to be made fun of. I don't want people like her to be afraid to post here. They are just as important as someone who happens to possess superior writing skills. Kim is very bright but she cannot write well. There are many people just like her and I don't want them chased off by some asshole Grammar Nazi.

We should critique the subject matter, not the grammar.

As I said before though, y'all have permission to copy my posts into this forum and show me the proper way I should have worded something. It actually may be more effective to teach grammar by using a person's own words, so have at it. I will not be offended.

Unless you're mean to me. Then I'll cry. Sad
Argo has/had horrible spelling and grammar, and rarely used punctuation properly but the man was incredibly intelligent and insightful.

I miss Argo. One can always bounce ideas off an anarchist.
Yeah, I was hoping we'd be able to find argo but I can't find a trace of him yet.
The wonderful thing about informal posts (as opposed to those well-considered essays we indulge in from time to time) is their very spontanaity.

It would be a crying shame to lose that vital quality in the interests of nit-picking, thus inhibiting posters. A bit like criticising a passionate and talented lecturer on evolutionary biology because his shirt tail's hanging out of his pants.

I earn a crust as a fiction editor, and I'll tell ya (though it's to remain a secret between thee and me), the very last thing I look at is spelling and grammar. Content and intent is everything.

I agree, neilmarr, as long as the thing isn't so badly done that one can't tell what the content is intended to be. I must admit that I do appreciate concise and accurate expression, of which your posts are always a shining example.Cool
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
Big Blue
One contract I had a few years ago was to write some technical and end user documentation. One of the developers who used to provide much of the raw material for one of these projects had the nasty habit of using apostrophes in all sorts of inappropriate places, especially for plurals. For example he might write "there were three ship's”. AAAARRRRGGGHHHH!!!!!

The other thing that drives me crazy is people that don't know or don't care about which homophone to use. I can’t recall how many times I have tried to explain to some people that to is not two nor is it too. Similarly for there, their and they're. Sometimes it becomes quite difficult to actually understand what these people are trying to say.

Now I don't care about the occasional typo or slip of the "tongue" wrong word, we all do it and that's just an expression of the fact that we are not perfect. It's the serial offenders that really get my goat. I simply do not understand why some people do not seem to wish to be properly understood.

Well, now I've got that all off my chest, I promise I'll sit down in the corner and be quiet...
Edited by Big Blue on 08/06/2008 10:56
Blue I'm with you on that one. I'm not immune to the odd grammatical error but for the most part I believe I am fairly well understood and communicate what I mean to in a way that is highly understandable.

One of the sites I frequent has a woman there that does not punctuate or capitalize at all. Her screen name is a hodgepodge of words (mathlumasham or something like that) but I see it as "mush" and don't even read her posts any more. They are so close to impossible to decipher that it causes me physical pain to try!
If some people's grammar and spelling are really bad, it might take me a bit to figure out what the hell they are saying, but I rarely complain about it. When a person doesn't use any punctuation or capitalization though, it does make the post very difficult to read. I can understand how it would drive some readers up the wall.

Perhaps y'all will be able to make use of this forum. There are people who spell badly and have terrible grammar but do actually want to learn, so they might be willing to come here and read your tutorials. If done over here and not in the conversation thread, perhaps they won't feel attacked and will be more open to learning. Those who don't want to learn aren't going to bother checking this forum and you'll just have to ignore their posts if they are too difficult to read.

If someone has insightful thoughts but I can barely decipher what they are saying due to bad spelling and grammar, I'll make the effort anyway. If they have nothing interesting to say and don't seem to have the manners to even attempt to punctuate, I'll get in the habit of skipping their posts. I think intent is the key. If someone genuinely has poor writing skills I'll make the extra effort to read their posts. If someone appears to write badly on purpose, I'll end up skipping half of what they write.

I found a good tutorial online a few years ago. I was trying to teach my youngest son about "two" ,"too", and "to" etc... I don't remember where I found it though. Things like that might be good to post in this forum, that way if someone actually wants to improve their skills they have a non-threatening place to do so.
Edited by RayvenAlandria on 08/06/2008 12:05
Bob of QF
I tend to ignore bad or faulty grammar...


Unless the person who us using the incorrect form is also a horse's behind in a general way. That is, if the person is a pompous @ss, a know-it-all smart-@ass or one of those fundies that must always be right, no-matter-what, then I will demolish their post.

And as a cherry on top, I will demolish their grammar and spelling, too.

Just to add insult to injury, as it were.


Another case where I would likely attack the grammar of a post, if the post is generally offensive or of a personal attack on someone. If the poster starts out with personal insults, then I return in kind, by pointing out his bad grammar/spelling.

For correcting someone's grammar is a sort of personal attack-- but it's one that can be "justified" by the open nature of forums-- clearly anyone who understands grammar can see the mistake, and my correction(s).

Of course, if he really p~sses me off-- I usually just resort to calling him a fundie or a creonut or an IDiot or similar. They rarely get that joke, too...<eyeroll>
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
I usually don't post in forums, since I know my grammar and spelling isn't the best.

I don't like people ripping me a new one for having poor grammar and spelling.
Another point to remember is that English may not be the poster's first language. Anyway, I'm not going to rip someone a new one unless s/he is acting like a total jerk, as has been already expressed. After all, most people who write badly have already had it pointed out to them innumerable times. Why should I think my criticisms will carry any more weight than those they have already received? I regard it as a matter of courtesy to do the best one can, for the sake of ease of communication.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
FreakMeow wrote:
I usually don't post in forums, since I know my grammar and spelling isn't the best.

I don't like people ripping me a new one for having poor grammar and spelling.

That never should happen.
Critiquing someone's grammar and spelling should be second (or third or fourth) place to the content.
And I'd rather ask for clarification if I can't dissect what's being said instead of ripping someone apart and not getting everything right.

And I'm not going to lie, the spell-check that comes with Firefox is probably my savior.

Bob, Blue, remember E Raser's grammar? Shock Grin
I'm with Jez. Unless it's in good-hearted fun that even the poster can have a chuckle at when a blooper's a real hoot (or if we want to get up the nose of some illiterate Christian nitwit who deserves it), we shouldn't consider wee flaws in grammar and spelling.

Hell, if typo infringements were recorded on your driving licence, one of our very best, brightest and most scholarly posters -- Seeker -- would be banned from the road for a lifetime and several reincarnations.

Publish and be damned, I say, chaps! Bring on the howlers!


PS: If all the world could spell and had perfect grammar, I'd be pretty well out of a job. So I must declare a vested interest in a healthy level of incompetence. N
neilmarr wrote:PS: If all the world could spell and had perfect grammar, I'd be pretty well out of a job. So I must declare a vested interest in a healthy level of incompetence. N

Good point!Smile I enjoy the 'howlers' too. Argo (remember him?) was fairly ungrammatical, but the ideas he expressed were well worth consideration. I wish he could be brought back into the fold.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
FreakMeow wrote:
I usually don't post in forums, since I know my grammar and spelling isn't the best.

I don't like people ripping me a new one for having poor grammar and spelling.

I hope you won't let that stop you from posting here. I happen to know you're in good company, among many good folk, understanding and kind. They're good eggs. Apples.

Erm, they're not rotten. Wink
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