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Use of Proper Spelling and Grammar

Black Dragon

Staff
Administrator
Please note that the forum guidelines have been updated to include the following:

2. All posts have to follow basic spelling and grammar. We are a community of writers, and as such we demonstrate respect and care for the English language.

We understand that some people struggle with the English language for legitimate reasons. In some cases an individual is learning English as a second or third language, or perhaps has a condition such as dyslexia. With this in mind, we are not requiring perfection, but only a sincere effort.

We all make typos or forget obscure grammatical rules. That's OK. Even some slang is perfectly fine, provided that it's used when appropriate. What we are asking is that you make a minimal effort to proofread your posts, and check that the spelling, grammar and punctuation are correct. Please avoid excessive use of abbreviations, and always finish your sentences with a period.

By taking these steps you will ensure that your posts are clear and easy to read. This will in turn facilitate better discussions, and will help to maintain the high quality of our writing community.

Thank you.
 

kennyc

Inkling
Hmmm, coulda swore I replied to this and I joined just for that reason. Some forums I belong to seem to actually encourage certain members in the constant and intentional misspelling and bad grammar. Thank you!
 
Hear, hear. Couldn't agree more. It's pretty aggravating seeing a lot of these basic mistakes that (for a writing community) simply should not be made, period. :)

You don't have to actually spell our the word period, period. You just have to place a period at the end of a sentence, in symbolic form, period.

Please most assuredly read as a joke.
 
You don't have to actually spell our the word period, period. You just have to place a period at the end of a sentence, in symbolic form, period.

Please most assuredly read as a joke.
I'm well aware Mr. Dragon, hence the smiley face after it, but thankyou so much for the grammar lesson ;) Your comment actually made me smile, and rest assured, I read it as a joke.
 

Kelise

Maester
With the steady influx of new members, I think this thread needs to be bumped up as a reminder.

The forum guidelines state:

2. All posts have to follow basic spelling and grammar. We are a community of writers, and as such we demonstrate respect and care for the English language.

Like Black Dragon said in the first post: we are not requiring perfection, but only a sincere effort.
 

Black Dragon

Staff
Administrator
Oh, dang, I ended with a question mark, not a period.

Question marks are fine. The point is that every sentence should end with appropriate closing punctuation.

We're not trying to be elitist, nor exclude anyone. Instead, we're trying to encourage each other to improve at what we're ostensibly here to do: become better writers.
 

kennyc

Inkling
Well, depending, some of the best fiction I've read was completely non-standard. :)

Apparently you are serious about this and I think you are being a bit silly.

The point of posting on a message board is to communicate, and that is doubly difficult when you have non-english speakers and all ages and levels of understanding.
 

Kelise

Maester
Yes, but we're a message board for writers, which is the difference. We're all about the written word.

We're not asking for posts to be perfect, just that they have a certain level of grammar and correct spelling. It makes the posts easier to read and adds more credibility to what the poster is saying. It's also just being polite, really.
 

Shadoe

Sage
Well, depending, some of the best fiction I've read was completely non-standard. :)

Apparently you are serious about this and I think you are being a bit silly.

The point of posting on a message board is to communicate, and that is doubly difficult when you have non-english speakers and all ages and levels of understanding.
I'm in a Facebook group called: I judge you when you use poor grammar. That sentiment is absolutely true. When I am communicating online, the only thing I have to judge people on is the words they post. I have no facial expressions, no inflection - just the words. When someone from, say, Boston posts something with poor grammar, I dismiss them as... unintelligent. And since this is a writing forum, I also deem them not serious about writing. As I tell the guys at work: "You are a writer, words and syntax are your tools. You would not go out and work on a piece of equipment without knowing how to use a voltmeter, would you?" We are also writers here, and words and syntax are our tools. It behooves us to know how to use our tools.

If the point of posting on a message board is to communicate, then using poor grammar and spelling hinders you in that task. Not just because your words are unclear, but because people judge you on your words.

When I see someone using poor grammar here, my eyes slide to the left. If their location is Thailand, then I understand. If their location is Alabama, then... I also understand. (See above about judging.)

While most people use and accept a relaxed grammar standard here - and on other writing forums - they first understand the grammar standard they are relaxing. Likewise with writers who use non-standard rules in their fiction. They understand the rules - that is why they are successful in knowing which rules may be broken.
 
I am of the opinion that when a mod or forum owner makes a request on a message board, politeness dictates you do your best to follow his/her rules.

That being said I'm of two minds about people who don't use proper grammar, spelling and punctuation.

I am a tagger which, for those of you who don't know, means I create digital art. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people write on their creations and don't know the difference between homonyms. An occasion typo is one thing, but dear gawd, "too", "two" and "to" are different. So are "your" and "you're". Please do NOT use them on a piece of art you want someone else to wear if you don't know the freaking difference, thanks oh so verra much. Some of the best tags can be ruined by this type of idiocy.

On the other hand, in general, the older I get the more I feel that it is the content of one's message that carries weight - not the way they say it. I've known plenty of people who weren't the best when it came to writing, but after taking the time to get to know them, they were intelligent and worthwhile human beings.

Lastly, I am far from being an expert on the English language, myself, so there for all of the people who are frowning at my own errors while reading this. LOL
 

Shadoe

Sage
I'm not saying that people who use poor grammar aren't worthy. I'm saying that we can only judge people on what we know of them. If someone comes here and doesn't know the difference between your and you're or they have no concept of proper grammar and capitalization, then my perception of who they are is skewed by the way they present themselves. Sure, they may be fantastic and intelligent people, but it's going to take me longer to find that out simply because I've already decided who they are and now it's going to take longer to undo that perception.
 
I'm not saying that people who use poor grammar aren't worthy. I'm saying that we can only judge people on what we know of them. If someone comes here and doesn't know the difference between your and you're or they have no concept of proper grammar and capitalization, then my perception of who they are is skewed by the way they present themselves. Sure, they may be fantastic and intelligent people, but it's going to take me longer to find that out simply because I've already decided who they are and now it's going to take longer to undo that perception.

Shadoe, I completely understand. My initial response to poor grammar, spelling and punctuation is to bristle. It takes me awhile to get over it. Sometimes I don't either. It can be extremely difficult to undo the perception. I know exactly what you mean. :)
 
Just a point to think about. When someone, like me, is reading a post, and it doesn't make sense, I sometimes skip it and go on to the next one. Little errors, typos, happen to us all, but very poor grammar is difficult to read, and when it is, I tend to not read it.

I hate to sound cruel about it, but everyone taking the time to read a post is using their own time to do so, might as well make an effort to get your meaning across so the time isn't wasted.
 

Devor

Fiery Keeper of the Hat
Moderator
Writing is an art form, and I think art is about combining substance with some measure of style. It's just not enough to get a message across. You have to deliver that message in a style that maximizes its impact on a reader. How can you do that if you can't even get over the grammar?

I feel for those who are still learning English, and I shake my head at those who just want to judge people. But as a writing community we need to push people into a higher standard, like a French class that will no longer let you speak your native language. If we can't take that responsibility seriously, we're just going to be a group of amateurs and wannabes.
 
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