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PhiNotPi's avatar

Do you feel that Fluther has improved your online writing skills?

Asked by PhiNotPi (12647points) January 30th, 2014

Recently, I participated in a “virtual discussion” as part of one of my classes. I felt that there was a huge difference between my classmate’s paragraphs and those I see on Fluther. For instance, several people wrote small paragraphs with poor use of line breaks. Their arguments didn’t seem very well organized. There were also txtspeak-style spelling/grammar/capitalization mistakes.

Personally, I feel that my online writing skills have greatly improved due to extended practice. A long time ago on Fluther, I used to write in very small paragraphs. I once apologized for a “wall of text” which was probably smaller than the details section of this question. Now, I tend to write in much larger paragraphs, full of details and explanation (without txtspeak). Also, it is not unusual for me to spend at least 15–20 minutes writing an answer.

Do you feel that your online writing style has improved or changed due to your participation on Fluther?

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67 Answers

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Not really, however, I did develop the cushy feeling of knowing I can provide many a reason to flaunt their grammatical prowess.

pleiades's avatar

No I half-ass my writing here

funkdaddy's avatar

Fluther has taught me to be very precise in what I say here, which I think is the same thing you’re noticing. My answers now are much longer than they used to be because it seems so easy for people to get the wrong impression.

When you’re among friends, people have enough information regarding your beliefs, morals, and habits that you can make a statement without someone getting the complete wrong impression. Here you’re starting fresh with every answer and it doesn’t matter if you’ve stated your position dozens of times previously, that answer exists on it’s own and you still need to clarify.

It definitely seems that type of writing would come in handy for new audiences, and it’s handy for work since it’s good practice to not make assumptions, but in social situations it’s a great way to drive people crazy.

So, has it improved? I don’t know, I feel my answers now are less warm because they’re so exhaustive, so there’s a tradeoff for that clarity.

gailcalled's avatar

Removed by me.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Absolutely. I benefit a lot from Fluther. As a non-native English speaker, I have a chance to pratice my writing skill here while learning new knowledge of English. I learn common phrases, saying and sentence structure of English; improve my vocabulary and many other new things. But more importantly, I learn to make a sentence “sound English” (expressing what I want to say in English without being affected by my mother tongue’s language logic). I feel like I have installed “English mode” into my brain.

Like you, I notice a significant difference between my writing style and my classmates’. When I write something in English, I turn on my “English mode” and use all the knowledge I learn here for a proper sentence. In short, I use English language logic when I write. My classmates are different. They first think up a sentence in their mother tongue, then (literally) translate every word into English. What do you think of: “It is a mentality film. It is about a woman get married in a rich family”?

That’s the reason why I am now the “editor” for most of my friends :)

And not only English, I learn a lot of things about life here too.

I love you Fluther. Even though I sometimes have conflict with you, you are still the best!

chewhorse's avatar

No more so than any other forum of this nature (ie: askpedia).. As a matter of fact, for those whose typing ability out preforms their thought patterns, it irks me when some wanker goes over board in pointing out their mistakes rather than staying on subject.. The only thing that chaps me is when they bring their cellphone language into the discussion. THAT to me is the worst form of illiteracy since we’re not limited in how many characters fluther allows us to post with.

Paradox25's avatar

My life after high school and secondary education did not really require me to write a great deal, let alone be proficient with writing skills. My career, while requiring a high level of skill, simply does not involve using much in the way of writing skills, though reading and math are important.

Several sites I’ve been on had higher writing standards for its users (fluther isn’t the only one), so I would say that when I had decided to finally purchase a home computer a few years ago and start joining some websites that this helped to improve my ability to some degree. I can read and write much better than I would say all of my peers and co-workers can. I’m usually the one chosen to read an essay or safety article at work. I think that writing skills is much harder for me than reading and speaking.

cookieman's avatar

Yes. Any opportunity to write regularly helps to improve my writing.

thorninmud's avatar

Fluther certainly gives my writing a good workout. I write far more here than in any other venue. I would think that all of this practice would pay off in better quality over time, but when I look back at some of the stuff I posted here years ago, I honestly don’t see much improvement. If anything, I may be slipping a little.

Some of that slippage may be due to my campaign against my pervasive perfectionism. I’ve come to realize what unnecessary stresses I’ve subjected myself to by holding myself to unreasonable standards. What I see in some of those older Fluther posts is the overly polished character that means I was trying a little too hard.

Frankly, I’m probably still trying a little too hard. My writing still looks a lot like everything else I produce: more belabored than it needs to be. Too much pride, perhaps. I feel like I’m working toward losing that, even if, by objective standards, the quality of my writing suffers somewhat.

gailcalled's avatar

^^^ Balderdash.

ibstubro's avatar

I think the best (majority) of the members here are here because they like to think and write, so that’s kind of a slam-dunk. Probably the biggest difference between Fluther and your classmates.

But to your original question, yes, Fluther has improved my on-line writing skills. In chat I’d fallen into the habit of using abbreviation…not necessarily text-speak, but shortening words like u and r. While I miss the playfulness and speed of that type of interaction, I appreciate being forced to use standard English more.

blueiiznh's avatar


longgone's avatar

I’m not sure. I do pay more attention, but that makes my writing sound forced, sometimes.

Smartphones are the enemy… Ever since I use one, editing has gotten a lot more troublesome. I have almost given up on it.

Berserker's avatar

A little, yeah. But I’d give thanks to the whole of the Internet for that. English isn’t my first language, and while I’m not an expert in it, when I first started running around on forums and discussion boards, I was terrible. Lol. And I didn’t know where to put all the apostrophes, so ’‘I always wrote without them, as I did not know where to put the apostrophes, therefore I did not include them at all, I wrote my sentences in ways that would allow me to avoid using them, is that not a riot?’’.

Since one of my first online forums was a vampire interest forum, where half the people pretended to be vampires, my ’‘classical writing’’ wasn’t (was not) questioned much lmao.

But when you don’t spell properly and keep making mistakes, people just don’t take you seriously. besides vampire forums You don’t have a choice to learn. I’m thankful for it too, learning anything is always good, and I did drop out of school. I’m no good with grammar, but at least I can spell most words correctly now. I think it passes. unless @gailcalled reads this and finds a mistake :p

But I still don’t know like, when you do this; and he said, ’‘To war!’’ Does the ’’ go after the ! or before? I still don’t know.

ibstubro's avatar

I had no idea English was not your first language, @Symbeline.

May I ask what is?

My spelling tends to be poor, my editing worse. I love my Firefox!

gailcalled's avatar

^Symbeline; Pas une faute et dröle aussi

Berserker's avatar

@ibstubro French, bro. And even if I did drop out of school, it was a French school, so I don’t know how much it would have helped my English if I stayed. (although this was an English province, the schools I went to were French) We did have English classes though. It has to be said, I suck in French, even worse than English; too many goddamn verbs.

@gailcalled Aucune fautes? Je n’y crois pas lol. XD

gailcalled's avatar

Aucune. Tu n’as pas confiance en moi?

(N’hésite pas à me corriger.)

Berserker's avatar

Bien sur, c’est pour ca que j’en suis contente. :) Et je voulais éviter des blagues de toilettes pour une fois. XD

gailcalled's avatar

Mais, comment puis-je apprendre de telles blagues si tu les ´évites?

Berserker's avatar

Ah, je ne pansais pas que tu voulais en connaître d’autres. Mais non, la j’en ai pas haha. C’est surement une bonne chose.

PhiNotPi's avatar

Je ne comprends pas the French language beyond a novice level.

AshLeigh's avatar

I honestly do not remember. I’ve taken a lot of English classes since I showed up here at 15 years old. I’ve come a long way since then, but it’s hard to exactly pinpoint what helped.

muppetish's avatar

I am sure that, to some extent, Fluther has contributed to an improvement in my writing. When I first joined Fluther, I was entering my senior year as an undergraduate English major. My writing lacked confidence. I was hesitant to engage in certain questions. I was not good at crafting a question that would communicate what I wanted to inquire and my responses were remarkably different.

I’m not sure that my writing altered significantly with respect to mechanics or style, but my rhetoric and organization has definitely changed. Whether this is significantly attributable to Fluther, I cannot say. But I would certainly think that it had some impact since knowing that I am engaging with a semi-live audience and weighing how they might read and interpret my writing has a causal relationship with how I craft my responses.

@PhiNotPi By the way, I have been meaning to tell you that you write far more logically, fluidly, and descriptively than many English majors I have worked with over the years.

Adagio's avatar

@Symbeline 100 GAs for your use of ”… is that not a riot? . Wonderful!

dxs's avatar

When I talk to people online, I sound really sophisticated. That’s about the most it’s done for me.

ibstubro's avatar

Damn, @dxs. That sounds like a hell-of-a benefit to me.

gailcalled's avatar

Our new verb: “to half-ass.”

Mimishu1995's avatar

@gailcalled Thanks for teaching me another new word :)

gailcalled's avatar

^^ No. Sorry. it ia not a real verb. As a non-native speaker, you have no way of knowing that. The exprsssion, only used as an adjective, for informal or lazy speaking or writing, is “half-assed.”

half-assed. adj. Vulgar Slang. 1. Not well planned or executed. 2. Incompetent. half′-assed′ adv. half-assed. adj. 1. incompetent; inept.

If enough people decide to use “to half-ass,” it may well become acceptablr, but not yet.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Here and on My writing skills were fine to begin with, but I’ve learned a few things along the way, thanks to Fluther and, because people will clock you’re to half-ass if you screw up! Or something to that affect.

ibstubro's avatar

Picking up speed:

If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you’re a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind. Kurt Vonnegut

flutherother's avatar

I mostly stick to short answers on Fluther so I would say no. My writing skills such as they are were developed before online was thought of.
(Have I missed out any commas?)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes, you have “My writing skills, such as they are, were developed….” I could be wrong. If I am, I’m sure we’ll hear from Gail!

flutherother's avatar

@Dutchess_III Just testing.
PS. Yes, you have.

Dutchess_III's avatar

LOL!! GAIL! She tricked me! But isn’t one past tense and the other present tense? I’m wrong. I know I am. But i don’t know why!! WAAAAAA

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ha ha! I still had my edit available!

flutherother's avatar

Waaaa I’m not sure either. I think both are correct but I would tend to mirror the question in my answer.
PS. He tricked me.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Sry. Edit window is gone. You are a ‘she’ for all time now!

I’ll bet one is more better than the other. Gail can tell us.

Dutchess_III's avatar

^^^^Not a full sentence.

dxs's avatar

^^^^Neither is that one.

Dutchess_III's avatar

:D. You got it!

Pachy's avatar

Yes. It encourages me to keep trying to communicate more with fewer words—a knack I developed when I was writing advertising but in recent years have begun to lose.

ibstubro's avatar

But, @Pachy, there’s a Fluther award for long winded questions!

Mimishu1995's avatar

@ibstubro And there’s an award for writing a long answer within a time limit. I really can’t get that award ;_;

ibstubro's avatar

Sure you can, @Mimishu1995. Write it in Word or something similar, then cut and paste.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@ibstubro I’m going to get that award right now!

Dutchess_III's avatar

You Jellies are so cunning!

ibstubro's avatar

Wise, @Dutchess_III, I’m wise to the ways.

Odd that I’m always showing the shortcuts, seldom taking them.

I might be in league with the devil?

augustlan's avatar

My basic writing skills were probably set in stone long before I ever got online, but Fluther has definitely helped me communicate more effectively.

zenzen's avatar


gailcalled's avatar

There you are. This question is designed just for you.

Khajuria9's avatar

Yes, to some extent, you can say!

Berserker's avatar

damn, that was quick :p

Khajuria9's avatar

Actually, I joined today.

Berserker's avatar

Yes, this was my observation, indeed. And welcome, yo. :)

Khajuria9's avatar

Thank you, Symbeline :)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Welcome, welcome @Khajuria9.

Khajuria9's avatar

Thanks Dutchess III

talljasperman's avatar

Yes… but I skim past sections.

dxs's avatar

Hooray! A new Jelly!

ibstubro's avatar

@Khajuria9 was a good, productive member on Askville, and I’m pleased that she made her way to Fluther, and that we have a new international perspective!

Welcome, @Khajuria9, and I hope your studies are going well.

Khajuria9's avatar

Thanks ibstubro :) Nice to see you again!

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Khajuria9 Sorry, but this is a late welcome.

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