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Old May 9, 2006, 01:12 PM   #1
invention_45
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Asking for Proper English isn't Necessarily...

...being persnickety.

I'm writing this because, while I am sure some people comment on the form (grammar, spelling) of others' posts out of pickiness, there is a really good reason to at least try to get it close to right.

I personally could not care less how another person writes. As I have said before, I can translate most poorly written things into something I understand. But even I have my limits. The result is I stop reading.

If you write your whole post in all caps, it is very difficult to read. That means what you wrote is not likely to get read. If you write a page-long post in a single paragraph, it is very hard to read. It is not likely to get read. If you don't put some sort of structure in what you write, like capitalizing the start of sentences, it's really hard to read. It's not likely to get read unless it's very short.

I'm not trying to guarantee that there aren't people who just like browbeating people over their writing skills. I'm just not one of them.

What I'm trying to say to those who need to brush up a little is the whole point of posting is so everybody else reads what you have to offer. If you make it impossible to read, a lot of people will just pass it by. You are costing yourself the opportunity to be heard.
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Old May 9, 2006, 02:30 PM   #2
Al Norris
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I'll have to take issue with you here.

The problem here is one of communication. You've touched on parts of it. Yes, if you don't use some rudimentary skills at formatting, spelling and grammar, folks will not bother to read your message. Even if it contains much needed data or thought. There is certainly that.

But it goes further. It presents the person writing as an illiterate hack. Just the kind of thing that those unfamiliar with the gun culture expect to find - Flea-pickin' bath-needin' wife-beatin redneck. It perpetuates a stereotype that is most definitely not gun owners in general.

It hardly advances "a virtual community dedicated to the discussion and advancement of responsible firearms ownership." Perception is everything and first impressions are perception.

Here at the Firing Line, we find this aspect, important. Accordingly, after much thought and debate (all behind the scenes, here), we changed the rules for the first time in many years. If you missed it, this thread tells why we adopted this new rule.

We do not overly enforce this rule. We are not the grammar police or spelling cops. But we do like to insist that everyone present to the world our best face, as responsible firearm owners. Some people took exception to this new rule and left us... shrug... It's a big world and there are thousands of forums available for those who do not care about such things as Perception and First Impressions.
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Old May 9, 2006, 02:38 PM   #3
Wildalaska
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Perception is everything and first impressions are perception.
Not to be curmudgeonly Al, but what about the dichotomy inherent in looney (on this Board usually far "right") political views expressed in cogent , well spell checked English vis a vis more "reasonable" leanings expressed in a less grammatical fashion.

WildinotherwordsshouldntcontentbeasstrictlyscrutinizedAlaska
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Old May 9, 2006, 03:18 PM   #4
Al Norris
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Wild, such views are generally pointed out by the members at large. Sometimes directly and at other times, obliquely... You, yourself, routinely point things out that you feel are, um, far out there.

I think that this is a self policing action, as 99% of the time, most people see such content for what it is.

One last item... This thread isn't strictly on topic. It is neither Legal nor Political. Nor is this thread about guns, so it doesn't belong in General either. If I'm to abide by the rules that I enforce on others, I should shut it down.

At the same time, it is a topic that was made much of when the rules were changed last January. In light of that, I'm moving this to General. This is not to say another moderator cannot close it.
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Old May 9, 2006, 03:31 PM   #5
Edward429451
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Quote:
but what about the dichotomy inherent in looney (on this Board usually far "right") political views expressed in cogent , well spell checked English...
Dang WA, shall we start with Rich? That describes him without the looney. You wouldn't have a board if everyone agreed all the time.

I see the language rules as kind of a dress code and entirely proper. You want to come in the 'nice' restaurant? At least attempt to dress up a bit even if you own no tux. That's about how they enforce it too.

De intensunal gangsta talk gotta go baby. Makes us all look bad. It's only 'cool' to the sub culture types.
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Old May 9, 2006, 04:09 PM   #6
spacemanspiff
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i know i am probably one whose posts have grammar police reaching for their billyclubs. i rarely capitalize, in fact, i tend to capitalize only when i speak of something that i hold with great respect, such as names of those who serve in our Armed Forces, or in reference to America, that sort of thing.

it isnt a matter of laziness, its about efficiency. usually i post from work so i like to streamline as much as possible, you know so i can get back to giving my employer my best! well technically i peruse and post while my programs are in the middle of print queues or refreshing, so i have a few minutes where i can do no real work.

where necessary i can and do use proper punctuation and capitalization and all that good stuff. does that make the content of my posts here any less worth reading?
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Old May 9, 2006, 04:33 PM   #7
Wildalaska
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Dang WA, shall we start with Rich? That describes him without the looney. You wouldn't have a board if everyone agreed all the time
Rich is far behind the starting line.....as much as I can disagree with him (not always though) he isnt wearing a white sheet and hood, nor starting a theocracy, nor goosestepping, nor indeed advocating hate positions.

We have had all of the foregoing here have we not?

I've seen Rich (and others) come in and thrash loony nonsense more often than not

Quote:
I think that this is a self policing action, as 99% of the time, most people see such content for what it is.
Agreed...most people here see that...but what about the casual user who pops on and sees someone posting that Jews control the media, or that Jesus should be king of the world or that a person who steals a loaf of bread should be shot ad nauseum, ad infinitum

While I dont think its prevelent, I think it occurs too often for our own good
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Old May 9, 2006, 04:51 PM   #8
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Wildalska,
re: your last post
Okiewherestheobscuremessagevarmint
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Old May 10, 2006, 09:33 AM   #9
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Have a little mercy, though

While I try to keep my posts grammatically correct, and my spelling decent, I have both carpal tunnel and arthritis.

I'm actually a good writer, and speller, but seriously "keyboard impaired". it's difficult, especially when typing lengthy things, for me not to make mistakes. I usually try to "clean them up" but often miss things. But I do agree that some posts are just short of incoherent, and ask those people to take just a LITTLE more time, with their posts. I like to see what others have to say, but when I encounter a post that's several hundred words, with no punctuation, or paragraphs, I'll probably stop reading.
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Old May 10, 2006, 11:16 AM   #10
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I have to agree completely.

I am of the opinion that writing should mirror speaking, which should mirror one's level of education and maturity.
How many times have we seen "I seen one of those yesterday"? Just as frequent is the lousy attitude shown in response to a reprisal. The grammar police we are not, but threads about guns as American freedoms lose their value when the Americans in question are showing themselves to be ignorant of the language in which their country's governing documents were written. I have read many posts here from users about illegal immigration and "requirements to speak English". These same posts contain blatantly ignorant misuse of said language. It just makes me sad. I love guns and shooting and really enjoy my friendship with other gun owners and shooters. I don't have any friends who need correcting when they talk to me.
Best,
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Old May 11, 2006, 06:35 AM   #11
HangFire83
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I think all we are asking for is a little proof reading before you hit that submit post button. It just takes a fraction more of you time. What gets me is when people use the question mark instead of the apostrophe. Call me a nit-picker but I just don't get it.
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Old May 11, 2006, 08:51 AM   #12
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<a little proof reading........just takes a fraction more of you time>

GOTCHA! You be made a mistook uself.

Proof reading. Jim Beam and the daily paper?
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Old May 11, 2006, 10:28 AM   #13
Mikeyboy
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I think people should be scolded for the obvious, extreme abandonment of spelling and grammar, to the point where the person post is hard or impossible to read. Honestly you have people posting late at night, or posting between breaks at work, that are more prone to make a simple mistake or two. I hate to see the experts in gunsmithing or shooting get annoyed or leave this forum due to grammar nitpickers. I would make a 5 dollar bet that most of the nitpicker are Midwesterners, especially from WI or MN. Everyone I met from there has a pole up his or her posterior regarding grammar. If I see one more "it is proper English to say this and not that", NO ITS NOT, ITS PROPER AMERICAN NOT ENGLISH....ya stupid school marm.
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Old May 11, 2006, 10:48 AM   #14
deadin
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Quote:
What gets me is when people use the question mark instead of the apostrophe.
I had that happen to me the other day. I wrote my post on a machine using Windows ME and an older version of Word. When I cut/pasted into the reply box in the forum, all of the "'s were converted to ?'s. I have no idea what happened. Luckily I do proof my posts (mostly ) and think I corrected all of them.

Dean
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Old May 11, 2006, 04:24 PM   #15
Mal H
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The question mark replacing an apostrophe is a TFL font problem and not the user's error. It should be cleared up by now, but you may see them occasionally.
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Old May 11, 2006, 11:58 PM   #16
Lycanthrope
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It seems that when you weigh it out.........

Proper grammar and poor content is a whole lot more wasteful than good content and shoddy execution.

Laziness on the part of the writer or the reader?
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Old May 12, 2006, 08:51 AM   #17
Rich Lucibella
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it isnt a matter of laziness, its about efficiency.
By the same logic:

- It's more "efficient" to wear the same clothes for days on end
- It's more "efficient" not to bathe but once a week
- It's more "efficient" to eat with your hands
- It's more "efficient" to use Newspeak and Ebonics
- It's more "efficient" not to obey traffic signs
- It's more "efficient" not to have to worry what the muzzle of your gun sweeps

Not to pick on you, spiff, but this is positively insulting to the rest of us, especially considering you claim to do it intentionally.

What's "efficient" to you, is sheer laziness to me. It shows a sense of entitlement and lack of common courtesy for others. It states, "My time is too valuable and my pearls of wisdom too important to have to hit a shift key".

Suggest you post only 95% of the your current level and reserve the other 5% of your time to do us the courtesy of post-6th-grade grammar. None of us has so much to say that there isn't time for a little courtesy.

Rich
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Old May 12, 2006, 01:33 PM   #18
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In my experience and in all the NCO schools I have been to communication occurs when:

You communicate an idea to the other person, the other person recieves the communication and understands it and takes the appropriate action (which gives you feedback you were understood) I know that sometimes when I am posting I get in a hurry. I try to go back and edit posts to make them right. Even then I miss stuff, I guess I will try to do a better job from now on. I would not take it as an insult, but constructive criticism if comments were made.

I am taking some classes with younger students. We had to prepare presentations for certain areas in the Terrorism Law part of the course.
It was terrible, I would say that 95% of the folks here do a better job than some of the students in class.
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Old May 12, 2006, 01:47 PM   #19
spacemanspiff
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Okay Rich, because you lavishly flatter me with statements that I have pearls of wisdom to share with our community, I will indulge your request.

I'm a sucker for flattery.
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Old May 12, 2006, 01:48 PM   #20
Mike Irwin
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I ain't be gotten no problumz wid comminikazion.

Jest wid comminikazion nazis.


I type upwards 105 words a minute, and I'm a writer/editor by trade. I try to keep my posts as correct as possible, but errors do creep into my work, both spelling and grammar.

But, even before I typed 105 words a minute, and was a writer/editor by trade, I still took pains to ensure that my writing was clear, concise, and as error free as possible.

I must agree with Rich on this one. Laziness and efficiency are NOT the same thing, and should never be mistaken as such.


"I am of the opinion that writing should mirror speaking, which should mirror one's level of education and maturity."

It would be far better if speaking were to mirror writing. For most people there is a serious disconnect between the two. We're taught writing in school in a somewhat precise way -- grammar and composition courses -- so most (hopefully) people tend to write far more formally than they speak. As it is, though, most people tend to speak as they were spoken to growing up. Those patterns are instilled by our parents and/or caregivers long before we ever see the inside of a classroom.
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Old May 12, 2006, 09:26 PM   #21
Rich Lucibella
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I'm a sucker for flattery.
I just knew I could find your hot button.

Rich
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Old May 12, 2006, 11:34 PM   #22
Wildalaska
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I just knew I could find your hot button.
When you get up here just dont take him out drinking, the man is bottomless....

He absorbs...not drinks..but absorbs Jack and Coke...

WildwillseehiminanhourAlaska
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Old May 13, 2006, 05:23 AM   #23
stratus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Lucibella
By the same logic:

- It's more "efficient" to wear the same clothes for days on end
- It's more "efficient" not to bathe but once a week
- It's more "efficient" to eat with your hands
- It's more "efficient" to use Newspeak and Ebonics
- It's more "efficient" not to obey traffic signs
- It's more "efficient" not to have to worry what the muzzle of your gun sweeps
Well... efficiency only applies to shortcuts where they make sense... so yes, if someone usurped the idea of efficiency, using it to support some irresponsible behavioral shortcut, the above scenarios could indeed result. But they would be distorting the original meaning of the term.

I understand what you mean though Rich, I just sorta had to say that.

As long as someone appears to make some effort to communicate reasonably, it doesn't matter to me if they leave off an occasional period at the end of a sentence. Just because I rarely make errors doesn't mean that I'm incapable of understanding another person's basic point if their grammar isn't perfect. This is still a far cry from reading a post that is truly confusing, rudimentary or obnoxious in the way it's phrased.
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Old May 23, 2006, 10:32 AM   #24
HangFire83
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Quote:
<a little proof reading........just takes a fraction more of you time>

GOTCHA! You be made a mistook uself.

Proof reading. Jim Beam and the daily paper
Yeah....I got owned.
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