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Author Topic: Have to get this off my chest...
Coffee_geek
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Icon 1 posted June 23, 2003 23:19      Profile for Coffee_geek   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
*clutches ears in pain as brain bursts into flame*

No... noooo! STAY AWAY... the horror... the horror...

If you really like criticizing bad movies, go for it. Look for the Balrog's fuzzy slippers.

Seeming and Dreaming,
Coffee

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We got, ten minutes to get there
We got, ten minutes to go
Throw this one in for the money
Cause the next one's for the next show

Posts: 464 | From: Varies | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
SupportGoddess

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Icon 1 posted June 24, 2003 23:31      Profile for SupportGoddess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Actually, the LOTR cartoons were before the movies.

Anyway, on topic, language fundamentally is used to communicate. I have the same pet peeves concerning AIMglish (I like that Xanth) that other people have mentioned, and I agree with U that poor spelling and grammar lessen my opinion of the poster. (No offense intended to you GM, and you are by no means the only one.)

I have seen way too many emails from people that went through the same public school curriculum I did, probably with the same text books, that appear to be written in an entirely different language. I have listened to mid-level managers giggle over their inability to differentiate between there and they're. Some of these people are just lazy, some are just ignorant, and some are a combination of the two.

Language is flexible, but if you want to bend (or break) the rules you should know them first.

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"A heretic is a man who sees with his own eyes."
-Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

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Callipygous
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 14 posted June 25, 2003 02:34      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
SGoddess those are my thoughts too.

And talking more specifically about forum posts, I personally prefer reading posts that aim to be clear and concise. I have great admiration for those who can speak of subtle or personal things simply and directly, and at the other end of the scale, posts that ramble on over several long paragraphs usually have nothing to say, and I often stop reading them half way through. If you are posting here you are trying to communicate with others rather than just work out your own feelings, so try to gather your thoughts before finally hitting that send button.

The guidelines for writing clearly are themselves simple. Try to avoid jargon, slang, or other private language. Short words and sentences are usually better than long ones. Active verbs are usually better than passive (e.g. "Spungo loves wildlife" rather than "wildlife is loved by Spungo"). Don't stretch metaphors and similes too far, as they cease to be apt and just become emptily clever. Check for redundant words and phrases. Break it up into paragraphs.

Naturally these are only guidelines, as there are no rules, but they are good habits to acquire, and if my own posts start breaking too many of these, my personal bullshit meter starts beeping at me!

I hope I am not being too patronising here.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

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Mr Bill
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Icon 6 posted June 25, 2003 05:36      Profile for Mr Bill     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For three years running in highschool, I ended up with the english teacher who decided that "you kids ain't getting enough grammar". Consequently, I now have a built in spell-checker and grammar alarm that goes off whenever I hear or read something "not quite right".

"hopefully" passed right under the radar. This concerned me until I read the second definition where it has been in "common use" since the sixties. This makes sense, I grew up hearing it this way, it is not a recent innovation.

Which now makes me wonder: just how old are the textbooks they are using today?

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Will work for taglines...

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cheezi git
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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2003 10:23      Profile for cheezi git     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by SupportGoddess:

Language is flexible, but if you want to bend (or break) the rules you should know them first.

hey sg, where ya bin? it's been a long time since i've seen one of your posts on gc.

welcome back!!!
[Smile]

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there were so many stains on the road. squashed miss mitten-shaped stains in the universe. squashed frog-shaped stains in the universe. squashed crows that tried to eat the squashed frog-shaped stains in the universe. squashed dogs...

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2003 12:11      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I 2 M glad to C ya. [Razz]

Actually, the LOTR cartoons were before the movies. yup. I loved the cartoon as a kid.

Anyway, on topic, language fundamentally is used to communicate. I have the same pet peeves concerning AIMglish (I like that Xanth) that other people have mentioned,
As long as both parties understand the meaning of the chat-isms/AIMglish, I have no problem with it. But to each their own.

and I agree with U that poor spelling and grammar lessen my opinion of the poster. (No offense intended to you GM, and you are by no means the only one.)
No offense taken, but I still believe that SEMANTICS is more important than SYNTAX. To judge Devincie(sp), or Shaksphere by their spelling you would do the world a disservice. The formal rules of spelling are relitivly new in any language, and the meanings of words must change over time due to the added cultural changes of the era. Moreover, Devincie had a horrible case of dislecxia and often wrote his notes backwards. I still feel that judging people by the way they talk or type is a mistake, as some of the brightest minds in history have been known not to follow or know the rules.

Language is flexible, but if you want to bend (or break) the rules you should know them first.
But the RULES are new. They have their place, they're even important in a lot of types of writting, but this is not a technical journal, it's a place we come to get away from the hassel of bosses, classes and such, and spend time with people we like. I want to feel comfortable here, not having to worry about the petty concerns of such things as spelling and if "hopefully" has or hasn't taken on a new meaning since the last time I looked.

DM: That wasn't my grammar tip, it was a simple dict... run it yourself. As for my misspelling of “Linux” I assume you, it was a typo and not a spelling error. Frankly, I don't care if you like the use of hopefully in any other form than an adjective... It is the way it is. As for “think different” and “think differently”, if you have a problem with hopefully, this error should follow... Then again, night and nite have both fallen into the language, even if nite does still raise a spelling flag with most spell-checks and isn't in the dictionary. Different is a adjective, it modifies a noun; differently is an adverb, it modifies a verb. Do I care that the Mac commercials are wrong? No, I spell worth shit... so I can't complain.

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My Site

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2003 13:43      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
<Xanthine's worthless opinion> AIMglish is fine for AIM and like media. It irritates me, but things get going so fast sometimes that you have to abbreviate or be left behind. But for things like posts on the forums and homework, it's ridiculous and pointless. It makes you look like a pre-teen girl who thinks Leonardo DiCaprio is hot. You don't need to rush your posts, e-mails, or homework. In fact, you probably shouldn't. </Xanthine's worthless opinion>

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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SupportGoddess

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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2003 13:52      Profile for SupportGoddess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Cheezi! I've been busy... lots of stuff on my plate right now.

I saw a post in the Ctrl+Alt+Del forums earlier today that brought this thread to mind. Rule 3 seems to sum up my opinion on written communication. For those offended by words of the four-letter variety, don't click the link.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2003 14:22      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
<Xanthine's worthwhile opinion> AIMglish is fine for AIM and like media. It irritates me, but things get going so fast sometimes that you have to abbreviate or be left behind. But for things like posts on the forums and homework, it's ridiculous and pointless. It makes you look like a pre-teen girl who thinks Leonardo DiCaprio is hot. You don't need to rush your posts, e-mails, or homework. In fact, you probably shouldn't. </Xanthine's worthwhile opinion>

*pseudo-HTML fixed*

Yes, and that would be a personal opinion of mine that I have expressed in the past and I believe has gotten me in a bit of hot water in these parts. Posting somewhere like the Forums, or composing e-mail is not something that requires *immediate* transmission, so a few moments can be spared for little amenities like spelling and/or grammar. Spelling does happen to be one of my specialties, as I'm apparently not following the norm of geeks/hackers who don't give a fsck about spelling, so I guess I take issue with misspellings more than others do. I also fixed a number of typos in an open source program & its documentation, as I wanted to improve it, and the impression it gives to less technical people about its quality. *Sigh,* yes, I am in fact ranting now...I really should stop before I get burned alive by flames (it would be really ironic for that to happen to a dragon, no?).

P.S. Just for the hell of it, I ran this through Word's spell checker, and with the exception of 'fsck,' it turned out perfectly [Smile] . [Okay, I'd better put on the asbestos now.]

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted June 26, 2003 01:44      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by SupportGoddess:
I saw a post in the Ctrl+Alt+Del forums earlier today that brought this thread to mind. Rule 3 seems to sum up my opinion on written communication. For those offended by words of the four-letter variety, don't click the link.

Thanks SG, excellent rules! Hmmm thinks am I adding anything to the SG's original post? Maybe I am in contravention of rule no 1. [Confused]

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

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uilleann
Discontinued


Icon 1 posted June 26, 2003 02:18            Edit/Delete Post 
A rule that doesn't allow people to say thanks has to be a pretty mean and unhelpful one... :-) We have too little interaction here on that sort of level, not too much... After all, those rules were targeted at a different kind of message board than what we have here.
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greycat

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Icon 1 posted June 26, 2003 05:57      Profile for greycat   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Moreover, Devincie had a horrible case of dislecxia and often wrote his notes backwards.
Hmm... I'd always heard that da Vinci wrote his notes backwards (mirror-image, not spelled backwards) on purpose, because he was left-handed and didn't want to smear the ink by writing left-to-right with the pen in the left hand.

Or is that just an urban legend?

quote:
I still believe that SEMANTICS is more important than SYNTAX.
Yes, certainly, as long as you're not programming computers. [Wink] But there are more than two layers here -- the one you're overlooking is the perception that the reader forms of the writer, based on the quality of the writing.
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hey-U
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Icon 1 posted June 26, 2003 06:09      Profile for hey-U     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
greycat: I'd always heard that da Vinci wrote his notes backwards (mirror-image, not spelled backwards) on purpose, because he was left-handed and didn't want to smear the ink by writing left-to-right with the pen in the left hand.

Or is that just an urban legend?

"In an era when left-handedness was considered the devil's work and lefties were often forced to use their right hand, Leonardo was an unrepentant southpaw. It has been suggested that this "difference" was an element of his genius, since his detachment allowed him to see beyond the ordinary. He even wrote backwards, and his writings are easily deciphered only with a mirror."

From-
http://www.mos.org/leonardo/bio.html

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted June 26, 2003 10:26      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have heard that before too, but heard the other more often... I suppose we'd have to look back on his writings for the answer to that.

Spelling in programs, papers, etc. is a lot different than forum posts made on leisure time. I have been better about spell-checking posts as of late; however, my opinion in the matter remains the same. While I think that I have been around long enough for people to make thier judgements about me based on what I have to say, and not how I spell it, I will try to make life easier on you all by spell-checking the majority of my posts.

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My Site

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uilleann
Discontinued


Icon 1 posted June 26, 2003 15:07            Edit/Delete Post 
Not forgetting what I said previously: that it's easier to read correctly-spelt posts, and thus it's thoughtful to offer up posts with good spelling so that readers don't all have to try and work out what misspelt words were meant to say.
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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted June 26, 2003 16:46      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In addition to all the above and in my view far more importantly if you get into the habit of trying to write more clearly simply and directly, it helps you think more clearly simply and directly.

The opposite is also true. Would hippies have been able to be quite so silly if they had not expressed themselves in such a fuzzy comfortable imprecise way? George Orwell makes the same point in 1984. Insidious religious cults such as Scientology work in a similar way.

This is why I think it is not old fashioned and pedantic to get upset by the degredation or perversion of language, it is an entirely sensible and practical reaction to something that is important.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

Posts: 2922 | From: Brighton - UK | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged


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