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      Welcome!   03/05/2016

      Welcome, everyone, to the new 910CMX Community Forums. I'm still working on getting them running, so things may change.  If you're a 910 Comic creator and need your forum recreated, let me know and I'll get on it right away.  I'll do my best to make this new place as fun as the last one!

116 posts in this topic

This thread is the place to discuss spelling, grammar, and everything else about the proper use of the English language.

All corrections, discussions of improper use, and jokes about errors should be done here, not in the rest of the forum.  Anyone who does not wish to read "Grammar Nazis" or "spelling flames" is invited to ignore this thread.  If it bothers you, don't read it!

If, however, English is your second (or more) language, and you would like to improve your use of it; if you're a native speaker but find that your writing lacks the eloquence which you desire; if you need to be able to write in professional contexts or other forums where poor use of the language would be a detriment; or, if you just plain love the language and want to see it used correctly (and your tongue gets sore from biting it when you see common errors) -- this is the place for you!

Remember, courtesy rules of the forums still apply here.  Correcting spelling is allowed, but in a polite, respectful way.  Actual flames are still not allowed.  Whenever possible, don't just say that someone's grammar is incorrect, explain what the error is and what the correct options are, including shades of meaning they might convey.  In other words, try to be helpful!  If you see something that doesn't look right to you, but aren't sure why, post it here and ask!

Examples may be quoted from real life and the printed word as well as from other threads on this forum.  You can use the "quote multiple posts" function to quote something in another thread and bring it to this one.

Rules of this thread will be adjusted and adapted as needed -- hopefully there won't be much need to if everyone plays nicely!

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Just for the record, in addition to my habit of some times seeming like I'm a native speaker of Russian (which I am not), I'm dyslexic.  I live or die by the little red line.   Also, I have a semi bad habit of using lolcat speak as in "I has a confused" or words to that effect.  Depending on how I'm feeling any given day, I may or may not respond with a great deal of hostility about comments about any of the above.  I try, very hard, not to do so, and Hack stopped a plasma level reply today.  I'm not quite sure what kicked that off, but I had my FGMP-15 strapped on and was getting ready to open fire when I saw the wall (well, line) of red text and stood down.

On the other hand, I've never wanted to post/flame back about "neurotypical privilege" here, vs Facebook, where it used to be a daily thing, now down to a weekly or so thing.

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See, making a joke out of a typo is something my various crowds all do all the time.  Many a time has someone in a chat room typed something wrong, and when they say "Aargh!  I meant...." someone would be quick to reassure, "It's okay, I'm fluent in typo!" or to blame an infestation of typo demons in the keyboard.

It never occurred to me that this was an example of "neurotypical privilege" before, but I can see how someone for whom such things come easily, with only the occasional goof, could afford to make jokes, while someone who struggles with every post would be more sensitive about perceived corrections.  (Even trying to figure out how to phrase this is tricky!  Forgive me for any poor choices....)

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I received an important lesson in this sort of thing through having known two dyslexics. One is an engineer who works at a nuclear power plant. The other holds a PhD in high-temperature superconductors. They taught me to not judge by spelling but by content, a lesson which I have always been grateful for.

I have at times found humour in typoes, but I tend to keep it to myself unless it is between me and someone I know very well. Mind you, I am completely merciless when it comes to spell checkers pulling stupid shit. A good example would be a friend of mine with the last name of Bolland. The stupid spell checker tried to write 'Ebola' instead. I and my friend had a field day with that one.

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11 hours ago, CritterKeeper said:

 proper use of the English language... improper use...errors.. improve your use of [english].. poor use of the language..,  want to see [english] used correctly... common errors...    Whenever... someone's grammar is incorrect, explain what the error is and what the correct options are

Wow, you truly are a hardline prescriptivist.  Well' I'm not. There is no such thing as a universally proper, correct use of any language, which is essentially what prescriptivists believe in. What is "proper" or "correct" depends on context and how people actually use the language in question. This is called descriptivism and is the dominant position among linguists.

Part of my disdain for prescriptivism is it snobbery, in the traditional sense of the word. Proper use of language for prescriptivists is often how it is spoken by rich people, while improper use is how poor people speak. There is also snobbery about region. For English prescriptivists, proper language is spoken in well-off areas of London and the surrounding "home" counties, while improper language is spoken by northerners.

Another reason for my disdain for prescriptivism is that is is ultimately a form of pedantry, caring too much about rules which don't really matter. The use of language is an artform and there is nothing more inimical to art than pedantry. Artists have always broken the rules set by pedants, which just shows how useless these rules are. Examples are many: Alban Berg in music, Picasso in painting and of course James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and Thomas Pynchon in literature. Personally, these writers showed me how beautiful language which deviated from accepted standards could be.

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I'm not someone who is opposed to words like "ain't" but I do believe that there are some things that are just plain incorrect.  If someone writes that "their tired" or they "could of" used some more sleep, the correct words were "they're" and "could've" and I think it's terrible to say that just because someone is of the wrong ethnic group or social status, that we should just give up on them ever knowing the difference, and say "well, that's okay for *them* to talk that way!"  Do you really believe that some people are incapable of learning to speak correctly, that the only way for them to communicate is to lower standards for them?

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Okay, the whole point of this thread was to give a safe place for people who *do* care about the English language.  The people who say there is no such thing as correct get the entire rest of the forum, and this was supposed to be the *one* safe place to discuss what's correct usage.  If it's just going to turn into a bunch of flames attacking that very position, then I'd rather TOH lock the thread and we forget all about it.

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All Right.

I'll would not describe my post as flaming and I do care very much about the English language, but if you're so offended by my position I will stop debating you here then.

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7 minutes ago, Sweveham said:

All Right.

I'll would not describe my post as flaming and I do care very much about the English language, but if you're so offended by my position I will stop debating you here then.

Calling me a snob, an elitist, and a pedant is not debating.  Coming into a thread which has *one* purpose, and attacking that very purpose, is trolling of the worst sort.

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34 minutes ago, CritterKeeper said:

Okay, the whole point of this thread was to give a safe place for people who *do* care about the English language.  The people who say there is no such thing as correct get the entire rest of the forum, and this was supposed to be the *one* safe place to discuss what's correct usage.  If it's just going to turn into a bunch of flames attacking that very position, then I'd rather TOH lock the thread and we forget all about it.

I wasn't attacking the idea of the forum, I was just expressing why I will end up here a lot.

By all means nit pick the crap out of my posts, that way I'll learn.

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The Moderator: Sweveham, CritterKeeper is correct. The thread is made for this purpose and it even states that those who do not care about such matters are free to simply ignore it. What is more, no matter how hard I try, I cannot see this thread as 'prescriptivism'. It would be the latter if it somehow imposed itself on others and required them to follow whatever results it may arrive at. As it is, it is simply a little niche where those who care about little things like a unified standard of spelling, the various ways of employing diction and the like may have debates in peace.

I would say you owe CritterKeeper an unreserved apology but I do not have the authority to require you to give her one. I leave that to your conscience. As it is, I do have the authority to give you a warning point, which is hereby done -- it is richly deserved.

~tOH.

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7 minutes ago, mlooney said:

I wasn't attacking the idea of the forum, I was just expressing why I will end up here a lot.

By all means nit pick the crap out of my posts, that way I'll learn.

I hadn't taken your post as an attack.  You do have me a little confused as to whether your last line was means sarcastically or sincerely, though.  Am I being called a nit-picker too, now, or am I just overly sensitized right now?

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The Moderator: There will be no further discussion of 'prescriptivism' or related matters. If any still wish to argue this, kindly take it to private messages. (Requests for clarification of meaning and settling personal issues are still okay.)

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16 minutes ago, CritterKeeper said:

I hadn't taken your post as an attack.  You do have me a little confused as to whether your last line was means sarcastically or sincerely, though.  Am I being called a nit-picker too, now, or am I just overly sensitized right now?

Overly sensitized.   s/nit pick the crap out of/edit with great force/

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There is one frequently occurring problem that tends to irritate me far beyond any reasonable degree.

"Quite" appearing in the text where the author almost certainly meant to write "Quiet".

I know that it is rather unusual to have an English word with three consecutive vowels.
I know that spell checkers will not pick up that mistake because "Quite" is also a commonly used word.
And I know that I have made that mistake myself quite a few times.

Having said all that, I still find it annoying.

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10 minutes ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

There is one frequently occurring problem that tends to irritate me far beyond any reasonable degree.

"Quite" appearing in the text where the author almost certainly meant to write "Quiet".

I know that it is rather unusual to have an English word with three consecutive vowels.
I know that spell checkers will not pick up that mistake because "Quite" is also a commonly used word.
And I know that I have made that mistake myself quite a few times.

Having said all that, I still find it annoying.

From and form are two that I mix a lot.  Plus know and known.  CritterKeeper, you have full authority to apply a cyber slap up side the head to me if I mix either of those two, or drop a definite article like I was Russian.  Or for that matter if I drop any word with less than three letters.  I do that a lot.  On the other hand lolcat speak is likely to be deliberate, so any thing starting with "I can has" or "I has" leave alone.  Random misspelling might also warrant a remark or two, but like I said, I live or die by the red line, so it's more likely that I'll end up with a wrong word, not a misspelled word, now that I've decided to not use the tablet for forum use, due to it being a major pain in the butt most of the time.   Plus I need to get out of bed more.

In case of confusion, this is not me being sarcastic, but actual instructions.

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9 minutes ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

There is one frequently occurring problem that tends to irritate me far beyond any reasonable degree.

"Quite" appearing in the text where the author almost certainly meant to write "Quiet".

I know that it is rather unusual to have an English word with three consecutive vowels.
I know that spell checkers will not pick up that mistake because "Quite" is also a commonly used word.
And I know that I have made that mistake myself quite a few times.

Having said all that, I still find it annoying.

Did you have similar troubles with the spell checkers in the Middle Kingdom? I heard a rumour one was notorious for employing an ibis when you actually meant heron.

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1 minute ago, The Old Hack said:

Did you have similar troubles with the spell checkers in the Middle Kingdom? I heard a rumour one was notorious for employing an ibis when you actually meant heron.

*blink* Took me a minute to remember that there was a time frame in Egypt called that.  I internally translated that to China, and was wondering what the hell a Pharaoh was doing there.

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6 minutes ago, mlooney said:

*blink* Took me a minute to remember that there was a time frame in Egypt called that.  I internally translated that to China, and was wondering what the hell a Pharaoh was doing there.

Sorry about that! I didn't even consider it, I was in Nile mode.

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4 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:

Did you have similar troubles with the spell checkers in the Middle Kingdom? I heard a rumour one was notorious for employing an ibis when you actually meant heron.

We had the advantage that most people could not actually read the Hieroglyphs.  So as long as the inscription looked good, what was actually written didn't always matter.  Are you familiar with the spurious journalistic advice "Don't let the facts get in the way of the story"?  We had a similar regard for spelling.

6 minutes ago, mlooney said:

*blink* Took me a minute to remember that there was a time frame in Egypt called that.  I internally translated that to China, and was wondering what the hell a Pharaoh was doing there.

Sorry.  That information is "Need to Know" only and you don't need to know about how General Tso stole our chicken rec...

...

I said too much.

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Just now, The Old Hack said:

Sorry about that! I didn't even consider it, I was in Nile mode.

My 3rd option was the SCA Kingdom of the Middle, but they almost always just say "Middle" or "Midrealm".

 

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A NewScientist "Feedback" column mentioned a lens cleaner ingredients list including:

Quote

"propagandist", "cellulose acetate butterfat", and the chemically confounding "5-chlorine-2-methyl-4-indianapolis-3-one"

The "curse of the spellchecker" strikes again.  Googling an exact phrase "acetate butterfat" yields a page stating:

Quote

We are also dealing in cellulose acetate butterfat & cellulose acetate proportionate of Eastman chemicals.

Proportionate is presumably propionate, leaving butterfat to be, most likely, butyrate.

As for "5-chlorine-2-methyl-4-indianapolis-3-one", "chlorine" is presumably from "chloro" (it still makes some sense, in fact).  "Methyl" and "one" are probably untouched ("one" as in a ketone group, saved by its homonymy to the number), and "indianapolis"?  Possibly "indophen"???  That or "indole[something]".

Goodness knows what "propagandist" is.

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6 minutes ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

Sorry.  That information is "Need to Know" only and you don't need to know about how General Tso stole our chicken rec...

That would explain a lot about why some of the chicken at [redacted to avoid legal action, but a local Chinese place]'s chicken taste like it started as a mummy.  And an old mummy.

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5 minutes ago, HarJIT said:

The "curse of the spellchecker" strikes again. 

There is a reason why Project X has a non gamer acting as an editor.  If it doesn't make sense to her, I get a nasty-gram about it with several suggestions on how to fix it.  Or some times just a "WTF are you trying to say here?  Start the freak over"

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43 minutes ago, HarJIT said:

Goodness knows what "propagandist" is.

Maybe it means that they have added spin doctor to the lens cleaning fluid?

 

37 minutes ago, mlooney said:

There is a reason why Project X has a non gamer acting as an editor.  If it doesn't make sense to her, I get a nasty-gram about it with several suggestions on how to fix it.  Or some times just a "WTF are you trying to say here?  Start the freak over"

That's a very good notion. :)

I think the best gamer spell checking disaster I ever encountered was the horrible 'dawizard' that I first encountered in a Ravenloft supplement and later on met again in a book that collected magical items over the time. I could NOT work out what in the world it meant that the device inflicted such-and-such an amount of 'dawizard' on the players that tried to meddle with it. Finally, more than a year later, it dawned on me that someone had for whatever reason done a search-and-replace on 'mage' in exchange for 'wizard' and that this had resulted in damage becoming the absurd dawizard. The blessings of early spell checking programs.

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