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  1. #31
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    RavingMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by usagora View Post
    For me, it's more of a matter of attention to detail. If I see a plumber's work vehicle that says "Its time to calls an plummer;" on the side, my understanding is not undermined in the least, but the errors indicate to me a lack of care and attention to detail, and thus I wouldn't call them to have any work done (same goes for crooked decals) . . .
    Well, I agree I most certainly wouldn’t call them for help with a writing assignment, but they may very well be bang up plumbers. I used to be an Engineering Division Mgr (several years ago now), and I always appreciated well written and properly punctuated Project Reports . . . but not nearly as much as well executed projects. And, unfortunately, one was not always a good predictor of the other.
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  2. #32
    You're and Your, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by krs View Post
    Pretty amazing - I could read that as fast as if all the spelling was totally correct.
    Which was exactly the point of my earlier post. Your ability to parse English does not depend on the precision demanded by pedants.

    BTW, I wonder how well the scrambled spelling would work in languages that use non-Latin writing systems.

  3. #33
    You're and Your, etc.
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratsima View Post
    Which was exactly the point of my earlier post. Your ability to parse English does not depend on the precision demanded by pedants.

    BTW, I wonder how well the scrambled spelling would work in languages that use non-Latin writing systems.

    I'm guessing that this may be one of the main reasons that places like the UN choose English as the main universal language as it could be used and still understood even with all the various mistakes included.



    - Patrick
    ======

  4. #34
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    Ratsima's Avatar
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    [humor]
    Bad grammar: rogue apostrophes and bizarre spelling - in pictures
    [/humor]

    Note: Since the little smiley emoji I put in a previous post didn't serve as an adequate humor warning I'm using humor tags in this post.

  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by RavingMac View Post
    Well, I agree I most certainly wouldn’t call them for help with a writing assignment, but they may very well be bang up plumbers. I used to be an Engineering Division Mgr (several years ago now), and I always appreciated well written and properly punctuated Project Reports . . . but not nearly as much as well executed projects. And, unfortunately, one was not always a good predictor of the other.
    My point is if someone can't be bothered to proof-read and/or learn the basics of grammar in a professional context, that tells me they're not a detail-oriented person. I don't want someone doing work for me that doesn't care about details. Yes, perhaps their sloppy writing is an odd anomaly to their otherwise detail-oriented activities, but I'm not going to take that chance.
    -Jonathan
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  6. #36
    You're and Your, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by usagora View Post
    My point is if someone can't be bothered to proof-read and/or learn the basics of grammar in a professional context, that tells me they're not a detail-oriented person. I don't want someone doing work for me that doesn't care about details. Yes, perhaps their sloppy writing is an odd anomaly to their otherwise detail-oriented activities, but I'm not going to take that chance.
    I don’t want to belabor the point, nor do I disagree in general with your position. It’s just I have known several exceptions to the rule you propose. When I was an Army Officer many years ago now, some of my best troops, even two of my squad leaders, were illiterate. That shortcoming did not negatively impact the quality or timeliness of their work.
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by RavingMac View Post
    I don’t want to belabor the point, nor do I disagree in general with your position. It’s just I have known several exceptions to the rule you propose. When I was an Army Officer many years ago now, some of my best troops, even two of my squad leaders, were illiterate. That shortcoming did not negatively impact the quality or timeliness of their work.
    Yes, of course there will always be exceptions. The point is to present yourself consistently with your work ethic. For example, someone might be brilliant at whatever job they're applying for, but if they submit a poorly-written resume, they're probably not even going to get an interview because they've made a bad first-impression.

    If someone does not have the mental ability to learn to write, then obviously that's not what I'm talking about as it can't be helped. I'm talking about people who could write better but just don't take the time to work at it.
    -Jonathan
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  8. #38
    You're and Your, etc.
    IWT's Avatar
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    Following on from Ratsima's (Mike's) link in post #34:

    I have a near neighbour who has a sign on their gate, "Beware of the dog's".

    Beware of the dog's what? Their bite or something more slippery?

    Ian
    Ian

  9. #39
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    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Languages morph over time, and English is able to handle the change. I remember in an English Lit class having to read the opening to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in Middle English. The opening four lines were:
    Whan that April, with his shoures soote
    The droughte of March hath perced to the roote
    And bathed every veyne in swich licour
    Of which vertu engendered is the flour;
    (Wow, that took some serious over-riding of the spell checker to type!)

    That opening was pronounced (roughly)
    Vaan that A-pril, with his shoe-ers swet
    The drachts of March hath per-ced to the root
    And both-ed every veen in swish liquor
    Of whose vir-two, on-jon-red is the flur
    In modern English that opening becomes
    When April with its showers sweet
    The drought of March has pierced to the root
    And bathed every vein in such liquor
    Of whose virus engendered is the flower
    So I get it, languages change. But what annoys me is not so much the incorrect use of there/their/they're or its/it's or you're/your or a misplaced apostrophe. Those I just laugh at and read through them when they are online. They reflect badly on the writer as a sloppy thinker, to be sure, but sometimes a spill chicker will jump up and change things that go unnoticed. In a book, however, it's most annoying when I hit a grammatical error because those errors signal that the proofreader did not execute the task properly. Given that the proofreader was paid to correct the mistakes, that failure signals that the proofing was done poorly and in any non-fiction book puts the rest of the book in the precarious position of mistrust. If the publisher cannot take the time to get simple grammar correct, why should I trust the point of the rest of the material? Was the writers thinking so poorly organized that the proofreader had no chance of getting it correct? Bad grammar is, to me, a signal of potentially equally poor logic or thought. Not always, I understand, but it does weaken the impact of the author's logic and my trust of it.

    What drive me over the edge, however, is the lack of punctuation. When someone comes to this forum and starts to tell us all about the problems with the system they are having and run everything together with no breaks and no punctuation I find it very hard to read often I don't bother to read past the first line or two because I simply don't have the time to try to sort out what they might be trying to say It is hard to read much less understand. I want to type out an answer something like
    .....,,,,,,;;;;;:::: Sprinkle some of these in your post so I can tell what you are trying to say.
    & don't u txt 2 me unless u r on ur fone. Not English. Twittering, maybe. English, no. You have a full sized keyboard, use it.
    Jake

  10. #40
    You're and Your, etc.
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    Was the writers thinking so poorly organized
    I realise you slipped this in to test us, Jake Cheeky!

    Of course depending on the number of authors, it could be writer's or writers' thinking.

    Ian
    Ian

  11. #41
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    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Ian, that's what I get for posting at 4:05am. Wish I could claim that as literary brilliance, but it was just a sleepy mistake on my part. An old proofreaders' trick I have used is to read the document backwards. That way one see what is there, not what one expects to be there. Great for finding spelling errors. At 4 am, however, I was too weary to do that. Hence, missed an apostrophe. Hoist upon one's own petard.
    Jake

  12. #42
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    Slydude's Avatar
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    I have to agree about the lack of punctuation Jake. I can even see where authors of fiction/poetry might do that deliberately. It still makes for difficult reading. Try reading some of Faulkner's work for example. I remember seeing something once (As I Lay Dying maybe) where one paragraph took up a page and a half of a standard sized paperback with no punctuation. To this day I haven't read that book.
    Last edited by Slydude; 09-02-2019 at 10:03 AM. Reason: Added missing sentence
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  13. #43
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    toMACsh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    Languages morph over time, and English is able to handle the change. I remember in an English Lit class having to read the opening to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in Middle English. The opening four lines were: (Wow, that took some serious over-riding of the spell checker to type!)
    Over time, as pronunciation changes, spelling does not keep up. Eventually, the spelling may change so that the letters actually reflect the phonics in use. But, in the interim, the word is not being pronounced as written, and I would posit that it is therefore being pronounced incorrectly. Going back to the initial example of this, that's one that might be difficult to "fix". (Yes, I put the period outside the quote mark intentionally.)

  14. #44
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    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Pronunciation is the first, and most significant, drift, as you say. But consider "Ye Old Two Brewers," a pub in Shaftesbury, England. The "Y" in ye, is pronounced "th," or should be. I posit that most of us would say "Yee" rather than "The" on seeing the name. But the original purpose was to represent an English character known as the thorn, ž. Printers did not have a slug for the thorn and substituted the letter "y" in its place. You can see more at the second definition of ye here: Ye | Definition of Ye at Dictionary.com

    So your assertion that by not pronouncing the word as written is incorrect is, in itself, not totally correct. As further consideration, which is the "correct" pronunciation, though, thought, cough, enough, bough, rough, plough, through, hiccough?

    English gets tricky. It is so flexible that it can absorb words from other languages and dialects with ease, which at the same time makes it difficult for foreign learners to understand. But English tolerates the error of the new student and moves on to understanding, as Ratsima pointed out in post #24. But flexibility leads to drift and English drifts faster than just about any language on the planet. I suspect that if one were to time-travel 100 years into the future the English would be practically unreadable. It probably will morph into something closer to texting, with "classic" English reserved for stodgy old literature and maybe legal documents where precision of language is more important. Even legal documents of today are filled with archaic terms and usage. Just read any of those "agreements" we sign so quickly when we want to get on with the website!
    Jake

  15. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    ...as further consideration, which is the "correct" pronunciation, though, thought, cough, enough, bough, rough, plough, through, hiccough?...
    Exactly. English is not as consistently pronounced as written, unlike, say, German, which is almost always pronounced as written (except for imported words from other languages).
    -Jonathan
    iMac (27-inch, Late 2012) - 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5
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