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Spelling, grammar and punctuation

On 2 Nov 2009 at 10:05am Spongebob wrote:
There seems to be a few people on here who are absolutely obsessed with other posters general ability to type correctly. Unfortunately, we're not all blessed with perfect grammar or the ability to spell correctly. Some people might be dyslexic and some just not have a good grasp on the finer details of the English language.

You know who you are...get over it for f**k sake, you know what the person means so get back to the point being discussed and don't critisise the finer details of their posts.
On 2 Nov 2009 at 11:11am frankiesgirl wrote:
Something strange is happening here, I am agreeing with squarepants on a regular basis.
On 2 Nov 2009 at 1:55pm Oldager wrote:
Funny how we can have an opinion about everything and express it - except spelling, grammar and punctuation. I wonder why that is?
On 2 Nov 2009 at 1:58pm Whinger wrote:
Why do we accept poor grammar and spelling? We have the best language in the world, and it is being ruined.
On 2 Nov 2009 at 3:21pm Toque wrote:
You wouldn't talk to someone as if you were a moron, so why write like one? More often than not it has nothing to do with dyslexia or a poor education, it's just plain laziness. Writing in text speak (cu l8er m8 lol) is the equivalent of talking like Jade Goody.
Mrs Toque gets very upset at Aleshia Dixon on Strictly Come Dancing because Aleshia insists on saying "You was brilliant" despite knowing better.
On 2 Nov 2009 at 3:49pm Spongebob wrote:
Why do you form an opinion of someone purely on the way they talk or the way they spell/write ? Talk about shallow !

Whinger...it's not a question of "accepting" poor grammar and spelling, some people just weren't born with that particular talent yet are far more clued up in other areas of life
On 2 Nov 2009 at 4:51pm I have to agree... wrote:
With you Spongebob, it is more interesting to read everyone's opinions, they shouldn't have to worry whether they can spell etc. just to be able to give it on here.
Oldager if there is a thread about the English language that is fine, I believe what was meant was that people shouldn't be ripped to shreds for it on a thread that has no relation to it!
And yes I know illiterate people who are very bright but were just not as fortunate as some of us when it came to education, how lucky we are.
On 2 Nov 2009 at 4:58pm Toque wrote:
I don't form an opinion purely on those grounds, but it's a useful indicator. If it's shallow of me to dismiss the opinions of those who cannot be bothered to articulate their thoughts clearly, to the best of their ability, then I'm shallow (but at least I have an excuse not to listen to morons). It's not that I'm a pedant (after all, this is an internet forum and not an entrance exam) it's just that I find poor English is so often just the product of a slovenly mind. We all make spelling mistakes but most people should be able to construct a basic sentence and use the correct words (too/to, your/you're, their/they're/there), it's just a common courtesy if you want people to understand you and converse with you - good manners I would suggest.
On 2 Nov 2009 at 5:10pm Spongebob wrote:
So Torgue, you form opinions on people because of accents or regional dialect ? Yes, that is bloody shallow. You think people from Essex (yes, let's use the late Jade Goody as you have mentioned her) are all morons if they talk like her ? What about people from the west country or Norfolk ? Are all Brummies and Scousers morons too just because they don't talk like you ?

Who said that fascism was on the decline ?
On 2 Nov 2009 at 5:20pm Toque wrote:
Spongebob, I think you're reading between the lines and writing your own script. I'm married to a foreigner, my family are from Yorkshire (I just came back from Scarborough last night) and I grew up in the West Midlands. Accents and dialects are no barrier to good English.
On 2 Nov 2009 at 5:27pm Spongebob wrote:
I quote *** I don't form an opinion purely on those grounds, but it's a useful indicator. If it's shallow of me to dismiss the opinions of those who cannot be bothered to articulate their thoughts clearly, to the best of their ability, then I'm shallow (but at least I have an excuse not to listen to morons). ***

I rest my case me lord. The above is NOT reading between the lines.
On 2 Nov 2009 at 5:32pm Toque wrote:
Your writing is pretty good but your reading needs some improvement. I'll leave you to your anti-fascist moral highground if it pleases you.
On 2 Nov 2009 at 6:26pm I have to agree... wrote:
I can honestly say I have never known anyone use 'text speak' on here, that would be lazy!
You must be talking about another forum!
On 2 Nov 2009 at 6:34pm Oldager wrote:
It's got nothing to do with accent or being born with an ability. Good spelling and grammar show you've taken the trouble to learn to express yourself in writing. And that is a sign you can think clearly and that your ideas are therefore of some value.
On 2 Nov 2009 at 7:25pm Plum Duff wrote:
I too am starting to agree with SB - weird.

There is no such thing as "Good English". Never has been, never will. Read Melvyn Bragg's The Story Of English, or similar.

Text speak is just another new form of our language.

And some people can't spell, and some people can't be bothered - this is after all, just a forum on the internet - not a test.
On 2 Nov 2009 at 8:45pm Toque wrote:
"There is no such thing as "Good English"."
Let me guess, you're a teacher?
On 2 Nov 2009 at 9:53pm Plum Duff wrote:
Yawn... ok Toque, here we go.

Define Good English. Shouldn't take you long.
On 3 Nov 2009 at 10:04am Down and Out wrote:
Plum Duff: I believe you're being somewhat disingenuous. Throughout the last one thousand year or so history of our language there has always been a difference between informal colloquialism and the written language as formally used to convey information. The actual issue here is to determine the quality of language which is appropriate to use on a relatively new media form: the web forum. I agree with Toque et al - if you can't express an opinion clearly then you probably haven't thought your opinion through. It is not sufficient to say something incoherent and vague and assume the reader will 'get the gist'. Our language is capable of great and precise expression and should be used wisely. Innit. Lolz!
On 3 Nov 2009 at 10:29am Toque wrote:
Arghhh.... I've stumbled across a member of the adolescent debating society? "Yawn" is right. One might as well ask 'define good art' or 'define good music' in an assault on a proposition that a certain piece of art is good. These things are subjective. There are no hard and fast rules and I wouldn't go as far as Kingsley Amis in attempting to define what is, and what is not, proper 'King's English'.

Though when you read posts like this one ( www.lewes.co.uk/Forum/Post/soo_angry_at_the_system_wrote/49574#1 ) you do have to wonder whether it is a joke, or whether the author is drunk, or whether the author is just stupid. Or possibly all three.

If a piece of writing is poorly constructed, grammatically incorrect, spelt incorrectly, improperly punctuated and uses words out of the proper context; it is not pleasing to the eye, it does not flow, it can be difficult to understand and often fails in it's primary purpose - to communicate. To my mind - and not only my mind - it also marks the author out as lazy, or uneducated, or stupid, etc. So perhaps, in answer to your question, good English is something that doesn't diminish you or your argument in the minds of the audience you are addressing.

I'm not pedantic about these things, as you say this is just a forum on the internet, but I do occassionally point out errors in order to prick the egos of people who are being pedantic or pompous in other matters. I don't find fault just for the sake of finding fault. People have found fault with my English, on this very forum, but I don't get on my high-horse about it.
On 3 Nov 2009 at 11:28am Down and Out wrote:
Plum Duff - a question for you: I am incensed when my daughters come home from Priory with official letters, homework sheets and the like which contain basic grammatical errors - for example greengrocers apostrophe's. Do you regard this as acceptable? If not, where would you draw the line?
On 3 Nov 2009 at 11:49am sashimi wrote:
Down and out has a point. We expect different editorial standards for a teacher sending a note home and someone writing on lavatory walls. I don't have a problem with a few misspellings on this forum provided the meaning is clear. But you have a right to laugh when someone being sniffy about another poster's typing makes a basic error themselves.
On 3 Nov 2009 at 12:01pm Toque wrote:
Quite. If there was no accepted usage then how would examinations work, and would we be able to assess literacy levels and ensure that our young people were equipped for life and the work place? It's increasingly clear that many are ill-equipped. England seems to be sliding its way down the world literacy tables and half of England's workforce has reading age below that expected of a primary school leaver.
On 3 Nov 2009 at 12:24pm Matthew wrote:
Down and Out: don't you mean greengrocers' apostrophe's?
(I agree however with what you say.)
On 3 Nov 2009 at 1:21pm Plum Duff wrote:
I agree, it's all about the context of the writing and subjectivity of the readers.

Personally I don't see a problem when someone's spelling or grammar is "poor" in an internet forum - I imagine that half the posters on Lewes.co.uk are either pie-eyed, in a hurry, watching porn - or all three.

We certainly shouldn't get virtual ticks or crosses next to our forum writing; you never know if the writer suffers from dyslexia (my wife is in that group), is just a poor writer generally (me?), left school at 14 (my dad), or something else. To moan about the "Bad English" of others only shows you up as a bit of a snob.

The worst example of this recently was when a youngster came on here defending himself and other Nutty Wizard-goers to some criticism they had had from local NIMBYs, and all they could respond with was attacking his writing. Basically they had lost the argument and couldn't come up with anything else.

On 3 Nov 2009 at 2:13pm Toque wrote:
Like you Plum Duff I don't consider myself a good writer - I only got a C grade in English Language at GCSE - but the point is that I try my reasonable best - as it appears do you (even if you don't seem to expect the same courtesy from others). It looked to me as if the youngster from the Nutty Wizard was possibly overcompensating for his youth by using slightly convoluted language - but good for him (or her) for trying.

The fact is that some people just can't be bothered, and consequently if they can't be bothered then I really can't be bothered to read whatever it is that they're attempting to say. I read my newspapers online and I despair at the standard of some of the comments left on newspaper and blog comment threads (they make Lewes Forum users read like Booker Prize winners).
On 3 Nov 2009 at 10:29pm Down and Out wrote:
Matthew: yes - loose attempt at irony. That's a thing that never quite works on a chat forum. Oh well.
On 4 Nov 2009 at 11:23am Lynne Truss wrote:
I think you used a semi-colon inappropriately, Toque. A comma would have been better. Go to the back of the class with the other illiterate b*ggers.
On 5 Nov 2009 at 4:21am expat two wrote:
This same argument keeps cropping up on the forum. The problem for me, is that poor spelling and grammar gives the reading an ugly stop/start quality, impossible to follow fluently. Besides which there are far worse ways of judging people's character than through the analysis of their writing skills. What does surprise me, which I guess shouldn't, is that generally its the more bigotted folk who think they shouldn't be judged on their writing skills.

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Brian_the_Snail_Lewes 14:132

Hello there everyone,
I'm new to this thread, and soon will be new(wish) to Lewes and was wondering if I could ask a question... more
I like BONFIRE NIGHT, and of course all the out-meetings which go on around this time - and the loud bang at the crack of dawn!