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The Burnaby Kid
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Just to be clear, my post was in jest. It was meant to use "begging the question" incorrectly and correctly at the same time.
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Steve_Mollett
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Anyone calling it 'slight' of hand is a 'looser.' Smile

(And 'loosers' should be retightened).
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Josh Riel
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Several unfortunate side effect of widespread internettery is, we all get to type (post) more than we otherwise might have, this in turn shows our grammatical failings to a lot more people far more often.
We all have fairly ready access to spell check which doesn't necessarily see a difference between you, you're, your or there, they're, their etc.

The best is we all get to read, and focus on the flaws of others.

If I can read and understand what you are writing, unless I'm just being a ***** I'm fine. Sure some people thrive on hiding their flaws by focusing on others, but I'd rather... focus on different flaws to hide my own.

That's all this grammar police stuff is, sure if we all finished 4th grade like some of you rich kids we could precision speed post without flaw.

Yeah, we are maybe all magicians probably in a way, and we should be able to spell flawlessly the words our trade that we may have, but we don't.



Of course it is always easier to see the mistakes, flaws and missteps of other than our own, and it is absurdly rare for someone to ever be moved by this clear cut middle of the road kind of talk and perhaps see their rage is not quite necessary, I say Hang those misspellerators.
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
Mr. Mystoffelees
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Josh, I disagree.

I think we all overlook the occasional error. That is not what is at issue to me.

What we frequently see posted is, at best, lazy and insolent. At worst, a disregard for a language that has existed for many years, yes centuries. It has been given to us, free of charge, by those who came before. Let us respect it, and by so doing, those who provided it to us.

When I see a spelling or grammatical error, the first thing I do is look to the info on the poster. If it appears english is not their first language, they get many "get out of jail free" cards from this guy who speaks poor spanish, french, russian and hungarian. "Born in the USA"? No slack!

I once deciphered complex code, so I can interpret what is posted. Why, though, should I allow poorly-written or misspelled posts to proceed as acceptable? NO reason- unless I am too lazy, uncaring, or timid to engage. Which most of the time I am!

However, on those rare occasions when I do confront some error, please don't chalk it up to some power trip- I may just be trying to help someone join the fun of knowing the english language a little more intimately...
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
Josh Riel
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You might know already that the language that we have is so different than the one that we might call "original" as to be nearly illegible.


I would never ask of myself to offer the simple human dignity I ask of others (You know, I want them to accept me with my flaws and treat me with a modicum of respect especially out in the open on a forum with this many viewers). I have no intention of doing that for others, why should I?




I believe my righteous indignation somehow sets me apart from the unlettered masses, that mocking the illiterates of society who dare to tread where I may be in some way casts a brilliant aura around me.
I imagine myself bathed in light while everyone beneath me stares at me in awe because I pointed out that some n00b wrote "Cna" instead of can, or that their post stole from me precious time trying to understand what I never had to read in the first place





At some time in history, I imagine it was before the Internet, one person actually attempted to empathize with another human being and saw in that person the same flawed and weak individual that they are, and accepted them.
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
The Burnaby Kid
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Quote:
On 2010-08-10 21:51, Josh Riel wrote:
I believe my righteous indignation somehow sets me apart from the unlettered masses, that mocking the illiterates of society who dare to tread where I may be in some way casts a brilliant aura around me.


Makes you smell fresh, too.
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Bill Hallahan
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Ah, a chance to rant about writing!

I notice when sleight is spelled incorrectly too. It is funny to have magic words misspelled on a magic forum, but anyone can make a mistake, especially if they are tired.

Minor errors will happen even with the best writers. We're all human and occasionally we make mistakes.

Some people have deficits that making writing difficult for them, but many posters are clearly just lazy. Why does this matter? It matters because it makes more work for others to read their posts. It also matters because, whether you feel this is fair or not, people will judge you for how you write.

Yes, most of us can usually parse the meaning when someone doesn't use proper punctuation, or proper grammar, or words are misspelled, but, for anyone who reads a lot, the extra effort needed to parse incorrect writing is apparent.

Smart people minimize their cognitive loading by keeping things as simple as possible because they know if they're using part of their mind to do one thing, their total capacity to think of other things is reduced. By using a common language, most people can learn to communicate with the least practical effort for everyone.

When someone doesn't capitalize their sentences, or they don't capitalize proper names, or they use punctuation in weird ways, it does slow down my reading, and it also sets off alarms in my mind - I think, 'that's wrong, that's wrong, and that's wrong too.' Unless I know that the person has other issues that make writing difficult for them, it makes me consider that the other person might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer.

I've seen the following in sentences:
dai vernon
Dai vernon
dai Vernon - This last one I really don't understand!


I've also seen people who leave out the apostrophe in contractions. Here is proper usage for several common contractions.

do not - don't
cannot - can't
will not - won't
I have - I've
I will - I'll
you are - you're
it is - it's ("Its" without an apostrophe denotes possession - Usually an apostrophe followed by an s denotes possession, but because of the contraction for "it is", "its" is used for possession instead).


But, my absolute biggest pet peeve is when people put a space before punctuation. This is (almost?) always wrong.

She was nice , but we had nothing in common . <- This is wrong!

She was nice, but we had nothing in common. <- This is correct.


Then there is there, their, and they're, and of course, you're and your. I expect most people know how to use these properly.


By the way, after the period at the end of a sentence, there should be two space characters, not one, but when posts are rendered here there is only one space regardless of how many spaces there are at the end of a sentence. I always put two space character at the end of a sentence here even though it has no effect because I know I'll develop a bad habit if I don't do that.

I might make several of the mistakes above, but I've often seen short one-sentence posts that had over 8 errors. When I start doing that, I hope I have the sense to stop posting!
Humans make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to create boredom. Quite astonishing.
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tommy
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I might several of the mistakes above. Smile
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

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Johnny Butterfield
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I'm with Whit on "begs the question." It raises the question or it leads one to the question.

I cringe when someone says "could care less" when they mean "couldn't care less."

"Could of" instead of "could've"
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panlives
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Quote:
On 2010-08-10 17:48, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
Just to be clear, my post was in jest. It was meant to use "begging the question" incorrectly and correctly at the same time.


Hi Mr. Musgrave,

Yes, I think I did pick up on your intent.

I am trying to make a case for the marvelous capacity English has to morph over time; to expand and contract as the era and social circumstances dictate; to inhale foreign words and phrases and incorporate them into the English linguistic DNA.

The (perhaps unprecedented) ability of English to imbibe from the well of all languages and pour out a seemingly endless variety of localized inflections has made it the lingua franca of the modern world – in commerce, science, art and in common parlance on the streets and the internet.

I think that speaks volumes.

By the way, I am a HUGE fan of your writing and encourage everyone (who hasn’t already) to visit your amazing blog!
"Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
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"The dog did nothing in the night-time."
"That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.
Servante
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A typo is a typo. Those don't bothre me.
If English is a second language for the writer, no problem. It's one of the hardest languages on the globe to learn.
I don't pay a lot of attention to general misspellings here or on other chat boards. We're communicating and that's what's important.
Since I make my living writing dialogue, I tend to write here, sometimes, the way people speak: wanna, coulda, shoulda, prolly, and so forth. These are words I would not use in a business letter, and I think everyone here is fairly relaxed in their written communications as well.
THAT doesn't bother me.
What bothers me more than anything is seeing these mistakes in newspapers and magazines and in public (and often, professionally manufactured) signs.

It's mildly irritating, of course, to see a post by a native English-speaker on a chat board horribly misspelled with terrible grammar and strange uses: would of, alot, I could care less.
I can live with it, though.
In a place like this, 'mongst friends, peers and legends, we're communicating. Smile

-Philip
The Burnaby Kid
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Panlives,

Thanks. I'm glad if anything on the blog is helpful.

Philip,

I think that's a fair complaint, seeing as how newspapers, magazines and signs should have an editorial process that catches such mistakes. It's not easy -- even a minor newspaper might have a half-dozen levels of editing before anything reaches publication, and sometimes things still sneak through -- but self-respecting editors do feel lousy when such mistakes get out, and are professional enough to not take it personally if somebody points them out.

On a message board, though? Seriously? Maybe it's a legitimate gripe if a word that's not spelled correctly could throw a sabot in future archiving, indexing and search efforts, but correcting other people's English out of a claimed respect for the language strikes me as funny. A quick look back at the first page shows not just incorrect spelling, but also poor usage of punctuation, capitalization, prepositions... and this is amongst those arguing for better English.

If the irony were much richer, this discussion would be magnetic.
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Whit Haydn
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I try to overlook most grammar, vocabulary, spelling and usage mistakes. But they grate on my ears like a fingernail on a blackboard. I always feel it shows a lack of concern for clear communication, and for the feelings of the reader. I tend not to pay as much attention to those posts, and often assume incorrectly that it is just an inexperienced kid, or some under-educated person.

Although most people will accept such posts without judgement, they really do "grieve the judicious."

If you used such writing in business, you would ne'er do well.
Josh Riel
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I think the issue stems more from a lot of you being really, really, really old (Joking, or j/k in the Internet vernacular). I'm just 35.
35 is the new 15.

Maybe the circles a person travels in is full of well read, educated people and we can't understand why everyone else isn't. Not everyone else cares. Everywhere in the Internet that I have traveled I have seen grammar, punctuations, and spelling used as nothing more than a weapon or a tool, almost never as a purely helpful nicety.
So when I see threads like that I think "Ego stroking".
When I see posts like that I think "Must have a weak argument".

You might notice this very thread wasn't "I'd like to offer help" it was "I'm really mad and want to vent"


This is just an anonymous bunching of people who have more or less the same hobby. ****, I dropped out at 9th grade, and pretty much C-'d my way there. It's a mystery how I can sometimes make a nearly readable sentence.

I don't know if this is the place for a strict enforcement of linguistics.
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
funsway
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"Not everyone else cares." Now there is a fair statement of what is happening to our culture. Not everyone cares about communicating ideas effectively. Not everyone cares about being at work on time. Not everyone cares about the destruction of the middle class. Not everyone cares about the environment.

This is just another way of saying, "if it's not in my immediate self interest I don't want to get involved." That's not "ego" -- it's "selfishness." Humanity has reached its heights of knowledge, compassion and innovation of "caring" to make things better. What is gained by just "getting by" and reducing things to the lowest common denominator?

Everywhere is a "place for strict enforcement of linguistics" -- and integrity, and accountability. Does it matter? On the employment front business owners can be picky. Given a choice between employess who "care" and those who do not, the choice will be easy. Those who can demonstrate a caring attitude will get the best jobs -- and effective communication is one test. Of course, proper grammar only matters to those who have an idea worth sharing to an audience who "cares."

Today's high school graduate can't do simple math, can't find his home town on a map and can't construct a written paragraph in his native language. It's no wonder why jobs are being exported overseas. Nobody cares!

Yeah, I'm an old fart -- but I am often in a position to decide who gets hired and who doesn't --and the managers I help train will care also. I am glad for this thread -- now I am going to add "writing a descriptive paragraph with proper grammar" to the list of job qualifications. If an applicant doesn't care enough to learn how to use English properly, why would I assume he will care about my customers?

Have a "peevish" day.
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Servante
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Hey, you kids! Get off my lawn!
The Burnaby Kid
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Well, best of luck hiring future "employess", Funsway.
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funsway
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Well, Andrew, you passed that test. ;-) One of the most effective measures of a candidate's abilities is to learn if they are observant -- and willing to say something. Managers are in a position to proof the writings of underlings, but most importantly, must be willing to do so.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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LobowolfXXX
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"Well, the world needs ditch-diggers, too." - Elihu Smails


If someone is fastidious about subject-pronoun agreement, they are in the minority.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

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magicfish
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Quote:
On 2010-08-10 22:30, Bill Hallahan wrote:
Ah, a chance to rant about writing!

I notice when sleight is spelled incorrectly too. It is funny to have magic words misspelled on a magic forum, but anyone can make a mistake, especially if they are tired.

Minor errors will happen even with the best writers. We're all human and occasionally we make mistakes.

Some people have deficits that making writing difficult for them, but many posters are clearly just lazy. Why does this matter? It matters because it makes more work for others to read their posts. It also matters because, whether you feel this is fair or not, people will judge you for how you write.

Yes, most of us can usually parse the meaning when someone doesn't use proper punctuation, or proper grammar, or words are misspelled, but, for anyone who reads a lot, the extra effort needed to parse incorrect writing is apparent.

Smart people minimize their cognitive loading by keeping things as simple as possible because they know if they're using part of their mind to do one thing, their total capacity to think of other things is reduced. By using a common language, most people can learn to communicate with the least practical effort for everyone.

When someone doesn't capitalize their sentences, or they don't capitalize proper names, or they use punctuation in weird ways, it does slow down my reading, and it also sets off alarms in my mind - I think, 'that's wrong, that's wrong, and that's wrong too.' Unless I know that the person has other issues that make writing difficult for them, it makes me consider that the other person might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer.

I've seen the following in sentences:
dai vernon
Dai vernon
dai Vernon - This last one I really don't understand!


I've also seen people who leave out the apostrophe in contractions. Here is proper usage for several common contractions.

do not - don't
cannot - can't
will not - won't
I have - I've
I will - I'll
you are - you're
it is - it's ("Its" without an apostrophe denotes possession - Usually an apostrophe followed by an s denotes possession, but because of the contraction for "it is", "its" is used for possession instead).


But, my absolute biggest pet peeve is when people put a space before punctuation. This is (almost?) always wrong.

She was nice , but we had nothing in common . <- This is wrong!

She was nice, but we had nothing in common. <- This is correct.


Then there is there, their, and they're, and of course, you're and your. I expect most people know how to use these properly.


By the way, after the period at the end of a sentence, there should be two space characters, not one, but when posts are rendered here there is only one space regardless of how many spaces there are at the end of a sentence. I always put two space character at the end of a sentence here even though it has no effect because I know I'll develop a bad habit if I don't do that.

I might make several of the mistakes above, but I've often seen short one-sentence posts that had over 8 errors. When I start doing that, I hope I have the sense to stop posting!

Great post, Bill. The sad thing is, this is grade two stuff... yikes.
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