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Grammar Nazism?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Xanados, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. Xanados

    Xanados Maester

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    I have a question for Mythic Scribes: how does one cope with being a grammar Nazi?

    Sure some of us are still learning, but there are a lot of people out there who, for example, use the contraction "it's" when they mean the possessive "its". Simple things like that get on my nerves. If I see a post in which there are a plethora of mistakes, I will simply refuse to read it. I have often found that I will dissect another writer's sentences. The worst part of it is that I feel like they are inferior when they do not meet my standards.

    Heck, I probably have a few grammatical inaccuracies in this very post...

    I’m not sure where this thread like this is supposed to go, but I’ll just put it here.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  2. JazzTD

    JazzTD Dreamer

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    I assume most writers are like this. Maybe due to self editing because when reading over your writing you need to make corrections, maybe our brain associates grammatical errors with editing it and as such we cannot stand to read something we cannot edit. And when another writer cannot even edit themselves maybe our brain says "they aren't good enough to yet".

    I normally skip any posts written incorrectly or in chat speak. Sometimes I feel bad when I know it's not a native speaker, writing it, but still I just cannot bring myself to actually read the whole thing. It's just a "GAH GET IT AWAY" moment.

    Basically we might just be in the same boat.
     
  3. Xanados

    Xanados Maester

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    Indeed, JazzTD. I think anyone who claims to be a writer but has trouble with basic grammatical functions is, quite frankly, an idiot. I say this because I didn't call myself a writer until I studied English after I finished school and knew many of the more in-depth aspects of punctuation and grammar. I wasn't the greatest academic in the world, so my English failed in that regard, though I could always punctuate sentences with more skill than many at that young age.

    Speaking of studying English: did anyone study in College/University? I have never studied in an environment like that. I just study articles and occasionally do quizzes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  4. The Blue Lotus

    The Blue Lotus Auror

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    Yeah well... ya know... sometimes it is what it is.

    But then again you have seen my postings and I am sure I drive you crazy too.

    Not that I really care what others think mind you. Everyone has their own strengths and short comings, no one is perfect. There are worse things in life than a missing period or an extra apostrophe, or gasp, even misspelled words.

    For some it is medical, for others it is lack of education, and others still it is a matter of learning a new language. In either case we should encourage growth.
     
  5. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    Yeah, well... I figure there's worse things to be bothered by than bad grammar. Like, maybe... actual Nazism.

    Still, it's hard to do well as a writer, and a number of other things at that, if for whatever reason you're really struggling with your grammar. I think we need to push each other - in some ways or another - to do better. I understand the mods have a policy, so I can stay out of it.
     
  6. Giant

    Giant Minstrel

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    In my opinion bad grammar is an unfortunate thing but not the end of the world in the forums. I try to keep in mind, that people may need help in this aspect of writing just as others might need help with dialogue or world building.

    That being said I think if one person is particularly good at grammar/punctuation, and they see a post from a writer who is struggling with it, they should try to help them if possible. Most of us would appreciate constructive criticism, especially about the part of our writing that is particularly week. I also try to keep in mind that everyone is at a different stage in their writing career, and it is a shame not to encourage the newbie (rpg reference:D) to improve on their mistakes and keep writing.

    By the way Xanados, I have noticed that all of your posts are very well written :)
     
  7. If it makes no sense, or is very badly written, I just skip over it. It's like any other thing in life, if I pick up a book I don't like, I don't read it. If you want people to pay any attention to you, learn to write in a manner that others will be able to read easily, and has something of value to make it worth reading.

    Don't like what I have to say, and you don't read it...I won't know, and I'm positive I won't care.

    I do agree we should strive to write in sentences, and avoid the rash of internet acronyms that are fine for texting, but you would think people on a writing site would attempt to...I don't know...write in a semi coherent way.
     
  8. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    There you go.

    I don't really think that's a great way to go about it, but okay.
     
  9. I would say in a forum setting it is fairly abysmal. Consider that many people on here may not have the time to proof their sentences for certain errors. Not only that I bet some are using mobile devices, which are not as accurate as the traditional keyboard. Further one should consider that often times people get distracted midpost and forget what they were writing and would miss certain aspects of more precise grammar.

    However in a published work that is allegedly professionaly done I say have at it!
     
  10. Ziggy

    Ziggy Scribe

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    :D

    It depends how bad and how consistent the mistakes are. It doesn't bother me if someone makes the occasional mistake, or if they neglect capital letters and such. But I remember on this one forum a number of people used the word "loose" when they meant "lose". And they made that mistake over and over again, even after I pointed it out. That really annoyed me.

    I don't think it's worth the bother to "correct" people's posts though. Not unless they are posting up something specifically for a critique.
     
  11. Xanados

    Xanados Maester

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    NOOOOoooooo!!!

    I feel genuinely horrified, especially after Giant complimented my writing.

    It sure is hard to write when you're an insomniac...

    Yes, that's my excuse.

    Give me a break, it was only ONE word. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  12. mythique890

    mythique890 Sage

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    Mistakes have to be blatant and frequent to bother me, and that's not really a problem on this forum. I get on another non-writing forum sometimes and it's awful.

    I was an English major for a little while in college. I don't know what it's like elsewhere, but here in the US it's more about analyzing literature than grammar. I didn't take an intensive grammar class until I switched my major to linguistics.

    I suppose one copes by taking a deep breath and focusing on the content rather than the delivery. Besides, editors care a lot less about grammar (which they can fix) than story and voice.
     
  13. sashamerideth

    sashamerideth Maester

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    My android keyboard has a tendency to auto correct its to it's. It has no contextual checking, so can't always tell.
     
  14. The Blue Lotus

    The Blue Lotus Auror

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    Pfft your are preaching to the chior, try 2-3 hrs of sleep a night for 6 years. Loads of fun. But it is expected when you run an international business, or have multiple jobs as many these days do. Just one of the many trade offs. *sigh*
     
  15. Jess A

    Jess A Archmage

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    There are several grammatical errors which irk me more than they should. However, while certain things bother me on message boards, I am unlikely to care for more than a few seconds. After all, I make mistakes too and there are certain things that I don't know either.

    However!

    Please, please, if you are in marketing and advertising, get it right! I hate seeing official signs and posters outside shops or in stores (or whatever!) which have noticeable errors. It is wildly unprofessional. If the graphics designer who did the posters for our shop had made a noticeable mistake, I would have had her head.
     
  16. The Blue Lotus

    The Blue Lotus Auror

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    ROFLMBO, did you see the tee shirts wthat were missing the ' in them? Way funny, my sister had 3 in different colors and did not notice it, until I pointed it out.
     
  17. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    I think pointing out small things to people who are probably posting rather quickly isn't really helping anyone or making the world a better place for writers. Everyone makes mistakes. People use comma splices, run-on sentences, fragments, dangling participles, etc. all the time and I don't care. On a forum. If I read it in a story, then yeah, it bothers me.

    One of the general rules of Mythic Scribes (and should be of more forums) is that you should at least use a modicum of good grammar and spelling when writing your posts. This is a writing community after all. But harping on small errors doesn't really help anyone.

    I'm assuming if people submit work to markets that they capitalize "I" and use the proper forms. My personal preference is for people to use proper English at all times. But correcting people's "that" and "this" and "you're" and "your" doesn't change the world for the better. People will continue to get these things wrong from here to eternity. I know. I'm an English teacher.

    And I'm an English teacher in Japan so I am a bit more forgiving than most English teachers.

    So I say don't sweat the small stuff. Meaning do your thing and don't worry about what other people are doing. There are slews of things that annoy me, but I typically keep them to myself. I'm probably giving myself an ulcer by doing so, but I have much more fanciful and whimsical ways to spend my time.

    Like going into berserker rages on Skyrim! Take that "Dangling Participle Dragon!" Take this "Comma Splice Harpy!" Then I throw a fireball at a bunch of run-on sentence ogres and I feel better. :)
     
    Amanita likes this.
  18. Lepton

    Lepton Dreamer

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    I make occasional mistakes, and I'm completely aware of it. I haven't been on Mythic Scribes for very long, so quite obviously I do not have a say in that, but on other forums I can not stand it. I usually lose a lot of respect for those who can't capitalize their sentences, refuses to learn the difference between there their or they're, or/and does it continuously. Its a different story if the person I'm talking to is in a hurry, or say doesn't know English very well, though.

    I don't correct people, I never have, and I doubt I ever will unless I'm teasing a friend or someone close to me. I don't like correcting strangers. ;)
     
  19. fleamailman

    fleamailman Closed Account

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    ("...ah now humans..." started the goblin, much enjoying these posts so far, but not really wishing to write in the way everyone else did, adding "...nah, the two drawbacks with writing correctly is that is looks so old on the one hand while between the gap, of how it should be written against how one writes it, is revealed too much about oneself to one's readers...", in fact, the goblin had often observed how educators with nanny blogs sporned those clones of perfectionism who then thought that they could actually write merely because what they wrote was without fault grammatically, whereas anyone with the slightest bit of experience of writing already knows that the author is little more than a go-between between some passing vision and its portrayal here, whereupon the goblin finally smiled, saying "...simply, I would never have had my readership if I had ever written as you humans do, so allow me then to set such a bad example for you MYAHAHAHAHA...")
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
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