Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
July 22, 2014, 03:36:48 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
RPGFan Community Quiz
Next Quiz Date: January 11, 2014
Subject: 999 (Nintendo DS)
For more information click HERE!
327155 Posts in 13391 Topics by 2163 Members
Latest Member: KashelGladio
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  RPGFan Message Boards
|-+  The Rest
| |-+  General Discussions
| | |-+  Why do people suck at grammar?
« previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 Print
Author Topic: Why do people suck at grammar?  (Read 4846 times)
V-Dawg
Posts: 179


Member
*

PizMasta+V
View Profile

Ignore
« on: June 08, 2006, 12:06:22 AM »

For a long while now I have been noticing something, something that for some reason really gets to me - people sucking at grammar. Now spelling is another matter (although a lot of individuals seem to have their troubles with that, as well) but since we all live in the computer age, I can understand about typos and whatnot...

Now if it were only evident on Gamefaqs I would let it slide and blame it on the 12 years olds that seem to make the bulk of said website. But people incapable of something like differentiating a contraction from a possessive seem to make up half, if not more, of the populace. On the internet, it's come to a point where now I expect people to type "its" instead of "it's." I'm not nitpicking about misplaced comas or run-on sentences or things of that nature. What I am talking about are, in my mind, more brazen offences.

The other day I was watching an anime DVD with subtitles on and lo and behold - grammar errors. Games are also victimized by bad grammar - I am now playing Ever 17 and there are grammar errors in that as well. It's not exclusive to recent games, either; last week I was playing Snatcher, a game over a decade old, and that game too suffered from a few errors.

How are people (including those who oversee this kind of stuff) not noticing these blatant mistakes?  Is it because they don't care? Or because no one taught them? Or what? How hard is it to understand that "their" and "they're" are not interchageable?

A long time ago I couldn't speak a word of English. It has, for some years now, become my primary language and one that I am most proficient with. I have come to love this language and its intricacies. But grammatically, it's not difficult compared to a couple other languages I speak. So why the hell can't people born and raised in this country learn their own damn language?

Am I the only one who thinks that the majority of the population is butchering the English language?

I want to hear others' opinions on the matter. Am just I being a grammar nazi? Is my beef with the grammatically-inept well-deserved? Discuss please.
Logged
Dade
Rainbow Club Member
Posts: 1556


D-Rider's Pacific NW Counterpart

Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2006, 12:17:41 AM »

The internet has destroyed the English language. I hate it as much as you do, V-Dawg, but sadly.....it's reality.

I see it daily in World of Warcraft and because of this my ignore list grows by leaps and bounds.

When it comes to video games I turn a blind eye mainly because I know the games are being translated by Japanese-nationals (usually).

Anyhoo, that's my two cents.
Logged

Twitter: (at)toddjaynes
XBL: ToddJameson
PSN: toddjameson
Steam: DadeMcLaren

Playing: ACIV: Black Flag (surprisingly awesome!), XCOM: Enemy Within, The Last of Us (finally).
"Resident Evil 6 is a Michael Bay movie." ~Jim Sterling
Serene Prophet
Posts: 952


Member
*

sereneprophet@yahoo.com sereneprophet
View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2006, 12:56:57 AM »

I have to agree with that.  I don't always watch what I type, especially in an instance like if im instancing in WoW, because I don't always have the time to check my spelling when im telling someone what to do, or how to help another player out.  Of course, nobodies perfect, and I usually let some mistakes go, as I do the same thing.  I may add a comma where its not supposed to go or miss an uppercase at the beginning of a sentence.  

I do hate, however, people who consistantly use shortened speech, take for example this following sentence.

"Wuld u no how 2 reech *insert quest givers name here*"

It's rather pathetic, and is a horrible butchering of our supposedly sophisticated language.  I can see using shorthand to some degree in certain instances, but some folk believe it is the only way to type, and goddamnit, it bugs me.  I dont mind honest mistakes, or very minor things, but not using the english language the way it was meant to be used.  Well it pisses me off.

Well theres my two cents, and hell, ill throw in a third just to piss off someone. ^_^
Logged

-Give a man a fire, and hes warm for a day.  Light a man on fire, and hes warm for the rest of his life.-
D-Rider
Former God of RPGFan
Rainbow Club Member
Posts: 3677


Solitary One

Member
*

ChlamydiaBlues
View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2006, 01:13:25 AM »

I could never force myself to start using internet shorthand.  I spent too many years under the watchful eye of proofreading and editing teachers to start butchering the English language now.  It took several months of exposure to the internet before I could bring myself to use LOL, and I only started because there's no real other way of expressing that sentiment.

Even in something that's real-time, like instant messengers or IRC, I never say something that isn't in the form of a complete sentence.  That's just not how I roll.  When words are all you have to represent yourself, then common sense should tell you to put some fucking effort into it.

That's why I not only allow people here to flame poor typists, but encourage it. :P
Logged

Leo
Posts: 1064

Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2006, 01:22:51 AM »

Yeah..I couldn't have said it better myself, than all that was said here. It's a travesty that people have to resort to Internet lingo to communicate with others..and what's worse is, people are fully content with it. If I had to be among a group of morons..on a forum or similar communities on the Internet, I'd quit it cold turkey the first day.
Logged
Cauton
Posts: 655


Member
*

cauton42@hotmail.com
View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2006, 02:47:14 AM »

As for grammar. Well, on the internet you get a lot of people, and not all of them are native English speakers. So I wouldn't look on the 'net as some kind of proof that people are losing the grasp of the English language. Also, a lot of people just don't plain care about how they write online. Most seem content with just using the fastets way of typing, which will include shorthand and poor grammar. Still, I too am incredibly annoyed by poor grammar, even though I know my own is far from perfect. My pet peeves include people who write "you're" as 'your", "they're" as "their", "we're" as "were" and so on.

Surprisingly though, I tend to find that the people who are most concerned with writing properly aren't native English speakers. My theory is that they (we) are more concerned with looking stupid by making misstakes, than Americans/Britts who already know the language at heart, are.

And just like the rest of you, I just can't bring myself to use MMO speek and retarded memes. Unfortunently, as I play a fair amount of online games I tend to be exposed to that kind of crap daily. I have very little respect for people who always have to express themselves using shorthand, and for the most part I tend to ignore what they're saying anyway. If someone can't even have the fucking patience to write "you" instead of "u", then their opinion probably isn't worth much anyway.

Bad grammar in commercial products is another thing entirely, of course. It's depressing that games and anime in particular seem to suffer from sloppy proofreading, even if it's getting better all the time.
Logged
Dios GX
Banninated
Posts: 892

Member
*

dios@hidoshi.com GSaviourPrime
View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2006, 05:51:34 AM »

Quote from: "The Darkrider"
That's why I not only allow people here to flame poor typists, but encourage it. :P


To this extent, I exist.



As for my opinion on the grammar/spelling/punctuation matter, I make a few mistakes here and there, but it's nothing so brazen as the simple misuse of "their" "they're" "there" "your" "you're" "its" and "it's". It seriously is not hard, I am astounded at how much people screw it up.
Logged
Tomara
Posts: 1979


Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2006, 10:23:13 AM »

I remember my first post on these forums, the first thing I did was apologize for my grammar and spelling. And you know what? I shouldn't have apologized, I'm doing rather well compared to half of the internet population :P

I can't understand people mix up "their", "there" and "they're", I always thought those were very easy to keep apart.
Logged
Dincrest
RPGFan Editor
Posts: 11613


Member
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2006, 10:38:52 AM »

Either way, it's pretty sad that many of our counterparts for whom English is a foreign language write better than us native speakers.  

I think part of it is in education.  See, there's that debate between teaching whole language vs. phonics and many US schools are favoring whole language over phonics, which I think is silly.  You need both.  Phonics are the building blocks of language.  

It's like with learning a musical instrument.  Do you only learn songs or do you learn your fundamentals like scales, modes, and all that?  Sometimes learning only scales, scales scales can seem like bootcamp which is why it needs to be balanced out with songs too so you can see how the building blocks come together.  

And all this is internet aside.  I'm talking about just regular writing, even school essays.  It's embarassing to see college students whose writing proficiency is on par with, if not worse than, my eighth grade writing proficiency.  It's embarassing to see people close to my age typing in that newfangled intarwebnet type shorthand because to me that just reeks of laziness and makes them seem immature.

So maybe people suck at grammar because they're not taught properly.  I'll be honest, when I took some grammar courses for my English minor, what was considered correct grammar seemed dissonant to me because I hadn't been taught it that way, and language is always changing.  Nowadays, spellings of words that were considered unacceptable are now acceptable.  For example, I was always taught that "grey" was the only acceptable spelling and that "gray" is incorrect.  However, nowadays "gray" is an accepted spelling.  I think "spelt/spelled" is another example.  

Perhaps the teachers in my youth weren't as well-versed in proper grammar as I thought and thus what I was taught to be proper grammar probably wasn't, but I just accepted it and grew up with it.  And it was a rude awakening when I took my first grammar class for my minor.  

As far as being a grammar nazi goes, I'm not even though I could be.  I used to work as a proofreader for a publishing company and have taken some grammar courses when I minored in English.  But certain things I leave at home.  I won't necessarily correct someone's grammar during a conversations.  I mean, when I'm conversing with people, my grammar tends not to be as good as my writing.  In other words, my writing probably makes me seem smarter than I really am.  

EDIT: And V-Dawg- if you've read ANY of my recent reviews of Hirameki-published games on this site, you will see that my most consistent criticism of them is that their translations are in dire need of extra proofreading.  Content-wise they're fine, but technical errors are a sore spot.  However, I found games like Hourglass of Summer and Ever 17 so good that I was able to not let the technical errors hamper my enjoyment.
Logged

I approve of this nonsense!
Ragnarok-Sabin
Eternally Lurking
Posts: 204


Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2006, 11:45:03 AM »

I agree entirely, V-Dawg. People these days--especially around my age--have no concept of proper grammer whatsoever. I see people making grammatical errors such as mixing "their", "they're", and "there" on a daily basis, yet no one seems inclined to correct them. Even my English teacher made grammatical errors, while teaching us. It's really disappointing to know that so many people have no control over the English language.

Now, I can understand writing shorthand in an MMO, to an extent. If you're in the middle of fighting an enemy, or a tense situation of the like, it is understandable to want to keep typing time to a minimum. However, if you are standing around doing nothing, and are too lazy to type "you're" or "your" instead of "ur", I will ignore you, flat out.

That isn't to say I don't make errors of my own. I use sentence fragments often, though almost always for a dramatic effect in my writing and not because I don't understand how to write a sentence. I sometimes miss an apostrophe, or slip in an unwanted comma, but it's not done because I'm too lazy to write properly, but rather an honest mistake.

I was recently told that my essays in history are first year university level. I'm in grade ten. Now, I know my English skills are above average for my age, but personally, I cannot see anything overly special about the essays. This leads me to believe that this is another sign of the degredation of grammar skills in people today. If my writing can be considered university level, then what level, exactly, is the standard? It must be relatively low for my history teacher to take me aside and gongratulate me on my work.... It worries me greatly, I assue you.

Oh, and this one just came to me, revolving around ellipses. I was never taught this in school and discovered it through my writing, but when using ellipses, if you use three dots (...), you continue the sentence normally afterwards. If you wish to end a sentence with an ellipses, you use four dots--three for the ellipses and one for a period (....). Why was this never taught to me in English? Were any of you taught this?

              -- Ragnarok-Sabin
Logged
CluelessWonder
Posts: 834


Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2006, 11:46:39 AM »

I try to sound as coherent as possible on message boards and emails, but I must admit I'm pretty lax when it comes to instant messaging.  I don't capitalize nor do I use periods at the end of sentences all of the time.  Compared to the people I'm IMing, I'm a slow typist plus I tend to be IMing more than one person so I cut things out to keep up with everyone.

What gets me is when people confuse "waste" and "waist".  It completely changes the meaning of a sentence.
Logged

Currently Playing:  Brave Story:  New Traveler, various ios games

Currently Reading: 

Recently Beat: Shivah, Tales of the World:  Radiant Mythology, Thief
Rico
Posts: 158


Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2006, 12:39:12 PM »

Quote from: "Ragnarok-Sabin"
I was never taught this in school and discovered it through my writing, but when using ellipses, if you use three dots (...), you continue the sentence normally afterwards. If you wish to end a sentence with an ellipses, you use four dots--three for the ellipses and one for a period (....). Why was this never taught to me in English? Were any of you taught this?


Yes, I was.  Furthermore, there are supposed to be non-breaking spaces between the periods. . . .

I think a lot of it, as Neal said, is the result of poor education.  Consider the common mistakes that we're bringing up in this thread: It's v. its; you're v. your; their v. they're v. there--all homonyms in a language a native speaker is going to learn aurally before they ever start to learn how to write.

I'm sure most native speakers of English who've taken a foreign language class have been taught the name of a tense that they've used properly in English all their lives but had no idea what the heck it was called.  Now, you certainly don't need to know the names of all the tenses or even what a part of speech is to write grammatically-correct prose, but for those who don't come by it naturally, it can make all the difference.  Because we all come into school speaking English, there're just assumptions made and things not taught that would not happen if we were learning a foreign language.

The rampancy of shorthand seems to me a misunderstanding of technology.  There's certainly merit in abbreviating a text message.  But with an instant message, and especially a message board post or e-mail, there's no real hurry or inconvenient input method to justify it.  I'm not that good of a typist, but I'm fairly confident that I can output grammatically correct content faster than the average person can output it with abbreviations and all that.  People just get themselves worked into a tizzy when there's a two-second delay between transmissions, even if expressing the same content over multiple short messages would take longer.  Most of you have probably received multiple e-mail or voice mail messages over a short amount of time; you might get out of an hour class and have four near-identical voice messages from someone who's just impatient and is expecting an instant response.

When you get people leaving instant messengers open and using them as faux-e-mail clients and people trying to make plans with groups of friends using a bunch of Facebook wall messages, I don't think it's surprising that the written quality of that communication is going down.

I do make exceptions for, "LF1M LBRS WLC AOE pref. PST."
Logged
Angelo
Sephiroth's Girlfriend
Posts: 231


Member
*


View Profile WWW

Ignore
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2006, 01:31:08 PM »

Quote
It's embarassing to see college students whose writing proficiency is on par with, if not worse than, my eighth grade writing proficiency.


A lot of this I chalk up to the "use it or lose it" effect.  My current job environment is filled with near-retirees who learned the three Rs in the good ol' days of compulsory education, and one would think in reading their e-mails that they never had a day of instruction in english grammar.

A person has to see a skill as important to their personal goals in order to keep up with it.  I work to improve my writing much more often than my speech, due to the nature of my daily communications.

Quote
If you wish to end a sentence with an ellipses, you use four dots--three for the ellipses and one for a period (....). Why was this never taught to me in English? Were any of you taught this?


Yes.  People learn different things, because teachers can't teach everything.  I never learned in school the difference between an en-dash and an em-dash.

----------------------------------

More than grammar, I'm bothered with inflated language, at least as much as with long-winded speech.  After reading Orwell's Politics and the English Language, I was horrified by how prevalent this kind of language defilement is.  See how many similar examples you can find in newspapers, political speech, lectures and academic papers, technical reports and whitepapers, etc.

I worry about the collective loss of imagination.  Today's discourse reeks of recycled formulas and robotic thinking.  I thought about blaming country music, but there is surely a greater social evil afoot.
Logged

Jimmy
Posts: 1013


Wakens the Ferine Strain

Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2006, 02:20:19 PM »

You're not just weird V-Dawg, as others have shown, but I too am that way about grammar. The biggest annoyance for me is hearing "I've got" or "We've got" and it is something I hear on TV, in movies, in video games, and pretty much everywhere I go. I too am guilty of the "have got" error but I always try to correct myself.
Logged
Professor Gast
Posts: 1647


Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2006, 03:27:15 PM »

I'm in no position to complain about others, since my English is far from being perfect. Then again, I have realized that this phenomenon is not limited to the English language. Similar trends are visible in Japan and Germany (and probably many other countries) as well. My guess is that a lot of people have adapted an "everthing goes" approach, when it comes to their mother tongue. After all, many idols of teenagers (musicians, etc.) tend to use slang, abbreviated and sometimes incorrect terms which kids or teenagers probably remember better than the "boring stuff" their teacher tried to teach them in class.

Obviously with Japanese you have another problem, because if you don't write kanji on a daily basis, even as a native speaker you easily forget how to write them. Thanks to the common use of computers, mobile phones and other input devices even native speakers admit they tend to forget a lot of kanji.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!