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.
Actually, it's a little known fact (as Cliff Claven used to say), so little known that no one knows it, that e. e. cummings was merely the pseudonym of Archy, the cockroach, of "archy and mehitabel" fame.
Of all Cummings work, the one line of his that I found most memorable was, "with back broken, but head unbowed" --
The last graph of this Cummings poem is one of my favorite pieces of poetry. No more poignant words about lost love exists to my knowledge.
it may not always be so;and i say
it may not always be so;and i say
that if your lips,which i have loved,should touch
another's,and your dear strong fingers clutch
his heart,as mine in time not fara away;
if on another's face your sweet hair lay
in such a silence as i know,or such
great writhing words as,uttering overmuch,
stand helplessly before the spirit at bay;
if this should be,i say if this should be--
you of my heart,send me a little word;
that i may go unto him,and take his hands,
saying,Accept all happiness from me.
Then shall i turn my face,and hear one bird
sing terribly afar in the lost lands.'
So let it not be thought that I'm opposed to creativity in language. Everyday discourse, however, thrives more on standardization than creativity.
What about Ruskin's,
"Of all sad words or tongue or pen,
The saddest are these, 'It might have been....'"
That's good, but I prefer my nominee. This from Romeo and Juliet is also good, though it's about a might-have-been love lost to a tragedy of errors:
A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head:
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished:
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.
Another line, from that same Cummings poem I mentioned above, that also stuck with me, was, "There is some shit I will not eat!"
Cummings was one of the great artists of the English language. I'm sure he knew standard spelling, grammar, and punctuation before he got so creative. We are talking here about people who don't know better and thus should get a little education before coming here and putting their ignorance on full display. It doesn't follow from one being an atheist that they arrived at that view because they are ipso facto intelligent..
What is the nature of stupidity, is it a disease, a deficiency, or an intentional affront? I would argue that it is a deficiency. I would say that the poor are to the rich, as the stupid are to the intelligent. They are those who must go without. I don’t think poverty is the fault of the poor, I don’t think stupidity is the fault of the stupid. Should people who lack good spelling skills turn to religion because they feel excluded from atheism by a sense of intellectual elitism? I would hope not, any movement that rejects the uneducated rejects the bulk of humanity.
Give 'em hell, Hank!
Yesterday I was buying a few books in a local bookstore when I overheard the following conversation between 2 schoolboys of about 15 years of age and a female staff member (about 20 years old) who was checking the computer to see if the book they were looking for was in stock. It went something like this.
Staff: The old man and the what?
Boys: The Sea.
Staff: I don’t think so – who is it by?
Staff: Does that have one or two “M’s?”
Staff: Have you tried the Newly Released section?
Boys: No but we will thanks.
Me: Do you have the new book “Mortality” by Christopher Hitchens?
Staff: How is that spelt – Oh wait yes but only in hardback? It’s in the religion section.
Me: I think you should call an ambulance – I seem to have accidently chewed half own my arm off.
TA users, in my opinion, typically have exceptional grammar and spelling in comparison to users on other social networking websites. I do think that it would be a good idea for TA to correct misspellings and obvious grammar errors before posting to the Twitter feed. First impressions do make a difference.
I'm sure that's a spare-time project that Morgan Matthew is just chomping at the bit to get started on --