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Dutchess_III's avatar

This is regarding people who don't seem to understand the basic rules of grammar and punctuation: Do you think our "correct" postings and comments jar their nerves?

Asked by Dutchess_III (43076points) January 17th, 2011

…The way awful posts jar ours? Or do they even notice….? Or, like, if someone is in a habit of saying things like, “He don’t got no…” if they hear, “He doesn’t have any….” do they even notice?

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50 Answers

Seelix's avatar

I seriously doubt it. People who use poor grammar and punctuation obviously see correct usages all the time, if they read at all. They either just don’t care or don’t know the rules well enough to apply them.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

I don’t think they notice. It may irritate them that people choose to be grammatically correct on the ”‘Net”.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I think most people do not like to be corrected publicly no matter what it is. ;)

whitenoise's avatar

First of all… I neither like making mistakes, nor do I like reading them…

Now, this is my stupid side chiming in….

What do you mean with “saying things like [...] He doesn’t have any….”

What’s wrong with “He doesn’t have any….”? Would, for example, “He doesn’t have any experience in….” be wrong by definition?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille This isn’t about correcting anyone. I just wonder if people who use poor grammar even notice when proper grammar is being used. Does it jar them?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@whitenoise Huh? I was comparing someone saying, “He don’t got no…” vs someone saying, correctly “He doesn’t have any….” Would the person who uses phrases like “He don’t got no…” feel a ringing in their ears when they hear some one saying, “He doesn’t have any…”?

gailcalled's avatar

Me and Milo still notice misppellings, misusage, and the artistic apostrophe. Its a curse and gives he and I gas and bad dreams.

whitenoise's avatar


Sorry… got you…. (this time ‘round) :)

Dutchess_III's avatar

@whitenoise :). @gailcalled you have the most damn literate cat I ever ‘newed!

Fyrius's avatar

I think this is a difference between grammatically uptight and laid-back people. Some people insist that the language be used the way the teachers always told them it should be used, and some people don’t care much either way.

Obligatory linguistic mythbusting side note:
Speaking proper Standard English has absolutely nothing to do with “understanding the rules of grammar”. Nobody consciously understands how grammar really works, beyond at most some easily visible surface regularities. Language use relies on subconscious grammatical instincts.
Spelling is different, though. Spelling is an artificial add-on to natural language, with well-known standardised rules. So yeah.

gailcalled's avatar

@Dutchess_III: Milo here: I thought of “misuage” as an example of a word used incorrectly. Pretty clever, but, of course, the general public will assume it’s a word that means “misuse” instead of (archaic);
Unjust treatment : they were determined to defend themselves from misusage.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Fyrius I totally agree with you…I hate English classes! But I know how to put a sentence together. I’m not sure why we even have to learn the “rules.” But…in that case I misspoke in my question, didn’t I! Burn!

LOL! Misuage is just like “ruage.” Like, “The tornado caused major ruage!”

omph's avatar

@gailcalled – The cat thing was cute at first. Now it is simply sad.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Uh, @omph…take a look at @gailcalled‘s standing in this community. Then look at yours.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@omph : That’s your contribution to this thread? Sad, yourself.

I doubt that appropriate grammar usage is jarring to anyone, I think the txtspk and lazy-language users probably don’t even notice.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The more I think about it @JilltheTooth….It’s kind of odd..I think that if a lazy language user found him- or herself in the middle of a group of people who know how to speak, they’d feel like everyone around them were just all uppity ups, but perhaps not even understand why they feel that way.

AstroChuck's avatar

I don’t know, but it sure is fun!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wow…where you been @AstroChuck?!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Dutchess_III—I would think not unless it is a new way to help others feel superior ;)

Dutchess_III's avatar

But why wouldn’t they notice, @lucillelucillelucille?

Cruiser's avatar

I’d rather have an answer with hacked grammar that shared good ideas, opinions and or solutions than an answer with perfect grammar and no substance. I rarely notice this and when it is really bad…it is often worth a chuckle or two.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I agree@cruiser.

It’s the concept that has me puzzled though. It’s like, a set of people on one side of the equation see both sides, but the people on the other side don’t…and I wonder why that is. I guess the same thing could be applied to someone who consistently dresses in awful taste, with clashing mis-matched colors and patterns. Yes, that is subjective, to each his own, but just for argument’s sake, say there is a person like that, and his or her co-workers comment on the awfulness occasionally. Does the person who dresses in very poor taste even recognize good taste when he or she sees it?

This just has me curious. Is it just a question of not caring, or not seeing?

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
Cruiser's avatar

@Dutchess_III It could be a matter of time. More so, it could also be a matter of just putting the thought down in a hurry. Almost all my first cracks at an answer are littered with typos and miscues and editing is not always an option for me. I am not especially proud of my 86 perfecto fish awards but those demonstrate my dire need to correct my work here. <edited now 4 x’s and make that 87 perfecto’s!>>

Dutchess_III's avatar

Mine too! I go back and look at my posts and I often find misspellings and whatnot. That’s not what I’m referring to though.

@omph You don’t act like johnpowell….unless I didn’t really know you that well.

There must be something in the water this morning. Everybody seems to have PMS.

Austinlad's avatar

I think there are people who don’t know they’re using poor grammar, people who know but don’t care, and people who know and very much do care but don’t know what to do about it. Did I leave out anyone?

AmWiser's avatar

@Austinlad You said ‘Did I leave out anyone?’ I would have said Did I leave anyone out? I’m so confused about this poor grammar thing.:D

Response moderated
absalom's avatar

@AmWiser – It’s generally better not to end a sentence with a preposition. This is a rule that doesn’t matter much anymore.

@Dutchess_III – In your second example, the speaker(s) would notice. I’m not sure why they wouldn’t. Proper grammar indicates a certain level of education, most of the time, and not intelligence; someone who says ‘he don’t got no…’ is probably intelligent enough to notice the difference between his speech and that of someone who says ‘he does’t have any….’

It seems somewhat ‘elitist’ to me to think that people speak non-standardly only because they can’t tell the difference. Not that you are that.

Online, with txtspk, it’s a little different. I think people know and notice the differences but gloss over them, and take (im)proper grammar, spelling, et al as signs of caring (whether too much or too little) rather than signs of education. I hope so, anyway.


I know my way around these streets.

…lol… bro…

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Dutchess_III -They either don’t know or don’t care.;)

chyna's avatar

I don’t mind if my grammer is corrected. I’m always open to learning or improving.
I also think that Milo is still cute.

Sunny2's avatar

There are people who are perfectionists and want everything to be exactly as it should be according to rules. And there are people who are what I call “good-enough” people. The former (me) notice the errors, but not wanting to tie myself in knots, I try to ignore them and listen for the message instead. The latter are satisfied with themselves, for the most part, and just accept themselves as they are. They may or may not be aware of errors they make. They basically don’t feel the necessity for changing anything about themselves. In a way, I envy them because they are much less self-conscious then I am. That means they can worry about more substantial things than the superficial details that vex those of us who want everything as perfect as we can make it.

AstroChuck's avatar

@absalom- Ending a sentence with a preposition has never been poor grammar in English. This myth has been going on since the 19th century all because of some misguided, self-proclaimed language expert who wrote an English text that stated certain rules in Latin grammar should apply to English.

absalom's avatar

@AstroChuck – Yes, I’ve been educated on the history of that and other rules. If we are being descriptive, though, we can’t say this particular Latinate tradition never had a hold on English grammar.

Austinlad's avatar

Well now, @AmWiser, I never said I wasn’t in one of those three groups. ;-)

tinyfaery's avatar

People who do not understand the basic rules of grammar and punctuation are victims of our horrible educational system. Making fun of them, insulting them and making assumptions about their attitudes and abilities is just crass.

whitenoise's avatar

re @psychocandy “People who do not understand the basic rules of grammar and punctuation are victims of our horrible educational system.”

Either that, or something else.They might, for instance, not be native speakers.

Jeruba's avatar

To answer your question, yes: I have been criticized many times for using correct grammar and precise vocabulary. And not by people who were careful writers or speakers themselves.

AstroChuck's avatar

@Jeruba- That last sentence reeks of being incomplete.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think I figgered it out….they just don’t notice any more than they notice if they have an accent. It’s nothing more than a habit, and we all have habits that we aren’t aware that we are practicing at times. If a person who habitually says “He’s went to the store,” heard someone else say it, they’d catch it.

Jeruba's avatar

@AstroChuck, it’s a complete sentence fragment. Call it informal style.

@Dutchess_III, I wish I could be as charitable as you, but it’s not possible when I see people writing things like “I should of went” and when I can read otherwise well-written and duly edited books published by reputable firms and find constructions such as “She sung” and “The boat sunk” in them, never mind far more complicated instances of messed-up subject-verb agreement, dangling modifiers, missing words, mangled idioms, malapropisms, and everything else that used to be marked routinely on high school English themes because the students were expected to know better.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wait! @Jeruba What could someone possible say in the form of criticism regarding correct grammar???

Jeruba's avatar

“Speak English, can’t you?” (or “Can’t you just speak English?”)

“Can’t you talk like ordinary people?”

“You talk like a dictionary.”

“You talk like a textbook.”

“You sound like a snob.”

“Do you really write like that naturally or do you have to work at it?”

“You’re just trying to make us look bad.”

That’s just a sampling.

The first remark has been by far the most frequent for about the past 40 years. Longer than that, actually; it began when I was a young teenager.

snowberry's avatar

My daughter has a linguistics class, and her teacher insists that anything a speaker says is correct grammar. It’s the way they speak, and so it’s legitimate (as I recall, this goes for written English too). This particular teacher is also very much into swearing, and thinks there is no social situation that is inappropriate for crude language. Honestly, the woman drives my very correct daughter crazy, and she has a whole semester of it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

How did this end up in the Meta section????

Jeruba's avatar

@Dutchess_III, maybe a mod would move it to Social for you.

Dutchess_III's avatar’s finished anyway! I must have miskeyed. Hey…I think I AM allowed ONE mistake in my life..although this one probably wasn’t my fault. It was Dog or somebody who did it!

Rarebear's avatar

Very good question. I’m one of those grammar and spelling snobs, and it drives me nuts when people don’t capitalize, don’t punctuate, and don’t spell. In my mind it’s a symptom of lazy thinking and writing, and I can’t stand that. When I text on my phone, I even type complete words, such as “you” instead of “u”, although I will admit to an occasional “lol”.

whitenoise's avatar

Fluther isn’t the only site that is being plagued by contributors that do not always use correct style and grammar.

To proof, however, that there’s beauty in even the worst of such material, take a look at this youtube-clip. In the style of Peter Sellers’ A Hard Days’ Night, this artist took manure and made a rose grow.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Rarebear I txt spk like a mdwmn when I text….I jus hv a lot 2 sy n nt mch spce 2 sy it in.

Funny video @whitenoise! I wonder if the kids will EVER hear what we’re saying! What gets me, is when the students write, the computer TELLS them when a word is misspelled, and they still don’t get it….

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