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Erayd
12-09-2006, 01:06 AM
Well, I hope it's just me being my usual nitpicking self, but I suspect a wider issue - the general linguistic quality of posts on this forum seems to have sharply degraded in recent times.

I could have sworn there used to be a clause in the forum rules (http://pressf1.co.nz/showthread.php?t=52243) about it, but it seems to have been abolished (or possibly my memory is faulty - I haven't checked those rules since the move to vBulletin a few years back). Txt-speak has become abundant, even among some of those who have been here for many years, and used to appreciate good English. Grammatical errors are rife, especially among new users. I can see this forum slowly heading in the direction of so many others, where a typical post might resemble the following (although I'm probably being a little harsh):

hi plz hlp my comp died I need sum1 help me fix
New users then pick up on the sloppiness, and add their own.

Has anyone else noticed the linguistic creep? Are we all to assume that because languages are flexible concepts, such changes are inevitable? Would a plea for the return to our formerly excellent grammatical habits be too much to ask?

roddy_boy
12-09-2006, 02:33 AM
<3 Bletch I hear ya.

May as well use this thread to say it....

An apostrophe is not used before every single 's'!!!

Also, it's = it is.


Their = possesive
There = place
They're = they are

They're parking their car over there.


You're = you are

theother1
12-09-2006, 07:45 AM
Man, you are about to start a flame war. I can hear people girding their loins and sharpening their battle axes in preparation for dealing to anyone who would dare to suggest that english should be used in this forum. "Run for the hills the barbarians awake".:eek:

Shortcircuit
12-09-2006, 08:40 AM
linguistic creep

Says it all really :)

godfather
12-09-2006, 11:20 AM
Possibly as a reflection of our present educational policy where nobody is allowed to fail (even if they don't succeed) it is apparently not acceptable on this forum for a poster to comment on such abuse of the english language when trying to help.

Personally I just do not reply to such posts, as if the poster has to use text language to communicate what is likely a complex problem here then I would have little confidence that they would be able correctly apply a registry fix or other such fix to their PC, as computers require 100% correct spelling and syntax for any repair commands to work.

If they are capable of applying the correct spelling and syntax commands to their computer, then it's perhaps disrespectful of them not to treat people they want help from better than their computer?

Not talking of actual spelling mistakes here, as they are common and occur in all walks of life, with all of us, and always will.

pctek
12-09-2006, 02:28 PM
Not talking of actual spelling mistakes here, as they are common and occur in all walks of life, with all of us, and always will.

In the paper today was an article comparing NZ with Aussie etc and out ability to spell. While UK, Aussie etc came out in the 80% range of people abale to spell, NZ had a pathetic 50% pass rate.

Graham L
12-09-2006, 02:42 PM
What bothers me (a bit) is that many of the misspelt words I see are presumably attempts at a phonetic representation of the way the writer speaks the word. I don't think I would understand these people if I heard them talking. :(

Others are obviously phonetic: e.g. "... must of ..." for "... must have ...", which finishes up as the wrong word, correctly spelt.

roddy_boy
12-09-2006, 03:17 PM
Yes to add to Graham's point, what pisses me off is the use of 'then' in place of 'than'
eg,

"I am so much betterer at grammar then you."

dvm
12-09-2006, 03:28 PM
Frankly, there is a reason for accurate grammar and it has nothing to do with being pedantic - it's the basis for people to communicate with clarity.

Within the computer and the IT industry where technological complexity requires clarity it amazes me that the concept of accurate grammar and spelling is somehow an outdated notion and not worth bothering with.

If, say, a computer technician will not put his/her ideas in a simple and clear manner then why should I have confidence that any work carried out will be accurate and correct?

mejobloggs
12-09-2006, 04:19 PM
I'm not too concerned about grammar mistakes etc, but txt speaking does annoy me.

I mean... on a pc we have the keyboard. Not some silly little phone keypad, where it makes perfect sense to use as little letters and whatnot as possible. But when we have a proper keyboard, why not type things out in full? It makes it a lot easier to read.

Winston001
12-09-2006, 05:07 PM
Just another vote in favour of correct spelling and grammar.

However we need to wipe this broad brush with a measure of humility. For some posters here, English is a second language and they can be forgiven the odd mistake. Come to think of it, they often show better writing skills than average.

Some members are young and leet is natural for them. A gentle remonstration and reminder to post clearly is the best lesson. Abusing people for being incomprehensible might be fun but isn't constructive IMHO.

Cornot
12-09-2006, 05:12 PM
YO WASSAP YALL! LMAOLOLOLOLOL!
YO PC'z ARE DA SHIZ NE!
YO DIG
:lol:

Oldferix
12-09-2006, 06:07 PM
YO WASSAP YALL! LMAOLOLOLOLOL!
YO PC'z ARE DA SHIZ NE!
YO DIG
:lol:

Pardon?

Myth
12-09-2006, 06:24 PM
YO WASSAP YALL! LMAOLOLOLOLOL!
YO PC'z ARE DA SHIZ NE!
YO DIG
:lol:Translation:
Hey, whats up (how you doing) LMAO (chat acronym for laughing my a$$ off) LOL (laughing out loud)
You guys/girls are good (great/awesome)
You are the best

Personally, I dislike the above example as well as leet speak. However (while I am able to spell welll myself and have a generally good vocab (although somedays I do tend to be a bit lazy)).. if the person concerned is trying to express their issue or what-have-you the best way they know how, then I'm not about to sit back and ***** about it. This is a help forum, not everyone in it uses english as their first language. So.. either get over it and help, or **** (look it up.. google: chat acronyms ****)

netchicken
12-09-2006, 06:30 PM
Welcome to the cell phone generation.....

its not going to get any better from here on out....

Thomas01
12-09-2006, 06:33 PM
Their = possesive
There = place
They're = they are

They're parking their car over there.




What a gloriously simple explanation. I just wish I had thought of it.
And yes I do agree that standards appear to have slipped. You even find people starting sentences with conjunctions!
But hang on - shouldn't possesive be spelt possessive?

However I am going add my voice to the request for better spelling, better English, and please as little txt spk as possible. After all we didn't use those short cuts in the days of typewriters when everything took longer anyway - so why now?

It's probably the overall reduction in standards we are going through. Music (remember the days when singers could sing, bands produced music and we could even tell what the words were) Graphics - even PCWorld has been guilty of some dreadful design work - black background with tiny off white text or something similar.

A final note - I use a spell checker that I think came off a PCWorld disc WordWeb. It can be used here for instance - in fact I have just used it.
Terrific.

Cornot
12-09-2006, 06:40 PM
YO WASSAP YALL! LMAOLOLOLOLOL!
YO PC'z ARE DA SHIZ NE!
YO DIG


Hey, whats up (how you doing) LMAO (chat acronym for laughing my a$$ off) LOL (laughing out loud)
You guys/girls are good (great/awesome)
You are the best

So thats what it meant, :lol:

Erayd
12-09-2006, 07:06 PM
I agree with most of the above comments regarding spelling. I have no problem with the odd genuine mistake, nor do I mind those who don't speak English natively, yet do the best they can. Generally the people who bug me are those too lazy to use correct spelling and grammar, or those who think they score a few extra points by being unintelligible.

I would be glad to see the 'no txt speak etc' clause return to the forum rules - any chances of that?

gibler
12-09-2006, 07:20 PM
Ah, it isn't that bad yet. You should try reading the TradeMe message boards, some of the bad spelling is so bad, it is funny.

People are, in general, just plain lazy.

I really can't stand those posts that are one rather long sentence. It is far easier to read bullet points of (hopefully, relevant) information.

pctek
12-09-2006, 08:32 PM
I have no problem with the odd genuine mistake, nor do I mind those who don't speak English natively,

Likewise.
Its easy to see those who just don't care from those who are new to English or those who have made a typo...

And lets pick on trendy phrases and bad pronunciation too.
Especially from newspeople.

Like:

"I find that very concerning" and other similar &^%$#

Marnie
13-09-2006, 12:00 AM
I am very much in favour of a good standard of spelling and grammar, without being totally rigid in correctness.
I try not to be too critical of some of the lack of literacy skills used here, but it does make me wonder whether this is the way we are going with our language.
"Txt spk" is fine when used for the purpose it was intended, so long as it remains in those areas with limited space. Knowing when and when not to use it is a little bit like knowing when it is acceptable to use slang.
Poor pronunciation is one of the contributors to poor spelling. With my adult literacy students I can often trace their errors in spelling to the word being written as they hear/heard it. (e.g. Febuary/February)

zqwerty
13-09-2006, 12:20 AM
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Posted a number of times before in response to Grammar Nazis/pedants/perfectionists/O.C.D. sufferers

40((drn16 70 4 r5(h334r(h 47 (m48r16d3 |_|1n3rv715y, 17 d305n'7 m7743r 1n w4h7 0r3dr 7h3 |7733r5 1n 4 wr0d 4r3, 7h3 0|ny 1prm037n7 71hn6 15 74h7 7h3 fr157 4nd |547 |7733r 83 47 7h3 r6h17 p(|43. 7h3 r537 (4n 83 4 7047| m535 4nd y0u (4n 517|| r43d 17 w0u7h17 p0r83|m. 71h5 15 8(u5343 7h3 hu4mn mn1d d305 n07 r43d 3rv3y |7373r 8y 157|3f, 8u7 7h3 wr0d 45 4 w|0h3.

roddy_boy
13-09-2006, 12:39 AM
Ah, but it has to be the correct word to be able to understand it.

motorbyclist
13-09-2006, 12:40 AM
I'm in favour of proper spelling, although I do myself tend to neglect capitalisation in posts out of sheer laziness.
I do use txt and
1337 5p33|< (http://www.google.com/intl/xx-hacker/) occasionally, but only when txting or chatting with other 1337 literate persons. I find the use of such language plain silly on a pc help forum, there is no major time nor space contraints.

I also accept typos (I just corrected "also" from "aslo"), but I myself usually will have a quick check before I post. But I have even gone so far as to correct spelling of trademe auctions when the listing title reads "Opticle Mouse", as that was going to affect searches for their product. I still wish spellnazi would patrol the computers category.

Has anyone noticed that some members mistake Kbps and KBps? I know I have got this wrong on a few posts before now, and it is just as bad as spelling mistakes. B = Byte b = Bit 8b = 1B 1024B = 1KB 1024KB = 1MB etc correct?

Has anyone else noticed the spelling mistakes/typos in previous posts in this thread? There's atleast 4 :lol: Oh the irony. (Man, I do hope I haven't made any myself.)

Oh, has anyone else ran into spelling issues whilst coding in HTML? I must've spent half an hour trying to figure out why <body bgcolour="#123456"> wouldn't work; turns out HTML is American, and, of course, the correct tag was <body bgcolor="#123456">. My point is that all these different spellings of identical words probably will not help us in the future, see this for a laugh. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Lamest_edit_wars#Spelling)

zqwerty
13-09-2006, 12:48 AM
The power tripping exhibited by some on this thread takes no account of the fact that some people do not spell well, some are dyslexic, some are just not that worried and some are so upset because their computer is faulty that they can become incoherent. Whilst I am a stickler for accuracy, correct grammar and punctuation in my own work I see no reason to impose my own hang ups on others who may feel otherwise. If you don't like the way that others communicate then just don't read it.

Laura
13-09-2006, 04:05 AM
I see no signs of power tripping in this thread, zqwerty.

Several posters have acknowledged that poor spelling has many causes, and it's not simply spelling which is being remarked on here.

It's hardly a "hang up" to prefer a post which is easy to understand rather than struggle with one whose meaning isn't clear.
And despite your example of the "rscheearch..Cmabridge". there are such posts every so often.

I put them in 2 categories - neither relating to spelling as such.
The first group hasn't registered that punctuation exists for a reason.
Commas, full stops and new sentences aren't optional extras. They help the reader recognise what the poster is trying to say.
.
Yes, it's grammar. But it's hardly rocket science. Nobody's going to complain if there's a dash where there should've been a semi-colon. It's simply a pause to separate what may be 2 aspects of a problem.

The 2nd category has already been called laziness in the thread. It relates to the words missed out or the extras which should've been deleted when previewing before posting. It means having to read & re-read to try & work out what was actually intended.

We've all been guilty of that at some time - trying to send the deathless prose in a hurry. But why do I get the impression that some people don't ever check what they've written - with the aim of analysing whether it makes sense to others? Dyslexia is relatively rare, sfter all...

And suggesting that people who don't like the way others communicate "just don't read it" rather defeats the purpose of a Help forum, surely?

theother1
13-09-2006, 11:25 AM
On the importance of correct spelling.

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5-year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy.

The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl.

TideMan
13-09-2006, 05:03 PM
I recently visited some clients in Lyttelton on Banks Peninsula.
Part of my visit involved demonstrating a webpage a colleague had recently developed. Unfortunately, he was a bit late in finishing it and I didn't get a chance to do a final proof check. When the page came up, there it was in <h1> font: Lyttleton, Banks Peninsular.
There were guffaws from my clients and ribald comments about ***** writing web pages for Mainlanders. The page was dismissed as the work of an idiot.

Spelling DOES matter!!

TideMan
13-09-2006, 05:05 PM
That's interesting.
PF1 has an automatic zapper for some words.
In my post I used the word starting with J that non-Aucklanders use for Aucklanders and it was replaced with *s.

TideMan
13-09-2006, 05:08 PM
I wonder what will happen if I use the name of Guy Gibson's (Dambusters) dog? He had a name that was in common use in those days, but is taboo today. It is a derogatory name for black people. His name was Nigger.

motorbyclist
13-09-2006, 05:21 PM
But why do I get the impression that some people don't ever check what they've written - with the aim of analysing whether it makes sense to others? Dyslexia is relatively rare, sfter all...


Am I the only one to find this funny? Sure it's an innocent typo, but ironic nonetheless.

I do, however, agree with Laura. A quick re-read to see one understands their own post is most definitely a good idea.

As for incorrect spelling on webpages, as a signwriter I find myself constantly pointing out spelling errors either while beginning my own job, helping install someone else's work or once the sign is up and I'm checking everything is OK. I really wish I wasn't the only person at work who could spell, it can become frustrating, especially when even the client has spelt words incorrectly. A classic example was at a cafe where "satay" had been spelt "sate" in every instance, the client never noticed, but ever since I've been checking my jobs before they even get off the computers.

Graham L
13-09-2006, 05:27 PM
zqwerty's quoted "research at Cambridge" falls down on one simple thing. It's wrong. I can read such gibberish, but very slowly. I do read words as a whole; that's why I can spell most words without hesitation (my fingers sometimes get it wrong, but my eyes never). In fact if I'm in doubt, I just write it and I can see if it's right. In that example every word is recognised as wrong. That slows my reading considerably. As for the other "txt" rubbish; I don't even try. If people want to communicate, they should make some attempt to communicate.

One problem is that people can use PCs with GUIs without ever having to type filenames etc. correctly. Anyone who has ever punched cards for job control will remember that the cards had to be "only just exactly correct", in spelling, syntax, and punctuation. Anyone who has written programmes in proper languages will know that source code has to be correct in every detail.

Tideman's example shows a reason for care: If you want to be paid for professional work, you have to do it in a professional manner. That is, "right". Spelling, punctuation, and grammar do matter.

motorbyclist
13-09-2006, 05:42 PM
Tideman's example shows a reason for care: If you want to be paid for professional work, you have to do it in a professional manner. That is, "right". Spelling, punctuation, and grammar do matter.

Would you say, it should be done "write"?

Oh dear, that is quite possibly my worst pun yet.:groan:

(Also, I can read zqwerty's post fine, just slightly slower, or less flowing than normal, due to the spelling, I guess.)

Laura
14-09-2006, 01:27 AM
How easy/difficult zqwerty's quote is to undestand is really just a red herring here.

We're not talking about how long it takes forum members to decipher some general gobbledegook they may come across somewhere..

The topic is the legibility of posts in this forum.

To understand what someone's problem is, accuracy is important.
To understand an answer, accuracy is important.
Graham has already covered those points well.

Fitting the words together so that as many people as possible can understand them is simply common sense in a forum which relies on a wide exchange of ideas.
And every language has rules - not just English.

Metla
15-09-2006, 08:36 PM
HA....There are more posts in this thread whinging about deliberate poor spelling then there are posts with such carry on.

Still, if it makes ya happy.

Hey....Whats that out the window?

Anyhow, The English language is a tool, people will weild that tool how they see fit, Presumibly with no care in the world whether permission has been granted by the sentinals.:D:D

Woof woof.

TGoddard
16-09-2006, 12:59 AM
I don't particularly care about incorrect spelling so long as the intent is clear, but the fact that so few people can use basic grammar correctly is a cause of serious frustration for me. Allow me to present a few mistakes made in this very thread by people promoting good grammar.


its not going to get any better from here on out....
It's not going to get any better from here on in.


And lets pick on trendy phrases and bad pronunciation too.
Especially from newspeople.

A sentence must always have a verb. This would be better expressed as "Let's pick on trendy phrases and bad pronunciation too, especially from newspeople."

I must confess that I'm the sort of person who checks the spelling and grammar of my text messages. I have also studied Latin. English grammar is simple by comparison.

The scary thing is that this does represent a change in our language. My mother was telling me a few months ago that in a recent round of applications for a senior administrative position at her work not a single CV submitted was free of grammatical or spelling errors. People can't even write correctly when a job is on the line.