Does proper grammar matter at all anymore?

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

  1. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,630
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Location:
    Indiana
    Maybe, but it happens in other countries.

    I wonder if it's related to the feeling that language/meaning is more expressive than transactional.

    If it's more expressive, then who are you to insult me? etc
     
  2. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,491
    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Location:
    Scotland
    The ubiquity of social media means that a much wider cross section of the public are writing material which will be made public, to some degree. Many of those folks would never have exposed their lack of facility for language, grammar and spelling, in the past. In the great scheme of things, this is only important because it normalises degraded standards. I would be more concerned when this bleeds into professional media products or even worse, academic discourse. Reading news content, from major, traditional outlets, we should expect the highest standards. In academic literature, we have a right to expect the same, with more complex subject matter.

    It should come as no surprise, that in colloquial communication, the majority of us can speak with slang, profanity, vernacular terminology.... and all delivered lazily. This doesn't concern me at all. Failure, or reluctance to police the boundaries of this informal language usage, is my only concern. It's great, that folks are reading and writing throughout life- but this shouldn't be confused with, or allowed to devalue formal communication.

    Know what I mean? ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  3. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,084
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    Location:
    NYC
    I lived on Oahu for four years, and I find it amusing that someone there is concerned about TV Guide's grammar. :)
     
    Blrfl and W.L.Weller like this.
  4. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    929
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2017
    Location:
    Oregon
    I assist with hiring decisions. In my world, cover letters & resumes also serve as a spelling test, and if we think you are an illiterate oaf, you will never be our coworker.
     
  5. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    57
    Posts:
    3,157
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Location:
    Indiana
    I was reading an online teaser chapter for a book the other day and was amazed at the amount of spelling errors. I guess they save $$$ when it comes to online editing. How many of us are second guessing our responses to this thread before hitting "post"? :)
     
  6. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,630
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Location:
    Indiana
    Almost. ;)

    If knowledge of grammar is limited to the professional few, then only a few need to care about it?
     
  7. ahiddentableau

    ahiddentableau Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    199
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2018
    Location:
    Middle of Nowhere
    This. The rise of the internet has exposed us to writing that we never saw before the age of email, texts, tweets, and, of course, table-pounding forum posts. The general level of written communication was arguably worse in the past than it is today for lack of use. In fact, very few people can write, and I have little doubt that has always been that way. If you doubt this, spend some time marking essays at a university. It'll set you straight in a hurry!

    This is not really related to what you meant in the post, but I think that grammar is probably more important today than it ever was in the past. This is because class distinctions in general are becoming more rather than less important in our society--an inevitable consequence of our ongoing race-to-the-bottom culture war--and what else is nit-picking grammar about if not social distinction?
     
    boredguy6060 and DugT like this.
  8. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,946
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    On Location
    When I was in grade school, I voiced the age-old complaint "who cares if I know all these stupid rules as long as you know what I mean?" while doing my english homework. My father sat me down and explained- "There are people in the world that hold your fate in their hands. They can hire you for jobs or not hire you. They can give you a bank loan or not. You will need to send letters to people in government (this was pre-email). You don't want these people dismissing you because they think you're an idiot because you can't communicate properly."
     
  9. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,274
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2017
    Location:
    York PA
    I dispatch to all languages all day..No.it doesn't matter..better proper communication does...everybody comes from dif backgrounds...to waste time on stopping communication due to spelling, or pointing someone out that does..not worth the waste of time
     
    Harry Styron likes this.
  10. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,905
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Location:
    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
    .

    A famous English Poet - Chaucer

    WHAN that Aprille with his shoures soote
    The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote,
    And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
    Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
    Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
    Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
    The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne

    Another famous English Poet just two hundred years later -- Shakespeare

    I will frown as I pass by, and let them take it as
    they list.
    SAMPSON
    Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them;
    which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it.
    Enter ABRAHAM and BALTHASAR
    ABRAHAM
    Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
    SAMPSON
    I do bite my thumb, sir.
    ABRAHAM
    Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
    SAMPSON
    [Aside to GREGORY] Is the law of our side, if I say ay?
    GREGORY
    No.
    SAMPSON
    No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I
    bite my thumb, sir.

    The Grammar Police would do better to spend their collective time creating a simplified unified English language system rather than try to uphold the existing craziness of to, two, and too or their and they're or color and colour.

    They would have a model to work with. The Chinese written language was unified 4,000 years ago and universally readable across the whole country by many different spoken dialects.

    Modern English includes Texting ... which is dramatically changing the way people communicate :) TTFN
    or movie references "nudge-nudge wink-wink, know what I mean, know what I mean?"


    .
     
    Tonetele likes this.
  11. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    721
    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    I refer you to my signature; some people simply suck at writing. That doesn't make their arguments any less valid unless the topic is their superior writing skills. You've tried to make that case in a post containing no fewer than nine mistakes.

    I'm a stickler for good grammar but temper it with Jon Postel's robustness principle, which says to be conservative in what you do and liberal in what you accept from others. (Among his many significant contributions, Postel co-authored one of the protocols underpinning everything you do on the Internet.)

    Grammar is, on average, no worse than it ever has been. The Internet is, for the most part, a written medium that has forced more people to write more material than they would have 50 years ago. It has also given that material instant, unedited, worldwide exposure, which is not something that happened often when the process of publishing something had more friction than it does now.

    (Edit: It looks like several people made that last point while this was being written.)
     
    Harry Styron, JL_LI and bftfender like this.
  12. aerhed

    aerhed Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    2,396
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2016
    Location:
    Boulder, WY
    How come Brits can't spell surgeon or tire?
     
  13. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,274
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2017
    Location:
    York PA
    Great point. Who would of thought everybody would be an instant, without being published writer. 1 click & for all to see. Also, the ability for face to face communication is going down hill. Everybody is so uptight, defensive..worried about the 1% they can't control and than taking care of the 99 they can. Get on a cowardly internet & hide..vent..accuse..insult..like i have said many times..not many of the the insults you see on here..would be done face to face.
     
  14. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,878
    Joined:
    May 3, 2016
    Location:
    In the South
    Chaucer was writing in the 14th century, and Shakespeare in the 16th. Chaucer was using Middle English, and Shakespeare Early Modern English. English language and grammar has changed since, and dictionaries and correct usage have become a thing.

    What was your point?

    I don't bother much about 'proper' usage on web forums, but as another user noted, it helps sorting which applicants get an interview.
     
  15. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,878
    Joined:
    May 3, 2016
    Location:
    In the South
    Bluey's in Australia. How come Americans can't do geography? :twisted:
     
  16. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    64
    Posts:
    3,952
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Location:
    Florida USA
    I’ve written for money. I liked to self-edit as much as possible because I usually hated what editors did to my work.
    In those situations I was relatively meticulous. Posting on a forum, I make a mistake every now and then and don’t worry about it. Hopefully I don’t let anything stand on here that has mistakes corrupting interpretation of my words.

    My “style”, if I had one, would sometimes abuse syntax/fine points of grammar intentionally. For effect. This led to interesting conversations with editors. That’s one of the reasons I’m happy to be retired from all that...

    Last weekend I got a request to do a short position paper for an NGO, on a we-need-it-now basis. The subject matter was very familiar, so I hammered out a quick draft that was largely bullet points. I emailed the draft and told them to just go with it if they didn’t want to change anything. Of course they sent it out un-altered:eek:

    I was only slightly aghast when I reviewed:lol:
     
    beyer160 likes this.
  17. Boubou

    Boubou Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    10,963
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec
    Let’s hope your earth surgeon doesn’t have the same attitude.
    Just sayin’
     
    scrapyardblue likes this.
  18. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    27,122
    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Wisco
    Proper grammar seems to be yet another thing I wasted time on mastering.
    The implication, back in the day, was that it would be important.

    I'll say this though, everyday I work with people for whom english is their second language. And I give them much respect-our language is difficult with it's subtleties and it's inconsistencies.

    And their english is always much better than my, say, Indian is, because *that* is non-existent
     
    catdaddy and dkmw like this.
  19. raito

    raito Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,669
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    It doesn't help when nearly every communication I receive from my children's school contains such errors. How can they teach the language when they cannot use it correctly.
     
  20. tlsmack

    tlsmack Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,237
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    Lonk I-lant, New York
    I am reminded of an episode of Doctor Who. It was set several thousand yars in the future. There was only one language remaining in the universe. That language was..... Emoji!
     
    Boubou likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.