What's with influx of the "broken English" or single phrase discussion topics?

Many of the posts aren’t even sentences and many supply little to no basic information. There is practically no effort put into an inquiry and it places the burden of figuring out what is really being asked on the helpers. Some of these folks never answer questions or return after helpers spend time on them.

I’m just curious know why this is happening?

Quien sabe?

I’d guess a few reasons… #1 is “Text to speech” apps on phones. That eliminates punctuation and since most people’s spoken word is incomplete, the text is as well. #2 English as a second language folks but they are usually pretty identifiable. #3 Poor schools and grade inflation. Schools don’t teach much grammar, nor critical thinking, nor precision writing. #4 Lazy!

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Only if you let it. I stopped trying to forcibly extract information from posters many years ago. My position is you reap what you sow…

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Most of these are forwarded here from “ask someone who owns one”

What is that?
Why are they forwarded?
Are they rejects?
Are those folks aware they’re being passed off and know to get in touch?

@GorehamJ can you field this one?

Really like the “I have the same problem as Bob” posts.
No information given, problem not stated.

It forwards questions from the Carcomplaints.com website

No, Carolyn does delete some if even she can’t figure out what the OP is trying to ask

Theoretically they should since they’re required to make an account to post the question, but as you can see from the large number of questions that go unanswered most of them don’t despite the fact that the email address they link to the account will send them notifications of a reply

Not really a problem but it is strange how many think they are only communicating with one person and don’t know that everyone can see their posts.

I’ll take this one, since John’s on vacation.

@common_sense_answer - Ask Someone Who Owns One is a widget that does appear on certain pages on carcomplaints.com. (I am told it appears on pages for cars that have a low number of complaint reports, so someone might not get help on their page and then type in the question so it pops out here.)

If you go to cartalk.com, there is also the Ask Someone Who Owns One entry field. You can see what the other users see. So when you say, “why do so many questions have incomplete phrasing,” etc., I suspect it has something to do with what they’re looking at.

@pyrolord314 is correct that I do delete many that don’t make any sense. I do err on the side of leaving many of them because if I can tell that someone has stated a problem, then I presume they are asking a question. You may see John or me ask for more info because sometimes (like the question about the Ford Fiesta earlier today) people write back and explain more. I must act like an optimist sometimes.

The people submitting via carcomplaints know that they have an email address where they’ll get notified of an answer. The “same problem as Bob” posts, while annoying, make sense in context if someone is posting from another site altogether. It is not a perfect system, but it is the one we have.

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I suspect Tin Foil Hat degradation.


Carolyn, you may not know this, given your youth, but for many years ( until the mid 1950’s,) the finest cars in the USA were made by the Packard Motor Car company. Their advertising tagline was “ask the man who owns one”.

Interesting. I heard about Packards indirectly because along Comm Ave in Boston there were a number of old buildings with giant open interiors that were at one time car showrooms. At a bend in Comm Ave as it moves into Allston it’s called Packards Corner…which had a dealership in the early part of the 20th Century. How things have changed.

Even better, here’s where the slogan came from: Shortly after the company was founded, James Ward Packard was setting up his company’s display at an auto show, a prospective customer stopped at the display and asked for a brochure. Packard replied “I don’t have any, why don’t you ask the man who owns one”. Picture that happening today.

… and, it is worth noting how James Ward Packard got into the car manufacturing business in the first place:
He bought a brand-new Winton–which was a fairly prestigious make in the early days of motoring–and he had to bring his unreliable Winton back to the factory MANY times for adjustments and repairs. After the third or fourth incident, he suggested some design improvements to Mr. Winton, and Winton replied, “If you know so much, why don’t you make your own cars!”.
… and so he did…

And, while Winton ceased car production in 1924, Packard went on to build superior cars for another 30+ years. Perhaps Alexander Winton should have kept his mouth shut.

Another tid-bit about Packard. Called one of the “3 P’s” of American luxury cars along with Peerless and Piece-Arrow.

Packard’s sales dropped to 1/4 of previous years in the Great Depression. They survived by downsizing the company so they’d be profitable at 10,000 cars sold a year. At least until 1956. Peerless closed in 1931 and Pierce-Arrow in 1938.

My favorite Packard is not a Packard but a Studebaker.
With the exception of the “bathtub” Packards 41-52(?) I do like them.

I personally feel its was absolutely horrible how Packard was sort of left to founder and go under… That should not have been, just out of patriotic ideals it shouldn’t have happened. Not to mention a fine product they produced, whenever they produced anything. I wasn’t there back then and never drove one, but that’s my take on the matter.

When I think of how much our technology has changed in the past 115 years, I also reflect on how our methods of doing business have changed.