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  1. #1

    Proper grammar and spelling on a Duke board

    I know this discussion started on the main board, but I figured it might help to divert it away from the basketball section and into the off topic section?

    Call me a senior member or whathaveyou (heh... senior member) but I cannot STAND when an internet forum is full of spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and shorthanded text-type. It does not take any longer to write properly, and it CERTAINLY should not take any sort of extra mental effort to do so. Writing in the English language should simply be natural. I hate how dumbed-down a forum can look when it is full of mistakes and short cuts, and honestly I feel like a poorly written post (or several) or some cut-n-pasted "COOL STORY BRO!" pictures not only bring the level of discourse down, but encourage further thoughtless posting in the future.

    Call me snobby if you like, but the fact that this is a Duke forum simply enforces my expectations for the members to use their native language (when it is, indeed, their native language) properly.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Lewisville, NC
    I agree.

    Those posters that have a problem with the standards have other options, including other websites and message boards. No reason to lower the level of conversation around here.

  3. #3
    You are preaching to the choir here, brother. I dislike the shorthand, the use of initials to identify players or other individuals, and the posting of inane pictures and links without any explanation or identification. IMO reading the board should not be a guessing game. I think Moderators should hand out warnings and infractions for posts that are so poorly written as to be very difficult or nearly impossible to understand. For me, it is no excuse that such language and behavior is how the younger generation now communicates. That reasoning leads to a board like IC or TDD and I do not go to either because I cannot abide by the practices tolerated on either.

    DBR has had and maintains standards of communication quality that facilitate understanding and reasonable discourse. If newcomers don't want to meet those standards, I think they should move on - either voluntarily or with some less than gentle prodding.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Asheville
    you used IMO IC TDD and DBR

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Baltimore
    I appreciate full sentences and correct spelling like the next guy. That said, there's no way to enforce it. Mods enforcing spelling mistakes would be way over the top.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Washington, DC
    I agree, but I'm also kind of a nerd for that stuff. It always bothers me when grocery stores have signs that say "10 items or less."

    One of the reasons I like DBR is that its the most unique board I've ever seen, and that's only possible with a heavy dose of moderators. I think the discourse will remain civil and well thought out, and eventually the newbies will tire of it. I think they dislike the adherence to grammar as much as we dislike them for not doing so.

    There is one thing I disagree with. Someone in the AR thread says it speaks to the devolution of the english language. Not so- sure there's more bad grammar than ever, but that's only because the internet has allowed more access for hoi polloi, who were never into grammar. The language is safe.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, D.C.
    I demur: those who can, should, and those to whom "It Don't Come Easy" (Ringo), should try. To assert that folks who might struggle with the written word should play elsewhere is to me not simply a bit snooty, but also wrongheaded.

    See, writing something well that is bereift of insight doesn't make it workwhile. On the other hand, saying something insightful illuminates even if it is not written with the aplomb that masters of the language possess.

    I think that those who write really well make for a quality on DBR that is extremely attractive, especially to those of us who don't. I applaud all of you. Your writing inspires. Throwing the baby out with the bath water doesn't. I makes no sense, at least to me, but then again I do have a vested interest.
    Last edited by greybeard; 05-21-2010 at 10:46 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seoul, Korea
    y r u h8ing n00bs?

    Seriously, yes, IM/textspeech in emails/bbs posts, anywhere in life drives me batty(or perhaps more appropriately on a Duke board, battier ). Expressing a coherent thought in a coherent manner is just so much nicer than trying to do the quick and lazy way. Take a moment, check it, reread it, make sure its right before the entire world looks at it(and perhaps laughs).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Southern Pines, NC
    It has been a pet peeve of mine, especially when words are misspelled. Doesn't everybody have spell-check enabled? I guess not. It does not speak well for our presumed demographics, all Duke alumni, students, or faculty. That's not the case, though. We have regular posters from all social elements and environments. Some are from high school. Some are just fans of Duke sports. Some are even from IC (Inside Carolina). Huh?

    Just as we accept poor grammar in our daily endeavors without making a fuss, we should accept it here. Not everyone is particularly adept at the use of the language, but we should not exclude them, or even berate them. Reminders may be useful, even for those of us that know correct usage, but how is that done in an open forum. We don't insult people here, do we? Can we settle for a sticky post that remind us anonymously, and inform us of the tools that are available?

    In my mind there is only one measure that counts. When we write we should not have a goal of being understood. My goal is not being misunderstood. Internet and texting shortcuts are easily misunderstood. So is poor grammar. I hope I have achieved my goal, but sometimes I cannot understand what I just said or wrote. That's common at my age. I try, though. Remaining silent is not an answer, so keep posting, folks.

  10. #10
    I think the difference between those who make an effort, but still make mistakes, and those who make no effort at all, is usually obvious. Choosing to never capitalize anything, to never use punctuation, to make no effort to be clear in writing - those are behaviors that detract from someone's message, not matter how good the content is.

    There is a difference between asking for the writing police to come out in full force, and asking posters to be considerate of their audience. I bet most of us want the latter, not the former.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by allenmurray View Post
    I think the difference between those who make an effort, but still make mistakes, and those who make no effort at all, is usually obvious. Choosing to never capitalize anything, to never use punctuation, to make no effort to be clear in writing - those are behaviors that detract from someone's message, not matter how good the content is.

    There is a difference between asking for the writing police to come out in full force, and asking posters to be considerate of their audience. I bet most of us want the latter, not the former.
    Please don't correct your typo, as it illustrates your point.

    I will say in defense of those who sometimes post without proper capitalization, egregious typos, and excessive abbreviations -- for those of us who post from iphones and blackberrys, correcting errors can sometimes be cumbersome and creating them be quite easy.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    I'd settle for posters who know the difference between their, there and they're, between its and it's and between complimentary and complementary.

    Anything above that is gravy.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    I'd settle for posters who know the difference between their, there and they're, between its and it's and between complimentary and complementary.

    Anything above that is gravy.
    Your write.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    I'd settle for posters who know the difference between their, there and they're, between its and it's and between complimentary and complementary.

    Anything above that is gravy.
    Agreed. Personally, I don't really care about capitalization or shorthand. If the point is clear, the writing is fine. Also, typos aren't a big deal -- this is an informal message board, not work product.

    But if you're going to use a word, use the right one.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sterling, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by gus View Post
    Please don't correct your typo, as it illustrates your point.

    I will say in defense of those who sometimes post without proper capitalization, egregious typos, and excessive abbreviations -- for those of us who post from iphones and blackberrys, correcting errors can sometimes be cumbersome and creating them be quite easy.
    Hmmm, you make an interesting point about posting from smart phones and other mobile devices. I suppose it's much harder to always capitalize properly and fix spelling from those - and the problem will only get worse as that type of access becomes more ubiquitous.

    I already notice quite a difference when coworkers send emails from blackberries, even without the "this message was sent from my blackberry" displayed at the bottom.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    ... between its and it's ...
    That is one error I will go back and fix on my iPhone, and it's particularly infuriating because the iPhone automatically "corrects" its to it's regardless of context.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by cato View Post
    Agreed. Personally, I don't really care about capitalization or shorthand. If the point is clear, the writing is fine.
    For me it depends on the length of a post. When a post is a sentence or two, capitalization, punctuation, shorthand, etc. are non-issues. But when somebody goes on for two or three paragraphs with no concern for the conventions of standard writing it becomes so distracting to me that I usually don't finish reading the post.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by allenmurray View Post
    For me it depends on the length of a post. When a post is a sentence or two, capitalization, punctuation, shorthand, etc. are non-issues. But when somebody goes on for two or three paragraphs with no concern for the conventions of standard writing it becomes so distracting to me that I usually don't finish reading the post.
    what about posts by bill brill? do you read his posts, even though he doesn't capitalize words, or generally break his comments up into paragraphs? i value his contributions, regardless of the fact that it is somewhat harder to read his posts. i assume that he probably wouldn't post (or post as often) if he felt that he had to deliver finished work product to the board.

    Ultimately, though, I agree with you. Twitter type posts are one thing. Longer posts without structure, or by people who simply don't know which words to use when, generally aren't worth the effort.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by cato View Post
    what about posts by bill brill? do you read his posts, even though he doesn't capitalize words, or generally break his comments up into paragraphs? i value his contributions, regardless of the fact that it is somewhat harder to read his posts. i assume that he probably wouldn't post (or post as often) if he felt that he had to deliver finished work product to the board.

    Ultimately, though, I agree with you. Twitter type posts are one thing. Longer posts without structure, or by people who simply don't know which words to use when, generally aren't worth the effort.
    Because Bill Brill is so exceptional, I make an exception for him. In general, though the longer the post is the harder it is to get past non-standard writing (at least for me).

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham-- 2 miles from Cameron, baby!
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    I'd settle for posters who know the difference between their, there and they're, between its and it's and between complimentary and complementary.
    Well, I think most people do know the difference. They just have a bandwidth problem in their corpus callosum.

    In all seriousness, I get what irritates people. I just think anything beyond chuckling about it is a waste of time. And no matter how good someone is at English, I guarantee they aren't correct about it nearly as often as they think they are.

    --alteran

    p.s. My spell checker wants to correct "callosum."

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