Does proper grammar matter at all anymore?

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

  1. TheDams

    TheDams Tele-Meister

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    No problem ;), I consider myself nit-picky :D
    And, I agree, the message IS more important than the delivery... but, in some cases, the delivery tells a lot ! And that goes for a lot of things.
     
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  2. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    One of the best Guitar/Bass players I know is an editor. Book editors and copy editors vary in their degree of education and their experience. Welcome to companies hiring the skill-challenged. Been going on since the Vice Pharaoh got his nephew a job whipping pyramid laborers even though the lad doesn't have the skill set for that sort of work.
     
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  3. Blue

    Blue Tele-Holic

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    Look at this example. Commas and full stops in between words. Is this due to the way a phone is set up or something?

    the mom comes down to the immediate back yard to eat the cherry tree , cherries , and apricot trees and leaves and the babies stay hidden in the grass , this upsets harlo because he thinks the babies are another dog on his property and mom is really protective . about a week in mom decides to visit the back deck and help herself to the strawberries that reside in the back deck flowerpots, she is really familiar with our yard as I believe she was born here as well,

    so Tuesday this week I am sitting in the studio with the patio doors open , I hear a faint sound from behind me and look around to see the bigger of the 2 fawns standing in my patio door his head in the house, I say Hello to him , then the second fawn pokes her head in and mom is in the back ground, they turn away and left to go do what a doe and her fawns do , in the wild ..... what a cool expieience.
     
  4. Stringbanger

    Stringbanger Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I see both sides of the proverbial coin. I never fared well in English in school, and I never received anything higher than a “C” grade. After high school, I went to work in a family business, and I was dispatched upon the road as a salesman. I was still socially inept, but my friendly disposition helped to make up for that.

    There was always this notion, in the back of my mind, that I had to improve my speech and my limited vocabulary. I began to read books, which was one of my least favorite things to do. I started to see some limited improvement. It wasn’t until after college that I became a voracious reader. I would take out 10-12 books from the library, and I would read them all in two weeks. One can overcome one’s deficiencies. You need to identify the problem, and then make the effort to change it.

    I can empathize with those who demand good communicative skills. Most of these people work in a professional setting, or else they have a higher education than the average person. They are accustom to good English usage.

    I also can empathize with those who are lacking in the ways of expressing themselves. One of the great dynamics of this forum is the diversity of the membership.

    I have patience for our international members. For many of them, English is not their native tongue. Conversely, some of them surely speak better English than me.

    Not all guitar players have higher educations. Some of our members are truck drivers, machinists, store managers, welders, maintenance men, and a myriad of other jobs. Some of these people might not be the most eloquent at expressing themselves, and I think tolerance needs to be shown.

    After all, at least the last time I checked, the TDPRI is a guitar forum, not a grammar forum.

    Edit: I also wanted to acknowledge the handicap members of this forum. Some of them don’t have the luxury of being able to type, so they need an alternate means of communicating here. Sometimes their posts can be misconstrued, because a lack of capitalization, run on sentences, etc. My apologies for the omission.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
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  5. chet again

    chet again Tele-Holic

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    Hey, now!
     
  6. Chuckster

    Chuckster Tele-Holic

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    As an editor, I have learned to keep my opinions and judgments to myself for the sake of keeping the peace. It's not worth losing a friend.

    Forums are the worst.
     
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  7. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yo, 'sup widdat? Modebbly mattahs.
     
  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    More than improper punctuation or use of tense etc I have an aversion to improper use of words.

    My last round of buying dictionaries was around 2003 or so and I would read definitions to see if I approved of the scholar writers definitions.
    As it turned out, I prefer dictionaries from the '50s and '60s, because the meanings of those times are the meanings I grew up with.

    Since the start of the 21st C meanings have been shot to hell it seems.

    But those who grew up before electricity (the parents of our oldest surviving humans) probably thought the same thing about meanings of the '50s and '60s.

    As far as grammar goes, kids are not even taught to write words by hand, and may in many cases simply follow the autocorrect of the device they are given for school.

    Further as kids communicate with one another by text at a distance of a few feet, they are forced to use the shortest method possible.
    If we give them the latest tools, we cannot expect them to use them like they were using the tools of our youth.
     
  9. jackinjax

    jackinjax Friend of Leo's

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    I feel nauseous and I think you're going to be sick. :twisted:
     
  10. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I can fully understand you not wanted to partake of editing in your free time.

    But people who are super intolerant of criticism are not really the best of friends, anyway.

    I had a friend (late) who, if he didn't like you, he wouldn't point out a critical mistake when you made it. If he liked you, he'd make you laugh then whisper in your ear, you had pronounced something badly.
     
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  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Boy, if I eliminated all my friends who are at all intolerant of criticism I'd be pretty lonely!

    Diplomatic helpful info distribution can be good though...
     
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  12. CCK1

    CCK1 TDPRI Member

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    @RLee77 Such a good point. Those that don't know, don't care. And usually get pissed off if they're told. Same with spelling. I really appreciate it, really, if someone tells me that my spelling or grammar are incorrect.
     
  13. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Although many people love to point at accusingly at schools and teachers, I always believed that the true source of a person's ability in reading, writing, and speaking is the reading s/he has done. I'm afraid reading (I mean book-length material) is fading away from most people's priority lists.

    To answer the thread-title's question: I guess not to me any more. I'm retired. I tried.
     
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  14. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    Arrggghhhh.... That one grates my gears. I’m triggered!

    It’s sheeple language. It’s completely illogical for the contexts it’s typically used in. Might as well lobotomise yourself for the impression is makes when I hear it.
     
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  15. HotRodSteve

    HotRodSteve Friend of Leo's

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    People that confuse "loose" with "lose" drive me batty, it's an epidemic.
     
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  16. jackinjax

    jackinjax Friend of Leo's

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    Doesn't it just make you nauseous?
     
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  17. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    So you’ve noticed that too? I’ve written plenty of both and I’m shocked by the basic typos that make it through the publication process. You can tell they’re relying on spell-checking programs. No proofreaders, let alone copy-editors or content editors.
     
  18. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Holic

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    How did we get to seven pages without this?

     
  19. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    I'll try to make this quick (for me) 'cause
    1) I have a little summer vacation left and, after 33 years of teaching college English, I don't want to work unless I really have to
    2) I could go and on about this with tiresomely perfect logic and embarrassing grammar mistakes of my own
    3) I've been teaching college English for 33 (sigh!) years, when all I wanted to do was have summers off and play with puppies all day.

    HELL, YES!--when it comes to the workplace. (Not so much when it comes to day-to-day, informal communication, which, in English, has alternate and shifting sets of rules, offering a lot of liberty to make up funny/needed words, structures, and phrases.) Professionally speaking, just 'cause so many people slouch into such bad habits these days, and 'cause we've allowed our schools to become such slackery factories, doesn't mean that the clarity that almost always depends on correctness isn't just as crucial as it's always been. While some errors are insignificant, many, if not most, matter a lot, and can ruin both documents and reputations.

    The rules matter not to please artsy-fartsy literature classes, or the teacher's subjective sense of style or correctness. But mostly to make clear, efficient sense. Making the sense is what requires the rules.

    Much of my teaching (and professional editing) has been of Technical Writing--that is, the researching, reasoning, writing, and graphical design required of scientists ranging from engineers of all sorts to business people who work closely with technicians, engineers, scientists, statistics, researchers, demographics, etc.

    If you can't use grammar properly, you can't match your language's structure to its (attempted) logic's content. Put material that is or should be a list in the form of, say, an if/then structure, and you're jamming an octopus into an elbow. This is not just inefficient. It backfires. When arrows are needed, fog explodes.

    This applies to many punctuation rules and situations, too. For example, if you write, "After closing valve 6 quickly open your muriatic acid bottle," your reader will wonder if he/she is to close valve 6 quickly, or is to open his/her muriatic acid bottle quickly. Put the comma where your meaning requires it to be and your reader knows what he/she is supposed to be doing. Omit it, or misplace it, and your reader may rush to open a bottle of potentially deadly acid, when what you meant was that he/she was supposed to close a particular valve quickly.

    Marks are signals--of content, structure, intention, direction. They mean different things. They're not interchangeable in the sense that even when we can use different marks, they mean the same thing. For even when punctuation's rules, working with grammar, syntax, and context, give the writer a choice about how he/she wants to color his/her meaning, the choices that the writer makes determine his/her meaning. For example, in the little spectrum below, the writer has choices because the rules give him/her those choices. He/she decides which marks to use based on what his/her meaning is. This doesn't mean that the rules don't apply, or matter.

    De-emphasis of favorite type:
    Mutts are the most common (and my favorite) type of dog.

    No emphasis of favorite type:
    Mutts are the most common and my favorite type of dog.

    Moderate emphasis of favorite type:
    Mutts are the most common, and my favorite, type of dog.

    Strong emphasis of favorite type:
    Mutts are the most common--and my favorite--type of dog.

    This, however,
    Mutts are the most common (and my favorite), type; of dog.​
    Or this
    Mutt's are, the most common: and my favorite type of dog.​
    etc.
    are wrong because by violating usage rules, they confuse the reader--because they don't convey the author's intended meaning, just as giving granny in the Oldsmobile the finger when you mean to wave her into passing through the intersection first may confuse poor granny into clanging into Yani's Volvo.

    Similarly, introduce a list with a hyphen instead of the apt dash (for a brief list) or colon (for a longer list), and your reader will wonder why you're truncating something that he/she can't detect, and why a list oddly follows this apparently very missing piece.

    If English teachers are a suspect bunch here, then ask engineering professors, or bosses at a biohazards labs, or (ack!) lawyers if precisely correct writing matters for needed things to be built properly, dangerous things to be handled properly, and Chibson owners to be sued properly, and you'll get a clear, shared answer.

    That said, I sure love good slang, regionalisms, colloquialisms, etc. I'd MUCH rather re-read Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for the 303rd time than even the most immaculately written grant proposal!
     
  20. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm curious about arguments *against* attention to grammatical correctness.

    What kind of language-world would these arguments prefer?
     
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