Does proper grammar matter at all anymore?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by DougM, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    I see poor use of the English language all the time, even among those who write for a living. Here's an example from an episode description from Gunsmoke- "An Indian woman seeks refuge from the man who bought her with Festus". I know it was supposed to mean "An Indian woman seeks refuge with Festus from the man who bought her." But, the way the sentence was constructed it says that the man and Festus bought her, and she's seeking refuge from both of them. Am I wrong?
     
  2. Mr Scallywag

    Mr Scallywag Tele-Holic

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    Alas, no, and still we must resist the rising tide of stupidity, lest it consume us all.
     
  3. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

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    It usually only matters to those who know the difference, and there’s the rub.
     
  4. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    It matters when the subjects get confused with sloppy writing like that, esp. when used in formal or important documents or research findings. You can’t assume the relationships are interpreted the same.

    There is a big effort to address this in the early UK school curriculum.

    Once you look for it, you see it happen a lot and you can address it in your own writing to make clarity improvements. Poorly constructed multi clause sentences with complete ambiguity about who or what is being referred to, are getting commonplace. I think people are writing like they are scribing a conversation rather than crafting a communication.

    Generally I would say language will and should evolve re. spelling and new words - so I give things lot of slack but when the fundamental logic of the communication is garbled, then I agree, we do have an issue.
     
  5. omahaaudio

    omahaaudio Friend of Leo's

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    Gunsmoke ran from 1955 to 1975.
    Why are you watching it?
     
  6. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for your post. You have proven the usefulness of the ignore function.
     
  7. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    Could it also be that she was bought together with Festus (a bundle deal) in the past by the man and they are both now seeking refuge from the buyer?
     
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  8. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

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  9. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    Since I did watch said episode, the actual scenario was the one in my corrected description.
     
  10. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Meister

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    Grammar Nazis love to troll forums where everyone uses a conversational style of communication.
     
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  11. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

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    It does to me, even though I know I make grammatical errors everyday, I try to be as accurate as I can be.
    I often rewrite paragraphs because it just doesn’t flow right or has grammatical errors.
    It’s just one of my quirks, but I can’t knowingly post something that contains errors.
     
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  12. Bluey

    Bluey Tele-Meister

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    How come brain surgions can't change a tyre?
     
  13. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I didn’t think he was trolling. He made a point of saying that poor grammar was evident even among those who write for a living. And I notice it too. Many more grammatical errors and typos in published news from major companies.

    I was an editor for years, and I’m fine with conversations having sloppy grammar. But it is bad when it’s that way in a professional situation.
     
  14. claes

    claes Tele-Holic

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    Isn't that just a small part of a much bigger problems? Our failing educational system? It isn't just our grammer that is getting worse it's everything.

    PS. Gunsmoke wasn't on swedish television but I captured a rerun in the early 90's.
    (James Arness went on to "How the west was won" that is the most popular tv-series ever in both sweden and norway)
     
  15. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    George Orwell believed that the decline of the English language indicated societal disintegration ... He wrote about this some 70 years ago ...
     
  16. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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    As a web forum moderator myself for the past 15+ years, I have seen just enough to set my teeth on edge, on this very topic.

    I have borne witness to postings and threads featuring superlative, outstanding English, don't get me wrong.

    But I have also seen people wade in and completely destroy their own arguments (and credibility) with gross grammatical errors and misspellings.

    Worse yet, most of the offenders become agitated and overly-defensive when criticized for their substandard application of the English language.

    I don't consider myself a Grammar ****, but I do feel it necessary, upon occasion, to advise newer posters to run their paragraphs through Spell-Check prior to posting in the future.

    I have to laugh;
    A few years ago, I found myself in the uncomfortable position of correcting my own boss over her atrocious English skills.

    Me: Say ma'am, no offense intended, but can you have Doug, EJ, or myself give your emails the once-over prior to your sending them off to the foreign customers please?

    Her: What exactly do you mean?

    Me: I mean that you sent an email out this morning, to an important FMS customer no less, that was full of misspellings and grammatical errors. Just have one of us review them for you before you pull the trigger next time.

    Her: Why, I never!! I will have you know that I have a Masters in Education from the University of (college name deleted, for the sake of politeness and discretion)!!

    Me: Well, that University must've been handing out diplomas willy-nilly that year, because you can't spell or construct a sentence to save your life. Really, let us help you next time.

    Her: You have a lot of nerve, mister!

    Me: That's what you pay me for, lady. And you're welcome, by the way.


    Anyway.
    It doesn't matter if it's in the workplace or on the internet.
    There will always be resentment whenever corrections and kindly grammar advice are offered to the English-challenged.

    :)
     
  17. greenhornet

    greenhornet TDPRI Member

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    Of course, there is the idea that the grammar being used is being used specifically to represent certain characters. Example: only a fool would watch "The Sopranos" looking for correct usage of grammar. (Or Italian, for that matter.)
     
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  18. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I see the same thing in young people and believe it's related to the minimal time they spend reading.

    They read Snapchat texts, and little else.
     
  19. Boubou

    Boubou Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    There you are, you had to watch the episode to see what it was all about, even in ancient times they didn’t want to give you spoilers
     
  20. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

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    It matters to me. I make my living as a technical writer. If I cannot communicate clearly, no living. It matters in regular life too, though usually only to those who understand why it matters. I pick my spots in correcting grammar errors outside the workplace. Along with the general decline in reading comprehension and the ability to speak clearly and persuasively comes angry anti-intellectualism. Seems to be part of the American experience.
     
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