Hi, I am a 64 yr old woman who is finally free of religious skeletons. I can now without guilt call myself an Atheist.  Because of my "Christian" upbringing ,my thoughts, ideas, opinions became molded for me but not by me, as a result i have never been able to express myself very well . I now hold my own opinions which i would like to articulate on this site but so far feel intimidated with the writings, they all sound so intelligent and im impressed by the way opinions are expressed . The other day a blog on here was a guy expressing his disgust on how stupid some people are when it comes to writing their opinions without proper punctuation ,spelling etc, well i am one of those people, I feel very intelligent inside but cannot express myself well. I guess the point im trying to make is that i found this site interesting but feel very intimated to speak my mind.  For now i will just sit back and enjoy the reading.

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I used to feel the same about online forums when I started using them. Personally, I felt like I was intruding on a social setting to which I was not invited. Every time I posted, I felt a lot of pressure to do things the right way. Eventually I just dove in and gradually my concerns faded.

This forum, like most, is made of up a lot of different personalities. Some people will greatly value your contributions while others may not. While it is commendable to be considerate for the tone of the community here, the most important thing is that you feel good about your contributions. Perhaps, for something you contribute down the line, there will be someone reading along quietly (just as you have done) who really relates and feels a little less isolated as a result. The only way for that to happen is for your ideas to be expressed.

Speaking as a moderator, this community exists for people just such as yourself. You belong here as much as any other member. Think Atheist welcomes your thoughts and your perspectives. If anyone gives you a different impression, that is simply their opinion.

That said, however you choose to use the site, I hope you continue to enjoy it.

Very well said Kris!

Dear Peggy:

Sadly, some here need to be purists in their prose. As is the case with many skills, practice can help improve them.

Many of of us here have extensive education backgrounds. Happily, one's prose can sometimes improve faster that their mathematics or logic skills. As you read, it might become clear that our associates, as theists, need extensive additional composition exposure. IMHO, we are are doing a favor to our dear theists blog mates, by offering our sometimes enlightened response.

For some additional points of interest, a review of the 'cussing' blog might be worth a read.

Speak.  It doesn't matter if you can't spell.  It's all about free-ranging discussion and experimentation. 

Peggy for a person who think they can't write well you are doing perfectly well. Now, concerning the content of your response or of your posts, you need not worry. I know zilch about quantum physics, all I can do is read, learn and internalize after a time I know I will have little knowledge on the subject and can contribute to the discussion. We can't know everything about everything, but your feelings, experiences and thoughts are unique to you and only you can make us aware of them through sharing.

And for your age, to finally become free of religion is almost a Herculean task. So welcome here, chat when you can, post a blog, comment on any of them and have fun. Don't worry about the discussion on grammar that is going on elsewhere on this site, it isn't a crisis.

Express yourself as best as you can and if at the after posting your blog or comment, you discover there is an error, let it pass. Most people will respond only to the content and rarely would anyone start cherry picking on the spelling.

Welcome to TA and have fun.

Notice Blaine, how I let that slide by without any response? I'm getting better, I really am --

Remember Herbert Lom, the inspector from the old "Pink Panther" movies with Peter Sellers. with his little eye twitch every time he heard the name, "Clouseau"? Same effect --

Yes Peggy, I know the guy, or guys in question, and trust me, none of us is as intelligent as we'd like to think we are. You just say whatever you want to say, however you want to say it, and don't feel the least bit intimidated, as that will stifle your expression, which is what I've been complaining about for 25 pages now!

Say what you like, if those lacking common comprehension skills, for whatever reason don't follow you, I'll translate for them in very small words that even they will understand.

Your selection of words, sentences, and punctuation seem to communicate your thoughts perfectly - unless you were actually trying to communicate in Portuguese and spelled everything so horribly that it came out in English!

Don't get too hung up on posting grammatical perfection - it's not necessary.  It is, I think, common courtesy to take a second proof reading before posting just to weed out obvious errors, but your message is what matters (to me, at least).

Personally I thought it was the worst written Hungarian I ever read.

I wouldn't touch that with a ten-foot Pole, not to mention a 9-foot Albanian --

At some point you've got to stop being intimidated and jump into the conversation. You've expressed yourself just fine in this post. If you want to improve your ability to express yourself through writing, your grammar, and your spelling, then you've got to practice. You've also got to learn not to sweat the small stuff. Grammar, spelling, and expressing myself through writing doesn't come easy to me; it doesn't come easy to a lot of people. I put a lot of effort into my posts because posting on online forums is great practice. If your writing is atrocious a really good thought/idea might get lost to the reader. If your writing is too pretentious a really good thought/idea might get lost to the reader. A comfortable balance is all anyone is really looking for, no one (unless they are the supreme grammar Nazi of the universe) is expecting absolute perfection. A little effort when writing is greatly appreciated, perfectionism is far from necessary especially on on internet forum.

What SHE said!^

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