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.
Your English is terrific. English is my only language, and I am sure I speak and write differently to Americans. I am sure a lot of people have trouble with some of the things that I 'say' - I am arrogant enough to say, I an not fussed - and I would never pick anybody up on speech or spelling. I am often sent to the dictionary when some smart alec puts up a word of which I have never heard. People (namely me), have been picked up on ending a sentence with a preposition, but, it is a spurious rule, sort of :)
My concern is that most people still consider our 'American" language as English, where I come from a 'fag' is not a cigarette, the hood of my car is not called a 'bonnet', the American language is a beautiful mixture of many languages, to call it 'English', to me, is an insult.
Not a concern. That's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about people who misspell words they must run into all the time spelled correctly. People never capitalize, who don't "get" how capitalization and punctuation affect meaning, and/or who write without regard to those in paragraphs of 1000 words or more, revealing that they don't know what paragraphs are for, either.
People will say that it's the thoughts that count, not the expression. And yet communication involves the speaker/writer and listener/reader both understanding and using the same code. I challenge those people to show me something that was profound and revelatory written without regard to the rules most of us rely on: grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
I'm sometimes a bit guilty of not breaking a post down into smaller paragraphs. Usually it's because I can't find a logical break when I'm speaking about a general topic (my sentence structure is too dependent on previous sentences). But I know I make my share of spelling/grammar mistakes. I'm trying to replace my latest edition of "Strunk & White's" now (I keep buying them and giving them away).
@archaeopteryx just recently helped me proofread a long blog posting for which I'm eternally grateful. Why? For the very reasons you cite. Improper grammar, etc. is jarring and it can cause the reader to be confused and/or lose the gist of your argument.
@Richard - what I said then, I meant only about formal writing, for public consumption. When speaking here, among friends, anyone can speak to me in any way they like, and that's fine with me - except for that one weird dude, some time back (whose name escapes me), who spoke in word-salad.
Yes, you were taking him to task if I recall. And thanks for clarifying that omission on my part. I just felt it didn't hurt to give you due credit and gratitude.
That's never necessary.
No, probably not within a general frame of reference, but within the framework of my personal ethics I find it essential. :p
I can live with that - you're welcome.
"word-salad". love it!
I think peer review is an ongoing process here.
I concur. When communicating in a written format, it just makes a person look juvenile at best and like an idiot at worst if that person cant' follow the basic rules of English grammar. However, I do make exceptions for those people for whom English is a secondary language. That's completely understandable, but if you grew up in America, you have no excuse.