ian's grammactical rules

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ian
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ian's grammactical rules

Post by ian » Thu May 19, 2005 6:49 am

A simple typo in an informal forum is no big deal.<p>Many typos in an informal forum is a sign of carelessness, disinterest, or dyslexia.<p>Typos in a formal document is unproffesional.<p>Spelling mistakes in a formal document is unproffesional.<p>Repeated spelling mistakes is a sign of lesser education.<p>Intentional, repeated spelling mistakes, and/or bad grammar is a sign of someone actually promoting stupidity. Don't be shocked, it's quite common.

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philba
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Re: ian's grammactical rules

Post by philba » Thu May 19, 2005 8:36 am

Sounds like what I said, only with better grammar!<p>I can't agree more. Spelling and grammar do influence people's perception of you. You will be taken far more seriously if you present a professional, competent image.

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Re: ian's grammactical rules

Post by Newz2000 » Thu May 19, 2005 8:45 am

Is this an "English speakers only" forum? If so, is it also only for those English speakers who can read and write at a high-school level?<p>My guess is that based on the subject matter of this forum, it attracts people from all over the world. What you are implying to those who read this is, "I don't care what your technical ability is, if you haven't mastered the English language you're merely 'promoting stupidity.'" This statement is not helpful, it only discourages people who might be self-conscious about their grammar.<p>I suspect there are many people around with useful experience and knowledge who may not be speaking English as their primary language (maybe C++ is their primary language).<p>Here is the formal policy of the CSS-Discuss mailing list which is a very high-traffic, multi-cultural e-mail list. I think it's a very good policy to keep in mind for all Internet communication: http://www.css-discuss.org/policies.htm ... ensitivity<p>Keep in mind also that this is not business software, nor is it a formal document; There is no spell checker in this forum.<p>As a side note for those who are self-conscious about their English grammar and spelling: Here is a web-site where you can paste your short messages in and quickly check your spelling and look for common grammar mistakes.<p> http://www.spellchecker.net/spellcheck/<p>Instead of discouraging people from posting, I would think that people who frequent this list would try to attract more people to post and join in the helpful discussions.<p>A good way to squelch these types of discussions would be for the forum maintainer to create an official policy. Before doing so, I strongly urge them to read the css-discuss policies I linked to above.

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Re: ian's grammactical rules

Post by Newz2000 » Thu May 19, 2005 9:00 am

<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by philba:
I can't agree more. Spelling and grammar do influence people's perception of you. You will be taken far more seriously if you present a professional, competent image.<hr></blockquote><p>I would rather talk to the knowledgable engineer about my technical problem than the elequent sales person. I judge competency based upon content when it comes to technical matters.<p>This is a technical forum, right?

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Chris Smith
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Re: ian's grammactical rules

Post by Chris Smith » Thu May 19, 2005 11:19 am

How about this IAN? <p>Who cares?<p>This is a science forum and all this diatribe isn’t getting any of us closer to learning science? <p>And well leave the judging to some one higher than us all. My english teacher.<p>We all can and have run on for page after page about our pet gripes, but the gripes should be focused on science, not the esoteric subjects of little or no consequence to science. <p>So lets all get back to Science.

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Re: ian's grammactical rules

Post by rshayes » Thu May 19, 2005 1:18 pm

Several years ago, it was made a criminal offense in France to mix words from other languages (mainly English) with French in billboard advertisements. Most English speakers are not that intolerant.<p>The genesis of this thread was not people that made errors because of a lack of facility or experience with English. English is redundant enough that that type of error is corrected from the context. Most people realize that it is a major accomplishment to learn a grammatical structure that is vastly different from your native language and will respect you for trying and succeeding most of the time.<p>The comments were aimed at people for which English is not a second language and who are simply too lazy to use it properly. The use of contractions is not introduced in high school. This is done in elementary school, probably before the fourth or fifth grade. Similarly, the use of "to" (preposition), "to" (infinitive), "two" (number), and "too" (also) are taught in elementary school.

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Re: ian's grammactical rules

Post by Dean Huster » Thu May 19, 2005 4:15 pm

Actually, I believe the subject of proper grammar, spelling, syntax, etc. is very appropriate for a forum involving electronics. If I send a $40,000 test instrument in for repair and the technician who writes up the repair ticket uses horrible spelling and bad grammer, I immediately assume that the technician has the same grasp on electronics.<p>What good is it to be an electronics genius and not be able to do a good job of expressing your ideas to others? It needs to be reinforced to our electronics and science students that English is just as important as the trade skills they're trying to learn because otherwise, they won't care.<p>Do you realize how many of my students were refused jobs because they couldn't fill out a job application decently or express themselves intelligently in an interview?<p>After teaching electronics for 20+ years, I get more than a little fed up with high school students in my class who converse and write on a sixth-grade level. Their math skills aren't any better. Poor English and math is an overall indicator of poor education. Currently, I live in a depressed area where the high school drop-out rate is close to 10%, teen pregnancy rates are three times the national average and dependency on (read that as "abuse of") Medicaid, food "stamps", ADC, WIC, educational help, etc. is appalling. By the time a large percentage of kids down here are five, they have teeth that have been capped because of excessive bottle feeding and their 24-year-old parents are likely to have no teeth at all because of neglect, methamphetemine and poor diet.<p>Believe me, English ability is an indicator of what is to come.<p>Dean
Dean Huster, Electronics Curmudgeon
Contributing Editor emeritus, "Q & A", of the former "Poptronics" magazine (formerly "Popular Electronics" and "Electronics Now" magazines).

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terri
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Re: ian's grammactical rules

Post by terri » Thu May 19, 2005 5:08 pm

Well said.<p>I add:
"I recognize that some of us are unfortunate in our abilities to spell, but it is not necessarily their fault. It is largely the fault of the schooling we get, where many teachers are afraid to enforce precision of thought and precision of spelling, and to teach mental focusing." (From a previous post.)<p>I also recognize that english is a growing, changing entity, where argot may become formalized in only a few generations. And while I will occasionally use argot or slang for coloration or style, or deliberately end sentences with preopositions, I find it discouraging that some people take pride in their poor language skills and tout the notion that good language skills are neither necessary nor needed.<p>Smacks of the "compensation" mechanism: "I may not be a good 'this-a' , but I'm an excellent 'that-a'"<p>(And the implied subject of that sentence it "it" lest I be charged with being ungrammatical.<p>[ May 19, 2005: Message edited by: terri ]</p>
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philba
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Re: ian's grammactical rules

Post by philba » Thu May 19, 2005 5:28 pm

<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Matt Nuzum:
<p>I would rather talk to the knowledgable engineer about my technical problem than the elequent sales person. I judge competency based upon content when it comes to technical matters.<p>This is a technical forum, right?<hr></blockquote><p>Feh. Eloquence is the domain of sales people???? A person with good communication skills can't be technical??? What a load of bull. Some of the greatest scientific, mathematical and technical minds have had really good communications skills. Ever read Feynman?<p>I think there are many many technical people with good communications skills. What bugs me is how little care some people take to make their communications clear. If some one talks to me, I expect them to try to be clear. If they don't they are just wasting their time and mine.<p>As to the subject of non-native speakers. I give them some slack but still, this is an english language forum. They do, in general, seem to work at communicating clearly for the large part. In fact, many non-native speakers have better English that most natives.

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Re: ian's grammactical rules

Post by ezpcb » Thu May 19, 2005 6:54 pm

I agree with Philba. Eloquence is also very important for engineers. many complex projects are rely on team work, Eloquence means better communicating.<p>My English is bad, should I escape from this forum?<p>Mike
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philba
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Re: ian's grammactical rules

Post by philba » Thu May 19, 2005 7:09 pm

Mike, your English is very good for a non-native speaker. More importantly, you seem like you are trying to do better. That counts for a lot in my book. <p>Phil

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Chris Smith
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Re: ian's grammactical rules

Post by Chris Smith » Thu May 19, 2005 7:30 pm

Dean, you cant be serious?<p>"I immediately assume that the technician has the same grasp on electronics"<p>You need to immerse your self in some literature on the "Right side, and the Left side" of the brain. <p>Most scientist have trouble using both, and that is why they excel better in one. <p>They use one side uncluttered by the others, and go straight to the crux of the problem and solution in just a few micro seconds of elapsed time. <p>When you toss in English, a esoteric and abstract value, things slow down and the ball usually gets dropped. <p>Id hire a savant over any English teacher.

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Re: ian's grammactical rules

Post by Enzo » Thu May 19, 2005 9:09 pm

Actually Philba he never said that elquence was only to be found in sales people, he was saying he cares more about content than style. He would rather struggle with poor langauge skills to communicate with someone with knowledge than have a smooth talk with an ignoramus. Of course there are very knowledgable engineers with excellent communication skills, but then that would not be part of the problem we are discussing.<p>Mike, you are doing fine, stick with it. With your name ezpcb and such remarks as the Cherokee/Land Rover, it seems you have a grasp of our language beyond simple grammar.<p>I am with Dean here. I have hired many technicians over the last few decades, and have had to oversee their work from afar as field operations director of a national company. I don't care if the guy is an idiot-savant, if he cannot communicate effectively, he is of limited value. I don't need him to speak like a Harvard literature professor, but if I show him some equipment and he says, "them are cool." He is not going to be working here soon.<p>And I bump into a lot of people around here who do say "them are" all the time. It grates.<p>I once had an applicant say on his resume - among other things - that he had experience working on "VCAres" Yes, believe it or not he could not spell VCR. I saved that resume, it is in my file today yet. The guy also said, "I have build the health kit." (Meaning he had built a Heathkit.) And a phrase we still bandy about the shop, "Here is the knowledge of what I know." And the sad thing is that on this resume full of non-sentences and other sins, he had blotted out some things with white out. So he thought those things were bad, but apparently the other things were OK. This fellow could have lost me some of my frachises if paperwork like that was filed.<p>If a guy cannot read a theory of operation guide, what should I do, read it aloud to him? Literacy is important. If I find a guy who speaks mainly Vietnamese or French, that is one thing, he will learn ENglish. But if he is right out of the local associates degree program and cannot make good sentences, he is in trouble.<p>Aside from what I might think as an employer, I have my customers to think of. They will not have any confidence in our operation if grammar and spelling problems abound. I once took over an operation with a technician who was illiterate. He was a pretty able tech, but could barely read. The overal manager instructed me to keep the guy away from customers and never let him fill our the paperwork. People had complained that their invoice looked like a second grader had filled it out. I liked the guy, but he could not study new materials for updating his skills, he could not document problems or work done. "fix output bad" does not look good to me or a customer. As an employer I should not have to dance around all these things just to get the work done. Had he ben willing to go to school to work on it, I would have bent over backwards in support, but that is another story. He was a legacy, not someone I hired.<p>DOc, I am having some pain in my abdomen here." "Oh, it is probably that thingie in there." I'm confident.

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Re: ian's grammactical rules

Post by terri » Fri May 20, 2005 1:23 am

It should be painfully obvious that the root of this controversy is not "good english" versus "poor english."<p>It is the fact that someone is aggressively defending the indefensible: that somehow, the use of poor english is OK if you gots udder sklis.<p>I have a lot of respect for the knowledge and technical wisdom of some people on this board, despite the fact that I stumble over some of the poor english they use. <p>But it borders on the ridiculous when some of these folks think that they're pioneering a "New English" by self-righteously using cant instead of can't. <p>That's not wisdom. That's stubborness.
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Re: ian's grammactical rules

Post by dr_when » Fri May 20, 2005 5:08 am

I knew a Chris-type individual in high school that took a black marker and wrote on someones school locker: <p>"You are so Stuip"<p>I guess he told him!<p>[ May 20, 2005: Message edited by: dr_when ]</p>
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