I mean you! (not u!)

I used to believe that the current generation of students had squandered a great resource (the internet) but now I find it difficult to research certain topics on the internet as most paths lead to someone wanting to sell you something. The internet could have been the greatest tool for learning that mankind ever realized but now it is simply a superstore.

Or, how about “your supposed to…”, rather than “you’re supposed to…”.

You mean, “Yer a’sposed ta put a gum bahnd rahnd it!” isn’t proper English? :wink:

English happens to be my third language. Now I struggle day in and day out with my kid in elementary school. She would write the way she speaks, all with the wrong spelling. The teacher does not say a word. I met with them a few times over the last 2 years, their logic is that this will kill their creativity. So now I have a kid who is very creative in producing errors. I don’t see any other teacher at a different level stepping in and fixing their spelling. I am working with her myself at home. I don’t get it, but then I am an alien.

Just for the record…this short hand writing U instead of You or R instead of are is NOT new. It’s been around for at least 50 years…

Teletype operators were using those abbreviations LONG before the first cell phone was ever invented.

ps - Please don’t make me explain what a teletype operator is.

I’am guessing that all fads, slang, and text messaging can be traced back to teenage girls

I am with you, circuitsmith. I stopped responding to unintelligible questions long ago. I still, however, respond to unintelligible responses to questions.

They say correcting someone’s grammar is useless and rude, so I do my best to bite my tongue. Sometimes I can’t help it, and sometimes people respond positively to such criticism.

I haven’t told my new boss “irregardless” isn’t a real word. I am trying really hard to hold back. Also, it is really depressing Firefox doesn’t recognize “irregardless” as a misspelled word.

They say correcting someone’s grammar us useless and rude, so I do my best to bite my tongue.


I disagree that correcting someone’s poor grammar and/or spelling is “useless and rude”.
Since proper English usage is a necessary job skill for many (perhaps most) positions, if you can educate someone about how to improve his grammar and spelling, you may just be making him more employable.
I can’t think of too many things that are more useful than helping someone to be more employable.

After all, if someone submits a resume and cover letter that display poor grammar and spelling, those documents might be reviewed by an ornery old cuss like me. I used to toss the applications with mangled English in the trash, and I’m sure that I am not the only person who would react that way to a display of poor English skills on a job application.

Thus, I think that you are potentially doing someone a HUGE favor if you can educate him/her about their grammar and spelling skills. The key is to try to do this education in a way that is not insulting or degrading.

I have met people from India whose English skills surpass the average American college graduate. Keep in mind in India, there is no official language. There are quite a few native languages, and they are all regional or cultural. English is the one unifying language in India, so everyone learns it.

That was a typing mistake. That isn’t the same thing. Thanks for pointing it out.

I disagree that correcting someone’s poor grammar and/or spelling is “useless and rude”.

That comes from all the people who write advice columns, you know, the experts.

I agree in some cases, like correcting your children, and helping a job candidate correct an embarrassing error, you can be both helpful and appreciated, but in many cases, like when someone is talking, or posting a question in a forum, they don’t usually appreciate a citation from the grammar police. On those cases, it’s rare for someone to see the criticism as constructive.

Personally, I don’t correct job applicants. When explaining why someone didn’t get a job, it can be a bad idea to give too much information (for legal reasons). I usually just explain we hired someone who was more qualified. Besides, the next prospective employer deserves to know he or she is considering someone whose grammar or spelling skills need work. It’s better they discover that up front rather than be deceived. Hopefully, the applicant will develop the skills instead of staying under the radar long enough to land a job.


I’m sure that many folks do not initially view correction of their grammar in a positive light, but that does not mean that the attempt at education was inappropriate.

When a doctor tells a patient (me included) to lose weight, that type of advice is not usually something that someone wants to hear. The patient’s annoyance at hearing this advice does not make the advice inappropriate or invalid, however. Over the long term, and when thinking it over in a mature way, the patient may take the advice to heart and may benefit from it. If the patient does not take the advice, that is only to his/her detriment.

Similarly, even if someone initially takes umbrage at grammar correction, that person may actually learn something from the correction. Simply not liking to hear something does not mean that the advice is inappropriate, invalid, non-constructive, or ill-intentioned.

I know…I was just messing with you…I mean it was too good to pass up…and trust me…I make MANY grammar and typing mistakes…

I agree with 99% of what you are saying. However, what if someone on the street, who isn’t a doctor, tells you to lose weight? It’s okay coming from a doctor in a clinical setting, but coming from a stranger, or a coworker, it’s just rude.

Yep, I agree. It was too good to pass up. Nicely done. :slight_smile:

I do wonder what is happening in the persons mind that posts in text shorthand. What I mean is, don’t they notice that none of the other posts are in this format? For myself I find a post that simply contains a link with no explaination why this the poster thinks this link has a place in the conversation to be a lazy method. At least you could say something like “I provide this link because I feel it supports or provides additional information that may be helpful”. It is common just for a link to appear, with no explaination why the OP (or responder) feels it pertains to the conversation.

People ofen speak in the same format. They provide their argument but fail to provide a premis or a conclusion. This is also a lazy way to present your viewpoint but it is very common in todays verbal communication. It is easier to make an argument if you don’t include a premis or a conclusion and people naturaly take the easy way.

One of our new “regulars” has the habit of leaving little tidbits tied to another post (common “young persons internet procedure”) Myself, he might as well be talking to himself because I don’t get the point.

Whether correcting someone’s English is or is not rude depends entirely on the context. Correcting a stranger, or someone with whom you’re having an informal conversation, can be rude, however if done in a formal situation with a speaker whose native languaage is English it can be approprite.

For an educator NOT to correct poor writng and/or speech habits is inexcusable. I remember reading some years ago a quote from a middle school social-sciences teacher from California wherein she stated that she never corrected the English in ger students’ papers because to do so might “damage the child’s self esteem”. She felt that only the English teacher should be correcting students’ English. The discussion at hand at the time was a concept called “writing across curriculum”, wherein it was proposed that every teacher should correct the English of papers submitted to them, even if they chose not to consider it a substantial contributor to the grade. Personally, I support the concept. IMHO it is the mandate of the primary and secondary school systems to produce graduates that have the skills and abilities to either move forward into higher education to pursue their dreams or go into the world with the skills to get decent jobs and work their way up in the job market. English, math, science, our system of government, knowledge of the world at large, basic economics, and basic computer skills are all part of that body of skills. It’s the responsibility of all educators to support the efforts of their fellow educators in accomplishing the mandate.

I take the subject of education very seriously. And I know many, many educators that share my feelings. It’s unfortunate that there are so many politicians in positions of authority, so many activist lawyers looking for lawsuits to file, and so many legislators looking to please a special interest group that dilute the process.

Once again, we are in agreement, MB.

I can recall many instances in my teaching career when students in my history, or sociology, or geography classes would tell me, “You can’t take points off on my report for grammatical mistakes”!
Trust me–I ignored those complaints and by the end of the school year, those complainers invariably turned into better writers as a result.

Even though the term Writing Across the Curriculum was not yet in use, I practiced that in my Social Studies classes. As you will agree, it would have been irresponsible of me to have ignored mistakes and to have failed to give the students examples of how to correct their errors.

High self-esteem is nice, but once we start to award unrealistically high grades in an attempt to build self-esteem, what we wind up with is mediocrity–or worse.

An excellent post. Clearly from an educator that really cared. And still does. (I know, I know, there I go starting a sentence with “and”, but I claim “poetic license”.)

When we give good grades for poor work, or when we accept poor work out of fear of damaging self esteem, we actualy lower self esteem. Self esteem comes from accomplishing against challanges, and if we remove the challanges self esteem languishes.

In essence accepting unacceptable work for the purpose of not damaging self esteem displays a lack of understanding of where self esteem comes from.

After all, if someone submits a resume and cover letter that display poor grammar and spelling, those documents might be reviewed by an ornery old cuss like me. I used to toss the applications with mangled English in the trash, and I’m sure that I am not the only person who would react that way to a display of poor English skills on a job application.

I imagine you had quite a large pile of resumes in the recycle bin. After all, why throw away perfectly good paper that can be recycled into more application papers. :stuck_out_tongue: