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stump's avatar

How do you feel about spelling and grammar on this site?

Asked by stump (3835points) April 8th, 2010

When I first came here, I felt like I was being attacked by people because my spelling was so bad. I thought about it and completely changed my mind. I now think it is great that this site has higher standards for language than you generally find on the internet. But I don’t see any consistancy. A few jellies act as spelling and grammar police, but a lot of lazy, bad English gets by. I personally would like to see the moderators be more demanding. What do you all think?

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31 Answers

downtide's avatar

I think the standard here is already higher than a lot of other paces but I also think it would be a mistake to tighten up on it. Sure, discourage “txtspeak”, but please also remember that some people do not have English as their first language and some are dyslexic.

tranquilsea's avatar

Spelling and grammar are important, often, in getting your point across. That being said, I’m not usually uptight about poor grammar and spelling, except when I see someone who routinely complains about it make a mistake <evil grin>

We all have bad days. Sometimes my fingers are faster than my brain, or, vise versa.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I agree. Some of it is preeeety bad. No one’s perfect, but sheesh…

wonderingwhy's avatar

I think it’s useful in that it could help people improve themselves a bit (and it helps in creating clear questions), but corrections/mistakes should be pointed out in a way that keeps the focus on the question. Once you get a bunch of people complaining about sentence structure, spelling, punctuation (particularly when the intent of the question is clear) it defeats the purpose of the site and is just a waste of time. I will say, if you have, but are just too lazy to use, spellcheck (it underlines it in bold red! it takes 2 seconds… just fix it!), that’s just plain sad. Though everyone, myself included, misses such mistakes from time to time.

davidbetterman's avatar

I hav larned much heire inn regaaards to spulling.

wundayatta's avatar

I don tink no won gots to rite good. Not fare to peeps wit paramecium. Lice. wodeva. my peeps get it. Dey no wot I’m sayin. Just sayin. You peeps are a bunch of over edificated fuddelstumps. wodeva. Deys rume fo all kynds. Live and let die, and all dat. 2 b fare, sum peeps shud clene day mothes wit soup. Dey babymamas dint raze dem rite.

We kule?

davidbetterman's avatar

U 2 kule beba…err babe

Vunessuh's avatar

I don’t mind the occasional spelling and grammar mistake. As long as no one TyPEs LykE DIs or YO, dat shizz wuz funi. No mean? or types in textspeak like omg. lol. u silly. im cryn u so silly. k? ttyl. <3.
But I’m not going to get my panties in a twist over someone spelling there instead of their or who instead of whom or I’m instead of I am or leaving out a comma. Fluther is a place to come and relax and sometimes we slip up and spell something wrong or spell a different variation of a word. It’s no big deal. I do get irritated with some of the grammar Nazi’s who feel compelled to correct someone when they misspell something or spell a different variation. They may be experts in English, but not so much in social graces. The least they can do is correct someone in private.
We also have to remember that English isn’t everyone’s first language.

Personally, bad spelling and grammar skills don’t bother me. This: “I am going to there house on Wenesday” in my opinion is fine because it’s easily readable and I can tell that this person is making an effort to be understood despite differences in education or whether or not English is their first language. However, people who type like my examples above do bother me because it shows that they’re making absolutely no effort to be taken seriously or even appear semi-intelligent. All content on this site should be read with relative ease. If you’re making an effort to look like a dipshit, then be prepared to be treated like one.

Zaku's avatar

I like correct spelling and grammar, usually. Fluther in general has been doing pretty well for my tastes.

wundayatta's avatar

@Vunessuh Ok, so bad spelling doesn’t get your panties all twisted up. What does? You can put your answer here. ;-)

Vunessuh's avatar

@wundayatta I answered with cardboard tampons. :)

morphail's avatar

Spelling is not a measure of intelligence. A lot of good writers are bad spellers.

Vunessuh's avatar

@morphail I love that. GA.

stump's avatar

@morphail I’m not questioning anyone’s intelligence. But good spelling is important for accurate communication. I imagine any good writer would want a good proofreader.

njnyjobs's avatar

Frankly, I don’t dwell on the imperfection . . . as long as ideas can be passed across cyberlines, that’s fine and dandy with me.

morphail's avatar

@stump how important is spelling for communication really? Is the odd misspelling really going to impede communication? I’m skeptical. Elizabethan English spelling was not standardized, and yet people communicated. Some modern authors represent different dialects in their novels by using unconventional spelling, but they are usually easy to understand.

tranquilsea's avatar

@morphail Yes people communicated in the Middle Ages but there has to be a reason there was such a push to standardize the English language.

There are some people who write with no punctuation. I can’t read it. Others don’t believe in paragraph breaks: I find that hard to read too.

YARNLADY's avatar

One of my favorite parts of Fluthering is the opportunity to improve my spelling, grammar, and overall communication skills through the input of other jellies.

phillis's avatar

I think it’s the worst idea I ever heard. If you would like to make it a mission to improve yourself, then great! But don’t force us to swallow it just because it means something to you. There’s already one person on here whose dick gets hard when she confronts somebody. She’s managed to make herself look stupid when she publicly corrected me after misunderstanding my post, corrected a person who has brain damage and makes typing mistakes, and slammed another person whom she didn’t know has Multiple Sclerosis. It just doesn’t pay to be an ass. People dont seem to get that lesson.

morphail's avatar

@stump There were many reasons why the language was standardized:

I’m not saying that spelling can’t ever cause problems in communication. I’m saying that I’m not convinced that it does very often. I don’t think the scale of the problem is as huge as some people seem to think it is. As I’ve said many times before, some of our best literature was produced during a period when we had no standardized spelling.

Some alphabets, like Thai, have very little punctuation – no commas, no periods, no spaces between words. Really, what we find easy to read depends on what we’ve grown up learning.

Fred931's avatar

1337$P33&$ ROFL0L4R1 !!!111!1!!0n31!!

augustlan's avatar

It’s obviously an important part of the site’s ‘feel’. As such, we (mods) are fairly strict about it. Mainly in questions, but answers that are all over the place get removed, too, if we see them. That said, what we’re really asking for is that folks give us their best efforts at proper spelling and grammar… not perfection. :)

I’m sure there’s an error in there somewhere. Sigh.

breedmitch's avatar

Like in the rest of our lives, spelling and grammar count.

stump's avatar

@morphail I concede that it isn’t a huge problem in people’s daily life. But the erosion of the language can be slowed if individuals maintain the language they use the way they maintain their cars or houses. You mention Elizabethan English. I run a Shakespeare theatre company. Many people tell me they don’t like Shakespeare because they don’t understand what is being said. The language has changed so much in the last 400 years that the work of one of our greatest writers is no longer accessable to the general public. Standardization of spelling, grammar, and pronunciation help to slow the inevitable loss of our literary treasures.

morphail's avatar

@stump “Many people tell me they don’t like Shakespeare because they don’t understand what is being said.”

But that’s because of issues of language change that have nothing to do with spelling. I don’t think it has anything to do with spelling because most people now don’t read Shakespeare the way it was originally spelled.

stump's avatar

@morphail I am using Shakespeare as an example of the erosion of the language in general. But there are many instances in Shakespeare’s plays where the meaning of a line is ambiguous, or completely lost, due to transcription errors by early editors
As for spelling being important for communication, if you were chatting on line with a woman and her avatar was a picture of her holding a basket of fruit and you told her she had a lovely pear, the spelling might matter.

morphail's avatar

@stump “But there are many instances in Shakespeare’s plays where the meaning of a line is ambiguous, or completely lost, due to transcription errors by early editors”

If that’s true, it’s not so much about spelling, as it is about not being careful. Modern editors make mistakes too.

stump's avatar

@morphail All spelling errors are about not being careful. Everyone makes mistakes, but since I have been on this site, I have kept a dictionary by my computer and checked every word that I was not sure about. I am sure I still make mistakes with words that I think I know. But I don’t think many people care enough to do anything. And computers make it so easy to check spelling. I know I am fighting a losing battle, but we all are in one way or another.

morphail's avatar

@stump “All spelling errors are about not being careful.”

But not all cases of not being careful are about spelling errors. As I understand it, in the 1600s different spellings were not considered errors. Different writers simply spelled some words differently.

My point is simply that a lack of standardized spelling does not lead to a breakdown of communication. We know this because from about 1300 to 1700, English did not have a standardized spelling, and yet people communicated. I don’t presume to know how many misunderstandings during that time were due to spelling.

stump's avatar

@morphail I don’t know statistics either. And it was probably an interesting time to be a writer when spelling was more of an art form than a science. I am not worried that society will fall because of bad spelling. But I prefer to think I am helping to preserve literature, rather than hastening it’s loss through my carelessness.

ItsAHabit's avatar

I think the standard of writing is quite high. The biggest problem seems to be typos because some of us don’t have good keyboarding skills and perhaps don’t proofread carefully enough.

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