Disappointment with the grammar and spelling of some TA users

I've noticed that many of the forum discussions that TA has tweeted lately have contained glaring grammatical and spelling errors.  I find this disappointing and even personally embarrassing as it inevitably reflects not only on the original poster but on the forum as a whole and, by extension, the larger atheist community.  I know written communication isn't everything, and it certainly isn't a high priority among the public generally, but we should try to meet a higher standard.  Given the unlikelihood that individual posters will suddenly take more care when writing, I think the operators of the site's Twitter feed should consider not tweeting discussion titles with serious errors.

That's one poster's opinion, for whatever it's worth.

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I'm sure your intentions are absolutely pure.


Some of these "good ole Alabama rednecks don't even come up fer air when they is conversating.

They just hope their partner doesn't cross her legs.

Ahm a chompin' Ed - I agree completely!

ok, i think this is interesting.

i didn't notice that you were capitalizing your yous until the part you wrote after "thus:".

now i'm thinking that a capital y on you makes sense in that it's consistent with capitalizing each i.

Meanwhile, although I tire of profuse spelling/grammar Nazism (and I admire occasional, intelligent breakage of standards), one of the attractions I felt to TA was Officer Feenstra's substantive, insightful, and eloquent prose. Seriously.

I am divided on this topic.

I mean, I am really Divided.

I may not call someone on it but consistently bad grammar and spelling will definitely cause me to downgrade my estimate of them (again with the exception of those for whom English is a second language). The occasional typo?  No biggie.  And of course my standard for chat is looser than for posts that will still be around ten years from now.

And let's not even get started on texting "rebus speak" like "ur" for "your" or "you're" for which I place the initial blame on texting on telephone keypads.  Hell if I was donkeyfuck enough to try to communicate with a "system" like that, I'd abbreviate the hell out of everything too.  And now it's taken root;. people do it even when they don't have to.  (This is different from the phenomenon of "leet (7334)" BTW, where you are spelling the words out but with symbol substitution.)

Twitter may well be partially responsible.  It's fine and dandy to say "well maybe people should learn to express their thought in 140 characters" but what's more likely to happen is rebus-speak and other incoherent "innovations" in writing--it's the past of least resistance; concise writing is hard to learn, donkeyfuck rebus text is not.  I'd rather see something a bit longer that seems to mostly follow spelling and grammar rules than that.

A friend of mine does a podcast, and got a question on what to do if you have an "intellectually inferior" professor.  She read the question on the air _exactly_ as it was written and it became obvious within the first sentence who the inferior was.  And you bet she called the questioner on it.  She used to TA undergrad philosophy and said she had maybe three students (over a span of years) who could write at what she thought of as a high school level.

Oh, and how could I forget to bring up a certain individual here who wrote a lot of posts and replies... and consistently refused to form plurals... he claimed he was in great pain typing but that didn't stop him from indulging his logorrhea in the slightest.

I am all for correct grammer and punctuation, but I imagine this site wishes to make all feel welcome and not discourage those who do not have English as a native language, maybe dyslexic, perhaps they are self educated due to not having access to public education. Far from criticising these people we should be congratulating them for making the effort to learn the English they have and encouraging them to take part. If you wish to be a language Nazi go ahead, just try to be a nice, polite and helpful one. How about this site requiring all users to use French for a week then allow our French members to make their observations on our efforts, this might be an interesting mirror to hold up to the English speakers !


Judith vd R.

Judith, my life experience is that while non-native speakers may struggle with pronunciation and diction (selecting the most colloquially correct word), their grasp of things like spelling and grammer and punctuation tends to be excellent when writing. It's sad that American schools can't turn out native speakers with equally good skills.

What chew talkin' 'bout Willis? Last year I couldn't even spell graduwait and now I are one!


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