Why we are so critical of people who can't spell and punctuate

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Fraggle Rocker, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    You're supposed to say, "I'm a novelist. I'm practicing writing in the present tense. It's a technique."

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  3. Ripley Valued Senior Member

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    i like the way gustav writes

    /snort
     
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  5. Grantywanty Registered Senior Member

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    Oh, thank God, I knew things would loosen up. My posts from now on will be written in the style of James Joyce and e.e. cummings. The latter is not a novelist, of course, but door was ajar.
     
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  7. lucifers angel same shit, differant day!! Registered Senior Member

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    because some people dont want to!!

    i know my spelling isnt good, and neither is my punctuation but i try, if i notice i have made a mistake i will go and try to correct it. I have word blindness, and somtimes a word looks spelt correctly but actually isnt.
     
  8. Ripley Valued Senior Member

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    Besides - any professional writing intended for publication will be thoroughly edited and proof-read by the publisher. I heard from a publisher that often times a piece will be proof-read over and over again by a line-up of proof readers, passing the item from one to the next. Also, people will hire ghost writers and writing technicians—writing is a serious professional occupation.
     
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    That's no answer. That's just a "duh." Obviously we're talking about people who haven't mastered written language because they don't want to, not the unfortunates who lack the intelligence or opportunity.

    What makes a person look out at the world and see that written language is the technology that underlies all of civilization, the skill by which all people are judged, the ability that is essential to an ever-larger majority of non-menial jobs, and say, "What the heck, I'd just as soon show the whole human race that I'm just not responsible enough to learn to be good at that"?
     
  10. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    6,221
    Learning basic algebra is a simple matter of memorization. You can do it even if you don't really understand why it works. Hardly any actual thought is required - you just have to remember a few simply rules on how to set up the problems.
     
  11. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

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  12. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe they're just lazy? I know I am.

    Only through years of being on forums with tons of grammar-nazis has formed me into the mould of a man who thinks first, "spell well, jackass".

    Maybe these guys you speak of just haven't been on long enough.
     
  13. John99 Banned Banned

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    22,046
    I can spell pretty good but i cannot punctuate. mostly i just guess. i was taken out of school in the fifth grade. i learned from the internet. the main problem is that when i write i cannot make distinctions as to where these:

    ; : '"

    things go. Even when i read paragraphs containing them they do not mean anything to me.
     
  14. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

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    Why were you taken out of school?
    You learned everything yourself?
    Did you not have tutors or anything?
     
  15. John99 Banned Banned

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    I had problems from day one. I peed on the floor and threw my shoes in the garbage can.
     
  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Well then that's your problem.

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    It's not easy to learn good writing skills from the internet. For one thing, it's an international community, so you're reading things written by people whose command of English ranges from minimal to university scholars. For another, even well-educated native speakers get pretty sloppy on internet forums.

    You have mastered the first lesson in punctuation: You know that every sentence must start with a capital letter and end with a period. That puts you ahead of some of our other members.

    Today's lesson: The pronoun "I" is always capitalized. No exceptions! That includes the contractions "I'm" and "I've". It's easier to learn things if you get a little background with them. Capitalizing "I" makes English unique among all languages and identifies us anglophones (native speakers of English) as rather rude and self-centered. Many languages do just the opposite and capitalize the word for "you" as a form of politeness.

    Work on one thing at a time and start with capitalizing "I".

    The next lesson may be the comma. Study this by reading something out loud that was written well--a newspaper article or a novel, not some of our internet junk. Look at the commas and notice that you pause very slightly at the same point in the sentence where you find the comma. The whole purpose of punctuation is to compensate for the fact that spoken language has much more to it than words: pauses, pitch, speed, loudness. All of these features are expressive. We try to make up for the lack of them in writing by using punctuation marks. The comma stands for a little pause between words.

    Keep in touch. We'll help.

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  17. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

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    So they kicked you out and never took you back?
    No other school would take you either?
    Did you have tutors?
    Did your parents home school?
     
  18. John99 Banned Banned

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    I don't think they kick you out of kindergarten. From fifth grade on i did my own thing, that was it, i had had it.
     
  19. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    In the USA it's virtually impossible for a child to escape government-enforced institutional schooling, even if he lives in the Neolithic regions of Alabama or West Virginia. Up through age 16, or maybe a couple of years younger in the Neolithic. Exceptions are made for tutors, as is common with child entertainers and the occasional unruly rich kid, and for home-schooling. In both cases government monitoring is rather intensive. Things aren't much different in the other Anglophone countries, which don't have Neolithic regions.

    This is starting to sound like a work of fiction. I notice John writes to a much higher standard on our other subforums.

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  20. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    Oh, com'on, Fraggle, surely you don't really believe that, do you?????

    Many kids just quit going to school ..and some have never even been in a school ...and there's virtually nothing that the "government" can do about it. Thousands, perhaps millions, of kids just stop going to school ...and only a few records indicate it ...and virtually nothing is done about it.

    That you don't know that is .....frankly, amazing to me! From your posts, I thought you knew everything, and then some. Then you come up with this bullshit.

    Baron Max
     
  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Max, I said "virtually" impossible. In a land of three hundred million people, "thousands" is a credible estimate, even "tens of thousands." You say "perhaps millions," which implies at least many hundreds of thousands. I'm willing to grant the possibility of a tenth of a percent of the population--300,000 people who managed to drop out of school before age 16 and got away with it. I think that qualifies as "virtually impossible" and puts our estimates close enough not to bicker. It also explains why I've never met one, why my wife who was a social worker for half of her life never had that on her agenda, why my dozen or more intimate friends who are teachers or other professionals in the educational establishment never included it on their list of problems, and why in 35 years of reading the ultra-leftist L.A. Times every day I never saw one article about what they would have trumpeted as a CRISIS IN EDUCATION, GOVERNMENT IS NOT POWERFUL ENOUGH AND SHOULD RAISE TAXES!
     
  22. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    Hmm, I must be misinformed about the term "virtually impossible". I always thought it meant that it was completely, totally, absolutely impossible.

    Has English changed that much over the last few years?

    Baron Max
     
  23. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    It seems you were misiniformed. The usage of 'virtually impossible' I am familiar with would render it as 'practically impossible'.
    In case you have also been misinformed on the usage of 'practically impossible' it is best equated to 'really, really, unlikely, so you wouldn't want to waste betting even a dime on the odds that it actaully happened, but then again sometimes really weird things do'.
     

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