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dreamwolf's avatar

Why cannot Fluther moderators just fix grammatical errors instead of having us fix the question?

Asked by dreamwolf (3163points) October 11th, 2011

Obviously they can point out the grammatical error, why not just fix it on their own? I didn’t really sign up for English class if I wanted to correct essays/stories I would’ve majored in those courses in college.

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69 Answers

Ela's avatar

cuz than we wount learned nutin? : (

dreamwolf's avatar

It’s not like we signed up and received an AP Style Book link or physical copy sent in the mail.

syz's avatar

I didn’t really sign up for English class if I wanted to correct essays/stories I would’ve majored in those courses in college.

What makes you think we signed up to be English teachers?

What we did sign up for is helping to maintain the quality of the site….the same quality that initially attracted you to it.

And if you can’t be bothered to construct a thoughtful, well written question, why should we (the collective) be bothered to construct an answer?

Correct spelling and grammar should matter to you. It allows you to be understood.

“Let’s eat Grandma!” is an entirely different statement than “Let’s eat, Grandma!”

Blackberry's avatar

Maybe they’re assuming this isn’t a class room? Good luck creating a resume: “Why didn’t the employer just fix my mistakes for me? Derp Derp!”

Ela's avatar

Why should they fix our mistakes? Hopefully if something is sent in for “repairs” the person will try harder next time to not make any errors, therefore keeping the overall standard of the site up?

SuperMouse's avatar

Considering the number of grammatical and typographical errors that are posted in a single day here on Fluther, it would be virtually impossible for the mods to go in and fix all of them. Also, if mods could edit questions at will (which we cannot), wouldn’t that open up a whole new can of worms? The way I see it I am responsible for the quality of my contributions to Fluther.

P.S. @dreamwolf, we prefer your citation be in Chicago rather than APA.~

dreamwolf's avatar

So no one has a problem with fixing typos that have already been mentioned? When clearly it could have just been fixed by the mod who pointed it out in the first place?

rebbel's avatar

Yeah, and while they’re at it or rather, before they’re at it they can also just ask our questions for us, and some other mods, who are lazing around, can write answers for us instead.
And to click those GA and GQ things gets also really tiring, by the way…..
Now, mods, fix my mistakes in this reply! (Please?!)

dreamwolf's avatar

Okay @syz way to bring out the mob against me. It’s an honest question don’t take it personal. If you can’t answer the question in black and white then your feelings are way to involved. You guys had me edit youtube to YouTube. I don’t have a problem with that. But since you pointed it out twice, why couldn’t you just have edited for us? You guys tend to add ‘tags’ that the original post didn’t have either.

JilltheTooth's avatar

It’s your work. Own it. This gives you the option to abandon it if fixing is too much of a chore for you. You also can’t accuse the mods of altering your words if you keep responsibility for them. And @syz didn’t bring the mob down on you, you did that all on your own. If you can’t be bothered to try to write properly, why should we be bothered to read it?

syz's avatar

@dreamwolf I merely answered your question, just as did other users. There’s no “mob” incitement. And I didn’t take it personally – I’m attempting to express myself. I apologize if you felt attacked.

Pointing out the specific mistakes is our attempt to be helpful, a courtesy. We’d be happy to merely click on “too many typos” and leave it at that. It’s less work for us.

We’ve all had the experience of not being able to see our own glaringly obvious mistake, and know how frustrating it can be. And in some cases (usually for EASL users), we will actually re-write a question for someone. But even a simple change (as in my example above) can make a major change in the meaning or intent of a question, which would hardly be fair to the OP.

mangeons's avatar

Why should they? It’s not their job to fix your mistakes for you. Is it really too much of a hassle for you to go in and fix it yourself? As @syz points out, they tell you what mistakes you made as a favor to you, they don’t have to tell you at all. My mom is the community manager here, and she gets hundreds of emails a day just for Fluther. Mods don’t need to waste their time fixing a mistake that you made.

dreamwolf's avatar

@syz My question pertaining to YouTube was thoughtful and constructive. Even if I do write a great question, there’s no gurantee to get quality answers. Most answers are just smart butt replies anyhow. Is there a flag for that? No. All I’m saying is mods should edit it out when it comes to spelling. You just admitted you edit for EASL users. Edit all users spellings its simple, if not I’d love to become a Mod and focus just on that. I’m over all these smart butt replies anyhow. And as @JilltheTooth pointed out yes the mob is out for me thats the mentality everyone takes here. No one wants to answer questions black and white, they want to make it personal about the persons here. If you can point out that YouTube is spelled like that versus youtube, then fix it. @mangeons It’s not just a favor if it was a favor I’d just ignore it and people could still make perfect sense out of the question.

mangeons's avatar

@dreamwolf What do you mean it’s not a favor? Yeah, they point out your exact mistakes and sometimes even offer ways to fix it. Do they have to do that? Do you think you’re entitled to have it done for you instead of going in and fixing it yourself? They point it out as a favor to you, they could just check the “too many typos” box and let you find your typos and fix them by yourself. Don’t take things the mods do for granted, they work extremely hard at what they do.

dreamwolf's avatar

Ok forget it, you are all correct I am just wrong in my thought process. You all win.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Oh, please. If you don’t like the way the site is run, and you don’t like the way people answer your questions, and you don’t like the job the volunteers are doing, why on earth are you here? I honestly can’t figure that out.

FutureMemory's avatar

Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

dreamwolf's avatar

Why don’t you all go into the chat room and high five each other that’s high quality right there.

dreamwolf's avatar

Very constructive I might say.

syz's avatar

My question pertaining to YouTube was thoughtful and constructive

And in this instance, you used the correct capitalization. Why was it so much more difficult to do so when we returned your question to you for editing?

Most answers are just smart butt replies anyhow. Is there a flag for that? No.

Actually, there is. Flag as “Unhelpful”.

You just admitted you edit for EASL users

EASL users are handicapped by the fact that they are not native English speakers, and we try to be sensitive to that.

mangeons's avatar

If you only wanted answers that agreed with your point of view, then why bother asking the question? People aren’t going to sugarcoat everything for you so that you never get your feelings hurt throughout life. I advise you to grow a thicker skin.

dreamwolf's avatar

@syz I didn’t mean for this question to be so offensive, people are answering as if I shouted this question at the top of my lungs. It was an honest question just needed an honest answer from maybe someone like a Mod? I just wanted a simple answer not smart butt replies.

Ela's avatar

Hell yeah! Let’s give the mods one more thing to do!!! <rolls eyes>

[edited in] i forgot my LOL LOL

syz's avatar

@dreamwolf No one is yelling at you (or they certainly shouldn’t be). What they are doing is expressing why they love the site, what makes it the sort of place that it is. They are not giving you “smart butt” replies, they are trying to explain a point of view to you that seem seem unwilling to accept as valid. It’s certainly your prerogative to disagree, but the fact remains that it’s a privately owned site with it’s own rules. It’s up to you to decide if you care to follow the rules – we (as mods) can only try to answer questions, and help when we can.

Personally, I happen to think that the more points of view, philosophies, and life experiences, the better. It makes for more stimulating conversations, and more resources for answering questions. We don’t want anyone to go away – we just want you to care about the quality of the site as much as we do.

FutureMemory's avatar

I would totally volunteer my time to clean up the messy questions that @dreamwolf and @Hypocrisy_Central post!

rebbel's avatar

Poh poh poh, @dreamwolf, are you a bit moody, or what?
You ask a question, you get answers (from all kind of Jellies, since you asked it in Meta) and then you get annoyed if the answers are not to your liking…
Had you expected an answer from just mods then it would have been better to just PM a mod.
Now you get answers from all who read your question (and who bothered to reply to it, and wrote sincere words).

JilltheTooth's avatar

And “I didn’t really sign up for English class if I wanted to correct essays/stories I would’ve majored in those courses in college.” isn’t meant to be a bit smart-ass? Not buying it.

I think you maybe don’t understand how it works. The mods are volunteers with real lives going on as well. They very graciously donate their time to make this a workable site. They are in no way obligated to fix anybody’s mistakes, they could simply dump the entire Q, but they don’t. I appreciate that.

chyna's avatar

@dreamwolf @syz is a mod. Just saying.

mangeons's avatar

@dreamwolf You can’t just come in here acting all entitled to have your questions edited for you, saying you “didn’t sign up for English class” and claiming that they should “Edit all users spellings its simple” and then expect people to treat you nicely about it. It wasn’t just the question that irked me, but your attitude about it as well. The mods work really hard and when you come along demanding that they spend even more time doing something that you could just as easily do yourself, it’s annoying.

Ela's avatar

If there is one thing I’ve learned about this site, it’s that the people here appreciate the moderators and all that they do. I personally don’t mind having to fix my own mistakes. If I had to fix everyone else’s… I’d mind that a lot : (

chyna's avatar

@dreamwolf cancelled his/her account.

Blackberry's avatar

He/she will live.

FutureMemory's avatar

He’ll be back. He likes the site too much. He’ll just hide under a new identity.

JilltheTooth's avatar

He’s had problems with the way things are before this.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Is this a good time to thank you all, especially the mods, for the patience shown towards my grammatical errors?

Nullo's avatar

Because we shouldn’t have to suffer through it. You’re taught how to do this stuff in elementary school. It’s not a college-course thing.

Dog's avatar

I realize that @dreamwolf is on ice by his own hand right now, but perhaps he will return and see this.

Another reason we will not fix errors is that the exact wording each member posts is sacred. If we were to go in and edit a question it would be far too easy to accidentally alter the meaning. This would be totally unacceptable. Your words are your own, and mods taking the the extra time to comment and send it back to you to edit yourself is a sign that we do indeed respect what you are saying.

So chill for a while and when you are ready to return just put a little effort in. Who knows – you could learn some fantastic writing skills that will help you in the long run.

JilltheTooth's avatar

We should have a reference group of Qs like this that we can default to with some of these…(like this recent one, for example…)

Nullo's avatar

Incidentally, I have the latest copy of the AP Stylebook, if anybody ever needs it.

Berserker's avatar

Really shouldn’t be up to the staff to do this, since it’s a guideline that we are asked to respect. It’s just how this site rolls. There are plenty of others that don’t.

KateTheGreat's avatar

It’s not like they are total Nazis about the rule. Plus, it helps you build great skills!

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

It seems really simple to answer the OP. They are moderators, not editors.

Buttonstc's avatar


You are absolutely right. After all, if you put in that extra comma when someone really meant to post a solution to the famine by ACTUALLY eating Grandma, you could inadvertently cause starvation. How awful would that be :)


The same as anywhere else on the Internet: Their site; their rules. If it’s not to your liking, you know where the exit is.

Oh, that’s right, you already found it. Oh well, at least Yahoo answers is good for something :)

PS When you get sick and tired of the ignoramus juvenile Yahoos over there, Fluther will still be here for you. Just come on back and we won’t demand you crawl over broken glass for penance. As long as you’re willing to step off your high horse, be responsible for your own stuff, we promise to welcome you back with open arms. You won’t be the first and you won’t be the last. Guaranteed.

When you again want to be part of something you can be proud of participating in, you know the address.

And as Tom Bodett says in his homey Motel Six commercials, “we’ll keep the light on for ya.”


Berserker's avatar

What @Buttonstc said. I hope you come back.

PhiNotPi's avatar

Have you seen the spam attacks lately? The mods have too much on their hands for us to expect them to correct all of our mistakes.

filmfann's avatar

Do you want the mods to make sure you properly wiped?

Buttonstc's avatar


Good one ! High Five ! Down Low ! Oh, snap !

What? Don’t you all shoot me that look !

He DID encourage us all to give high fives just before he left :). You all saw it. I know you did.

I was only following @dreamwolf‘s own suggestion. And filmy’s comment was DEFINITELY worthy of multiple high-fives.

I double-dog-dare anyone to disagree :D

augustlan's avatar

It saddens me that this person left.

Mods don’t even have the ability to edit questions, so even if they wanted to… they couldn’t. I can do internal edits, and have occasionally fixed a minor typo in that manner, but that’s really rare.

ucme's avatar

Okay, something just happened here, not quite sure what, but definitely something.

Response moderated (Spam)
zensky's avatar

Punctuation can make a difference:

Dear John:
I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart. I can be forever happy–will you let me be yours?

What happens to the letter if there were some punctuation mistakes and it was punctuated in an entirely different fashion?

Dear John,
I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we’re apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be?

dappled_leaves's avatar

@zensky That is brilliant.

Buttonstc's avatar

I like the second version the best :)

Filmy and Zensky make a good tag team. They should do that more often.

Someone, gimme a high-five on that.

dappled_leaves's avatar

There ya go. :)

OpryLeigh's avatar

I agree that if it is just one little mistake (and the jelly wasn’t a repeat ofender) then I would quite like it if the mods just changed it but if a question is all in “text speak” the jelly should have to sort it out themselves if they want the question to be live again.

Edit: I should add that when I say a little mistake I mean something that is obviously a typo. Spelling one word slightly wrong (sometimes my fingers are too big for the keys and words have one too many letters in them), that kind of mistake.

JilltheTooth's avatar

How come noone’s mentioned food yet?

tom_g's avatar

I am late to this party. I read the question and was about to respond in a less-than-friendly way. Fortunately, I read the entire thread first. You people took care of business. Well done.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Time for lunch @JilltheTooth…What’cha cookin’?

Dog's avatar

I have a M&M McFlurry.

Nimis's avatar

Contractions aren’t grammatically incorrect.
Can you come back to edit this question?
It’s driving me crazy with its awkwardness!

Why CAN’T Fluther moderators just fix grammatical errors instead of having us fix the question?

Yes, I’m a little neurotic.

mangeons's avatar

@Nimis I was thinking the same thing about “cannot”, it just sounds weird!

Mariah's avatar

I haven’t read all the answers so it’s likely that this has already been said, but I think there would be a lot more complaints if they did that. What if they occasionally screwed up and changed the words in a way that changed the meaning of the user’s post? Then people would be really pissed. Much safer to have people change it themselves and avoid the possibility of putting words in people’s mouths.

andrew's avatar

It started as an experiment in methodology—that the role of moderation is to teach and help improve, not to simply say “not acceptable”. Of course, on the other end of the spectrum it becomes pedantic. There have been many times when we’ve considered allowing the greater community to make small edits and have an approval/rollback process for that, but for now, we have the process we have!

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Is this the famous @andrew who is one of our glorious founders? Pleased to meet’cha. Could you please pass the popcorn?

augustlan's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake It is he, indeed. :)

zensky's avatar

Yay – it’s so nice to see Andrew here once in a while.

I think the mistake the OP has made, and has been made by many others (noobs) over time – is that they mistake Fluther for a democracy. It’s a private enterprise, a club if you will, and it has rules. When you join a club, from a chess club to a local gym, you follow their rules.

What’s nice about Fluther is that the rules are clear, and make sense. There will always be those who forget that real, actual people are volunteering their time to keep the place moderated, and that they, in fact, are the problem – and the teeny tiny minority.

Remember Aesop’s message in the timeless fable “Please all, please none.”

blueiiznh's avatar

3 reasons I can think of:
1) There would have to be 4,568 more moderators to fix all our sh*t.
2) Because I would be pissed if they did. As @andrew stated, I want to know where I went wrong and learn from ALL my mistakes.
3) “rules is rules”

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