Simple Question and Poll

Does sloppy posting imply sloppy thinking?

  • Yes

    Votes: 4 40.0%
  • No

    Votes: 4 40.0%
  • No opinion

    Votes: 2 20.0%

  • Total voters
    10

Biddlin

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I have a pet prejudice (not a 'peeve') about poor spelling and construction among native English speakers.
One that seems strategically placed each day is someone posting "loose" when they mean "lose." I cannot but think the poster is dull-witted. If called on such an error the poster will undoubtedly call me a spelling **** or mock any words longer than two syllables to reinforce my opinion.
Anyone else feel that sloppy posters are sloppy thinkers?
 

donepearce

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Some are undoubtedly dyslexic, but I feel that is called upon far too often to excuse sloppiness and ignorance. In a forum like this, words are our main means of communication so to misuse and abuse them is basically unhelpful. Worse than that, it is insulting to the reader.
 

sazista

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Consider the source. If we were on a different forum talking about string theory or black hole regeneration, the majority of people on the platform would probably be a tad sharper at grammar and figures of speech. I think that many musicians are not so schooled in such things, and may not care either way. They want to talk about string tension, not string theory, though string cheese may come up at some point. And before anyone starts shooting, I will emphasize that if YOU ARE NOT one of those of the 'unschooled' type, then this doesn't refer to you. I'm sure most of our favorite musicians are equally unschooled and would be the subject of this thread. As an English teacher, it does bother me a bit, but I do consider the source. I make mistakes too. When I leave typos here in this forum, I immediately go back and fix them when I can, for my own sanity. Just remember, the school of rock is in many ways, and for many people, a diploma to freedom from such education.
 

rotorhead

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I'm not sure about anyone being dim-witted due to simple grammar or spelling mistakes, but I do know that as soon as I rag someone about it, I'll mess something up in a similar way- usually within my next 5 posts or so.
 

donepearce

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I'm not sure about anyone being dim-witted due to simple grammar or spelling mistakes, but I do know that as soon as I rag someone about it, I'll mess something up in a similar way- usually within my next 5 posts or so.

Spelling mistakes aren't the same thing. We all hit the wrong key now and then. I know I do, and I never spot it until I have posted. But there's an edit button and I always dive back in and sort it out. Poor grammar and spelling in thread titles are a problem on a whole different scale. There is no excuse for those, although they don't irritate me to quite the degree that content-free titles do. "Please help" as a thread title guarantees that I will move on to something more promising.
 

smitty_p

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Consider the source. If we were on a different forum talking about string theory or black hole regeneration, the majority of people on the platform would probably be a tad sharper at grammar and figures of speech. I think that many musicians are not so schooled in such things, and may not care either way.

I understand what you’re saying, and to some extent, I agree. It is also true that there are some obscure rules to our language that escape the attention of many.

I’m not sure those are the target of the OP, however. Personally, I’m fairly forgiving of personally expressive uses of punctuation, such as frequent or extended ellipses or exclamation points. I realize a person is trying to interject an emotive or conversational appeal beyond the constraints of traditional grammar.

However, when one posts on a forum, it is the responsibility of that person to be understandable. It is not the responsibility of the readers to try to figure out what the person meant to say. Examples, such as “loose” versus “lose” are annoying enough; however, posts that consist of long, run-on sentences, with nary a comma nor a period to be found, are just plain taxing to decipher. I usually just ignore them, or I give up after attempting to construct a few cohesive statements from them.
 
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Tiboy

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Some of the deepest, sharpest most focused thinkers I know are unable to write a grammatically correct sentence. If you applied the rules of grammar and/or spelling to Twain’s writings, you would conclude he is a sloppy thinker. I know much, if not all, of Twain’s grammatical license was intentional. I consider Twain to be one of the most astute chroniclers of the human condition.
 

Biddlin

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Literary license to create the verisimilitude and milieu is very different than laziness and ignorance.
Some of the deepest, sharpest most focused thinkers I know are unable to write a grammatically correct sentence.
How would one know? Barring some psychiatric or psychological conditions, "unable" seems more like "unwilling" and "uncaring" to me.
 

Go Nigel Go

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You are correct that it is very difficult to tell the difference between "unwilling" and "unable". I have known some very intelligent people with learning disabilities and/or life experiences that make "proper" written communication slow or exceedingly difficult. To make a snap judgment based solely on writing skill would have left me poorer for ignoring those people and refusing to consider what they had to say.

That said, if after making a good faith effort to decipher the speaker's intent I find no substance or evidence of logical thought, I feel pretty justified in ignoring future communications.
 

pancake81

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Some folks are not great at grammar and/or writing. Some folks use a phone for the bulk of their posting (me for example). Auto correct can make a mess of what was spelled and articulated correctly.

Things like using the wrong there/their make me laugh more than a blundered sentence.

Reminds me of this…
upload_2021-7-9_10-43-1.png
 
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Tiboy

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Literary license to create the verisimilitude and milieu is very different than laziness and ignorance.

I know which is why I referenced it. But, if you were an alien armed only with the rules of grammar, you might read Twain and conclude he is a lazy thinker based on his writings outside of the larger context.

How would one know? Barring some psychiatric or psychological conditions, "unable" seems more like "unwilling" and "uncaring" to me.

I know because I’ve been party to conversations with people who I thought quite brilliant in analysis and thereafter read writings from same that were grammatically lacking.

Perhaps you are correct in that it is unwilling vs unable. But, your original text seemed to ask if we could judge a book (lazy thinker) by its cover (lazy writer).

I love great oration and writing. But I differentiate real communication from good form. I draw the comparison to the profoundly technologically proficient guitar player who no one wants to hear and the mediocre player who packs the house.
 
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pancake81

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I know because I’ve been party to conversations with people who I thought quite brilliant in analysis and thereafter read writings from same that were grammatically lacking.

Perhaps you are correct in that it is unwilling vs unable. But, your original text seemed to ask if we could judge a book (lazy thinker) by its cover (lazy writer).

I love great oration and writing. But I differentiate real communication from good form. I draw the comparison to the profoundly technologically proficient guitar player who no one wants to hear and the mediocre player who packs the house.

Interesting perspective in your last paragraph, likely some truth to that. I would also add that we have some very educated members on this forum, however they may be some of the guilty parties being scrutinized. I include myself in that, I have a Diploma as well as a University degree and work in a professional career that requires technical and legal report writing, which requires submission and presentation to the legal courts.

All this said, the forum platform is often a relaxed environment in which many feel the grammatical bar is quite lower than perhaps what they are capable of. I would argue forums are one level above texts these days. No shortage of “lol’s” and “NGD” abbreviations peppered everywhere.

Just another thought anyways.
 

Tiboy

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I've said it before and will repeat it now. I have degrees in English and Political Science. Now I frequent forums where grammar is optional and political discussion is forbidden. I have no problem with that reality. I come here for guitar related information, knowledge and fun. I confess that I edited my post twice because I found typo's after posting. Probably would not have done that in another topic thread.
 

donepearce

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I've said it before and will repeat it now. I have degrees in English and Political Science. Now I frequent forums where grammar is optional and political discussion is forbidden. I have no problem with that reality. I come here for guitar related information, knowledge and fun. I confess that I edited my post twice because I found typo's after posting. Probably would not have done that in another topic thread.

Three times would have been the charm; you could have deleted the apostrophe from typos (you knew you weren't going to get away with the slightest slip though, didn't you?). :cheers:
 

Bob Womack

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I grew up in East Tennessee. When I was in school, English teachers openly told their students that the rest of the world considered people from East Tennessee to be "hayseeds." If they didn't learn how to write and speak properly, they would be considered ignorant. There was a push for education in my state and for a while, one of the state mottoes was, "The Education State." I went on to a classical education where you could write an excellent essay but be given a failing grade based upon your grammar alone. Students at the college openly snickered at a Southern accent, much less bad grammar.

Meanwhile...

Given that modern Lexicographers (those who compile dictionaries) have reformed the art and are no longer normative (describing words according to the rules of use) but descriptive (describing words according to the most common usage), there are no longer any rules available. All it takes is a savvy advertising copywriter or one little news writer in one large newsroom to completely invert the meaning of a word or phrase, creating a trend that violates the rules we grew up with. The next thing you know it is featured in Merriam-Webster.

I suppose at this point you can see clearly the monkey on my back. However, I was also raised to live by the golden rule. We, as humans, operate on a couple of cognitive levels, the impulsive and the overriding. So, my wife has bought me a mug that I drink from at my job where I am asked to correct copy that will be heard on national TV or in movies:

51Ch9rsARyL._AC_SS450_.jpg

At work, my professional grammar help is often nothing but an irritant to those in power. I've learned to keep my mouth shut except when asked. At home, I correct "Meanwhile" (adverb) and "Meantime" (originally a noun) when I hear it on TV, despite the fact that Merriam-Webster has not only added the adverbial use of "Meanwhile" but has placed the nominative (noun) usage behind the adverbial use in preference. I correct disagreements of subject and verb. That's what happens automatically inside me in response to the monkey. When I am on fora (original plural of forum) or speaking to a person in front of me, the monkey does rear its ugly head but I override it and live by the golden rule, forgiving those who either haven't benefited from a good education or don't live with the benefit/curse of the accusatory monkey on their back.

I do think it is important to teach people that the modern Lexicographical philosophy which is meant to prevent society from "grammar shaming," doesn't stop people who do have a good education from listening to bad grammar or reading poorly written, hard-to-read prose and thinking, "Man, this is ignorant." It merely requires them to override what has already been drummed into them in order to offer mercy. Meanwhile, within the academic disciplines that demand linguistic clarity and the research disciplines that must communicate with precision such as medicine, you will still be roasted and your work ignored if you can't communicate cogently. What has been gained by subverting Lexicography?

Bob
 

donepearce

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I have noticed the steady disappearance of adverbs from American English. I suppose this will continue. And among some parts of American society even verbs have almost vanished. And in speech, the glottal stop is taught as the norm - something that I would have been caned for when I was little.
 


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