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Author Topic: Writing  (Read 15015 times)
Rob C
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« on: July 07, 2007, 08:48:07 AM »
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This isnīt quite photography, but it does reflect on what gets written on this and other sites.

I have a problem with the abuse of basic English. For example, the use of u as an abbreviation of you comes to mind. This is not to condemn people who are not native English speakers - I applaud their spirit in writing in at all - but its use (along with other such texting-inspired nonsense) by people who really should know better. A forum such as this allows all the time in the world in which to sit down, compose oneīs thoughts and then put them down; one even gets further chances to correct something which might feel flawed.

In no way am I saying that only those with a degree in the language should write - that would exclude me for a start - but surely it is just reflective of a sloppy mind when even the use of I rather than i is considered too much effort!

Spelling, or the associated problems of that thing, has long haunted me and as such I can find sympathy in my heart for others so cursed; once a word gets into my personal Doubts folder, itīs there for keeps. But laziness is something else.

Does anybody else share this sensitivity to intentional abuse?

Ciao - Rob C
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DiaAzul
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2007, 10:23:18 AM »
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What you are saying could be summarised in the phrase uttered by Commander/Admiral Norrington at the end of Pirates of the Caribbean I which was to the effect (ad libbing as I don't have the exact text):

"I would expect that any man who shows such care and devotion in his professional life would also show such qualities in his private one".

The way we present ourselves is how we are perceived and, as you point out, taking liberties with language may be perceived differently by different people.
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2007, 12:15:55 PM »
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Thank you for raising that point, Rob. I am in complete agreement. I will personally give some leeway to posters who are clearly not native English speakers, but I admit that I tend to lower my estimate of the value of the content of any post that is sloppily written.

So many of us seem to by striving for precision and control of photography as a means of communicating; so why not apply the same care to our verbal communications?
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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David White
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2007, 12:39:58 PM »
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When I reviewed resumes of software engineers seeking employment, about half of them would end up in the wastebasket because of spelling and grammatical errors.  I felt that someone seeking a job should present their best professional side and that if they didn't take the time to produce a resume without errors that I could probably expect the same approach to their work.  I was amazed at the number of college graduates who could not correctly write a simple sentence in the language they had spoken all their life.


Grammatical and spelling errors seem to jump off the page when I am reading something.  I feel that it does detract from the presentation of the material and it raises doubts in my mind about the writer's capabilities and attention to detail.  I see it all the time on web sites of professional photographers and it really detracts from their message.
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David White
Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2007, 03:05:28 PM »
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While I don't proofread my posts here quite as rigorously as I would a journal article (and the occasional typo slips through), I do make an effort to spell and punctuate correctly. Giving leeway to non-native speakers is the courteous thing to do, as their English is generally far better than my German/French/Spanish, but native English speakers ought to be able to write coherent sentences and spell correctly at a minimum. It's a sad commentary on our schools that so many cannot.
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svein-frode
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2007, 11:06:19 AM »
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Words will change, evolve or dissapear. Language is after all subject to evolution, just as any living organism. If you think about it, how many speak "Shakespearian English" today?

I think u just got 2 live with it. The kids r taking over, creating 2morrows English.

Have a nice day m8ts!
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Svein-Frode, Arctic Norway

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pobrien3
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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2007, 12:22:06 PM »
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Rob (and others who responded), you've voiced something which has been annoying me tremendously for some time now.  There are a number of online forums that I've simply dropped out of because I got so irritated by the lazy and sloppy use of language. I couldn't focus on whatever point the contributor was making when the post was spattered with sms-speak.  How much harder is it to write 'the' instead of 'da', or 'been' instread of 'bin'?

The thing that dismays me most is that I see it used with increasing frequency in business communications, and yes - I too have seen it used in resumés.  They go in the bin.

As for non-native English speakers, I find on the whole they make better use of the language than 'the kids' Svein refers to.

English is an impure tongue that has been evolving over centuries, and it will continue to do so as it absorbs words and phrases from a myriad of cultures and languages throughout the world.  However, grumpy old man that I am, I cannot accept that these latest 'developments' add anything to the language.  They degrade and impoverish it, and are a product of poor education rather than of development.
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John Camp
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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2007, 01:02:26 PM »
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When a modern written language is correctly used, it essentially becomes invisible to the reader. Rather than reacting to individual words, the reader goes straight to meaning -- that's how a novelist creates a compelling reality, anything from pirate ships to moon-bases, for somebody who is sitting in an easy chair. Non-standard usage makes us again become aware of words and letters, to the detriment of the meaning: it returns us to the first grade phonics class, where we have to sound everything out to get at the meaning. Texting shorthand is just that: a shorthand. It's not a new language, or even a creative form, but a response to limited-function keyboards. If cell phones ever get full voice recognition -- and why wouldn't they? -- it'll be c u l8r for texting.

JC
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juicy
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« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2007, 02:30:27 PM »
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Hi!

Besides being annoying it's also sometimes very difficult to completely understand the correct meaning and ideas behind the incorrect use of words, especially for the non-native readers like me. "Then - than" are two words that seem to be abused on a daily basis in a very frustrating way.

Thanks for opening this topic!

J
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mtomalty
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« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2007, 02:44:31 PM »
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Is it any worse that individuals with poor 'photo literacy' posting  lousy images on any
number of photo-oriented forums?

Dat really bugs me.

Mark
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rvanr
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« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2007, 02:57:05 PM »
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Interesting topic!

Mistakes, errors through ignorance, jargon, fashionable expressions, mispronounciations, grammatical errors, alternative spellings, etc. Where these turn into development of a language is not very clear. I know that I have my personal preferences, but I don't want to impose them on other people.
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kaelaria
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« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2007, 03:59:58 PM »
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OMG u guz jus made me LOL!!
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DiaAzul
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« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2007, 06:14:35 PM »
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Quote
If cell phones ever get full voice recognition -- and why wouldn't they? -- it'll be c u l8r for texting.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=127139\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

If only people would speak properly then we could have speech recognition today. If you think writing is being massacred then try the spoken word.
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
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« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2007, 08:05:17 PM »
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Quote
I think u just got 2 live with it. The kids r taking over, creating 2morrows English.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=127129\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
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RMichael
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« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2007, 08:54:37 AM »
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To speak or write a language correctly comes down to integrity. The lesser the integrity, the lesser the concern with writing or speaking correctly. Abuse of language also stems from a certain disrespect of a language.





Best Regards
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Ray
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« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2007, 09:06:06 AM »
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Quote
OMG u guz jus made me LOL!!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=127162\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Guz?? That sounds like the first syllable of guzzle. But I sense it's supposed to mean 'guys'. If that's the case, why not gyz? Is there a spelling mistake here?

I'm all in favour of efficiency through simplified phoenetic transcriptions of the language (even the Chinese are doing that, and for good reason), but let's get it right. Guz for guys?? Let's be sensible   .
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Petrjay
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« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2007, 10:09:51 AM »
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What I find interesting is that nobody has mentioned the fact that adololescents have been communicating in their own languages as long as there have been languages. Back in the Olden Days when I was a kid, my friends often wrote to me using the same combinations of letters numbers, and acronyms that we see used today, and if civilization is indeed crumbling, it's probably due to other causes. If some trendoid wants to labor under the delusion that he's creating tomorrow's version of the English language, (or creating anything at all) what's the harm? The language will survive and evolve the way it always has, and those who fail to learn to use it will pay a steep price.
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mikeseb
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« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2007, 10:18:46 AM »
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Wow, I see to my relief that I am not the only curmudgeon when it comes to speaking and writing proper English. I will show this thread to my wife in smug triumph.

I trace the beginning of this decline to the near-cessation of Latin instruction in all but the toniest private schools. Having to learn Latin trains the mind to better understand, and respect the beauty of, the English language to which it contributed so richly and generously. Rigor seems to be the main missing element in modern education overall.

I am on my kids constantly about this. Unfortunately, my Latin is too rusty to teach it effectively any more, and it is just not offered in my area except in private schools that are way beyond my means.
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michael sebastian
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« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2007, 10:41:49 AM »
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j00Z $|-|0ULD 4LL b3 7|-|4|\||<PhUL j00Z \/\/3r3|\|'7 d34L1|\|9 \/\/17|-| 7|-|0$3 L337 $P34|< b0'/$ 4 Ph3\/\/ '/34r$ 490.

I'm so glad L337 speak is pretty much dead.
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Rob C
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« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2007, 10:32:56 AM »
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Dear God, Mr P, cryptic as ever (I think!) you have lost me completely!

One of the posters above made mention of kids always having had their own lingo; I accept this, but itīs not the same thing at all today because the flaws have spread to the entire culture, regardless of age and, Iīm afraid, educational achievement too. As an example: one of my sonīs past girlfriends is a teacher and, having reached that degree of education, I would have expected her to live by what she had been taught. However, the little matter of all right versus alright came up and she, teacher that she is, could not accept that using the incorrect form was something that she should have risen above.

They are no longer together, but that had nothing to do with it, I believe...

I, too, as a silly little boy in the 50s thought it clever to emulate (probably badly) the language of jazz musicians as one imagined it to be from a UK perspective; Mr James Dean had a lot to answer for as did Mr Mumbles himself, Marlon Brando, both adding further confusion. But, and the big but and point is this: for examination purposes, for jobs etc. one always elected to use the best standard English which one could summon; this does not seem to be so today, where even television news programmes are spoiled by badly written captions. (I hate the use of captions on TV: how often has the golf ball fallen into the caption instead of into the hole on the green?)

Evolution of language is one thing, but wilful murder is another thing altogether.

Ciao - Rob C
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