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English Grammar

How important is the correct use of English grammar and punctuation to you on social networking sites? If you see something mis-spelt on Facebook are you itching to correct it, or does it not detract from the what you are reading?


Created By on 27/11/2012

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Lionel
24th Apr 2020 21:34:25 (Last activity: 26th Apr 2020 11:47:06)
3
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It's odd this subject has gained fresh momentum. Only this afternoon our former village copper and I were idly talking - he's been retired 10 years now - and got onto the subject of language.

He said when he was interviewing 16-17 year olds he could barely understand them. They spoke to fast and in a street lingo unintelligible almost everyone else.

Similarly, now he's got a desk job in the constabulary, he is required to vet reports and official documents prepared by young coppers. They make official statements in street lingo expecting an aged magistrate to understand them.

May I suggest it is vital we have a common language all may understand and respond in. OK, social sites like Facebook are one thing but officialdom is another. A misunderstanding could so easily result in an unwarranted sentence.
Response from jeanmark made on 25th Apr 2020 15:55:09
Whilst agreeing with you Lionel, I also believe, whether written or spoken, we must also ensure that the message sent is the one that is received.

Many years ago when I was a young staff nurse, I read the handover report (an official record) written in haste, "Jonny returned from theatre following a tonsillectomy vomited mother coming up later". Despite no punctuation, we all understood what the message was.

However, many years later when I was a senior nurse, I spent time talking with a patient who was attending our outpatient clinic. She was distressed at the lack of progress with her condition despite taking the prescribed medication. She was a University lecturer so one has to assume she was intelligent. When going though her day she explained the difficulty of cutting a tablet into four equal pieces and wondered if this was the problem. I then understood what the problem was. When I later discussed the case with my staff, some of the nurses asked how stupid could she be. I asked why they believed she was stupid as she followed the instructions on the medicine bottle - " Take one tablet four times a day". A classic example of not ensuring the message being sent is the one being received, and professionals believing everyone understands their language. From then on they all gave the instruction " ...that means four tablets a day"!
Response from CaroleAH made on 25th Apr 2020 18:24:36
Many years ago the surgery where I worked had a vacancy for a Practice Nurse. I vividly remember speaking to one young man who wanted to apply for the job. When I asked what his qualifications were he said that he didn't have any and thought that as he would be practising to be a nurse he would gain his qualifications whilst he worked for us. 🙂
Response from Lionel made on 26th Apr 2020 11:47:06 > @jeanmark
Yes, Jeanmark, similarly with me during my first week working near Thirsk.

Having just been employed the run a pig farm I asked the owner how we did pregnancy testing in sows. (There are a few methods, some more reliable than others). He replied,'The bar!' as if I should have known.

Having spent a few days looking for this magical bar, and then not knowing what I'd be expected to do with it if ever found, I asked the boss again.

'The bloody bar lad,' and wrote it on the wall in chalk.

"BOAR!"

Seems obvious now.
rc47
7th Nov 2016 16:52:52 (Last activity: 24th Apr 2020 10:10:45)
1
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I have taught English for decades to both children and adults. Most people, it seems, have no idea what grammar is, and they seem to think the silly rules Victorians invented are essential to follow. I tell them to split as many infinitives as they want, start sentences with conjunctions and end them with prepositions. These things are NOT grammar: they are stylistic choices.

Native speakers of a language make very few grammar errors as they have assimilated the system from infancy. For example, when a three year old says "I runned home" it shows s/he has applied a grammatical rule to a verb, expecting it to be regular. No-one taught her/him to say that and s/he will soon learn instinctively what the correct form is.

In some dialects, Standard English grammar is altered in the spoken version [less common in writing] and some will say "I were in town last night" or "when her come back from town". This may not be standard English but for that dialect it is correct.
Response from ecarg made on 7th Nov 2016 19:31:22
rc47. Great the way you have explained the use of language ,it is to be enjoyed not just the language but the different tones sing,song ,harsh. lilting. It can be amusing too, when I moved to Scotland I had to learn that how actually means why shopping is messages and I ken of course means I know. Now I speak English with a few local phrases thrown in ,when I go south now people think I'm Scottish but here they think I'm posh because of my English accent. All of which means people judge others by their accents when the most important thing is to listen to each other and be glad we can communicate at all .
Response from rc47 made on 8th Nov 2016 05:56:25
Hear, hear!
Response from Fruitcake13 made on 8th Nov 2016 17:03:30
I agree with you up to a point, rc47. Spoken dialects very often do alter Standard English grammar, and there's nothing wrong with that at all. My mother was from Aberdeenshire and she came out with all sorts of oddities that were correct in the Doric dialect, but she didn't write in the Doric dialect....she wrote using the correct English spelling and grammar. Regional and local dialects are truly wonderful things, and I would hate to see them lost, but when language is written down it needs to be grammatically correct or it can end up being, at best, misleading in meaning, and, at worst, completely indecipherable.
Response from rc47 made on 8th Nov 2016 18:47:19
Of course everything you say is right, Fruitcake13, but it all hangs on the phrase "grammatically correct". Who decides what is correct? Is that for all time? For all places from Birmingham to Ottawa to Singapore? Grammar, like spelling and punctuation, has changed over the years and from one place to another. For example, many Brits today abhor the American word "gotten" without realising it was a British English word first and went to the States with the Pilgrim Fathers: they kept it while it fell out of use here. Does that make it correct or not? Similarly, pedants detest the use of the comma splice but it is so common now that it is becoming acceptable [thus correct?].
Response from Fruitcake13 made on 8th Nov 2016 20:07:58
No, it's not for all time, rc47, language evolves and I have no problem with that evolution in principle. You're absolutely right about the word 'gotten' being a British English word originally. Words (and language in general) do indeed evolve, and that's as it should be, since it happens quite naturally. To take the example of the word 'gotten', it's fine if the Americans want to use it, but when I hear it used here in the UK it grates on my ears! The British people that I hear using the word 'gotten' are generally young, and I'm pretty sure that they have picked it up from the American influences that have pervaded our current society. I suspect that very few of those British people who use the word 'gotten' know that it was once in common usage here.

My problem with grammatically incorrect phraseology (and the added problem of the influence of 'text-speak') is not that the English language is evolving, but that it's evolving into the incomprehensible.
Response from ian blair made on 19th Jan 2018 21:15:14
Having lived in more than one country whose first language is English, I have" gotten used" to hearing words used out of context. I still prefer this to "got used" and when compared with "forgotten and forgot"
My real pet hate is when people write " could of" instead of " could've.
Response from Lionel made on 22nd Jan 2018 17:17:22
My particular pet hate is people, in mid sentence, asking, 'know what mean?'

Having a very short fuse my wife has needed to rein me in a few times as my response can often quite disarming.

'Madame, if I didn't know what you meant I wouldn't bother to ask,' or 'yes I do, but do you know, and I mean fully understand the import of your statement?'

Yes, I'm fairly popular among supermarket shoppers.
Response from Sunbird73 made on 24th Apr 2020 10:10:45 > @Lionel
My husband becomes very embarassed when I take waiters etc for addressing us as guys when we are out with a mixed sex group of friends. I invariably say "Excuse me but I and the rest of these ladies are female we are not guys" Another pet hate is the use of "These Ones" one is singular therefore the correct use is "This One". Keep up the good work trying to promote correct speech we grumpies should stick together.
jeanmark
13th Apr 2020 19:27:30
1
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It is interesting to see the various comments on this subject when the origin post stated "How important is the correct use of English grammar and punctuation to you on social networking sites"? Does it really matter if correct grammars is not used on social media sites, such as Facebook, as long as the message being sent is understood by all who will read it? I am always appalled when someone publicly corrects someones grammar or spelling when they may have no idea of the person writing the message, or how it may effect their self confidence when in joining in a discussion.
HJR58
9th Apr 2020 17:14:14
1
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Yes, definitely. I’m amazed by the number of people who don’t know the difference between there, their and they’re. Many other similar examples such as who’s, whose etc etc. We have a beautiful language which should be learned, used and enjoyed.
elgin52
11th Mar 2020 12:14:27
1
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I`m not on Facebook but if I was (were?) yes it would annoy me.

A current trend in the spoken media (news etc) which makes my hackles rise is (are?) sentences like the following...

"The point is, is....."

"The question is, is...."

WHY THE SECOND "IS"?
SueL56
19th Sep 2019 16:59:09 (Last activity: 11th Mar 2020 11:26:20)
1
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I am really tired of hearing presenters and sports commentators who cannot pronounce the word 'sixth'. So many now say 'sikth' and I know it's petty but it really irritates me.
Response from elgin52 made on 11th Mar 2020 11:26:20
I agree with you, SueL56. Its a tricky word to pronounce, I suppose, so don`t want to be too harsh.

On the other hand it can produce hilarious results. Only yesterday heard a news reporter say "The sick person to die of Corona virus (somewhere or other)."
Mabel06
10th Mar 2020 12:10:30 (Last activity: 10th Mar 2020 23:43:35)
1
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What currently annoys me is when people say that something was 'so fun'. Surely it's 'such fun' or am I just being old fashioned?
Response from CaroleAH made on 10th Mar 2020 23:43:35
I agree with you Mabel. My pet hate at the moment is the word "innit" at the end of a sentence - what's that all about for heaven's sake?
studyabroadlife
5th Mar 2019 09:52:40 (Last activity: 9th Mar 2020 21:48:35)
1
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So grammar and vocabulary are important, but they are part of communication, not something separate. Vocabulary plays an important part in learning to read. These are important parts of your ability to communicate in English. Of course, your goal is to communicate well when speaking, listening, reading and writing. So, join IELTS Classes in Nagpur is a good place to begin planning your English grammar preparation. And they provide extra lectures of Grammar, Vocabulary building, and communication skills taken for students who are not very confident into it.
Response from Lynbee made on 9th Mar 2020 21:48:35
Excellent but why did you start your post with, "So" ?
Lynbee
9th Mar 2020 21:45:50
2
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I do feel people should make an effort to write grammatically on a message forum. Certainly seeing 'would of', 'could of', 'bored of', puts me off and starting threads and paragraphs with 'So' is annoying. However I try not to let it get to me.
Eddie88
1st Mar 2020 16:05:43 (Last activity: 1st Mar 2020 21:21:33)
3
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I spent a large part of my working life in an office environment and wrote thousands of letters on a wide array of subjects both to the public and to staff internally. Along the way I realised both the great joy of using the full range of language and, just as importantly, that the use of the right words in the right context and using the correct punctuation presented the reader with a clear and easily understandable picture of what you were trying to say. I am in no way an academic but the range and flexibility of the English language is a wonderful thing. As in so many other areas we are becoming lazy and the quality of life will deteriorate as a result.
Response from Lionel made on 1st Mar 2020 21:21:33
Well said Eddie, but so sadly lacking these days. Even DWP letters to us have glaring mistakes, and don't get me on the online newspapers!
Wilf
28th Jan 2020 19:02:26 (Last activity: 31st Jan 2020 09:16:56)
0
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Should a comma go after the word ...and, answers please as I am very confused!
Response from [deleted] made on 29th Jan 2020 15:24:59
[deleted]
Response from CaroleAH made on 29th Jan 2020 22:09:51
When I was at school, Wilf, (many moons ago!) we were taught to separate words in a list with a comma or when punctuating a sentence when there would be a natural pause or a descriptive phrase if someone was reading out loud e.g. The cat, who was sitting on the sofa, was called Tabby.
Nowadays there's something called the Oxford comma and according to Google "The proper definition of the Oxford comma is “a comma used after the penultimate item in a list of three or more items, before 'and' or 'or'.”
Don't know if that helps or just confuses the issue further! 🙂 Carole
Response from CaroleAH made on 30th Jan 2020 23:25:56
Just noted your response to my post in the list of recent posts, Wilf - wonder why it hasn't appeared in this section??? Yes, I saw the article about the Oxford comma in relation to the Brexit coin and tend to think that some pedant, who has nothing better to do, is making up new grammatical rules! This person seems to have invaded my computer as well because when I'm typing out a document on Word it asks me if I want to add commas, here there and seemingly everywhere! Most of the time, I refuse! 🙂
Response from Wilf made on 31st Jan 2020 09:16:56
I use Grammerly Carole-helps me no end!
lonewolf56
16th Jan 2020 21:20:33 (Last activity: 30th Jan 2020 10:47:16)
0
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I get the feeling from these posts that many of you are from the UK. As an American, I can attest to the horrible English many people use, and much of our slang is non sensical. As a former English teacher, I've heard a lot of it. I've stopped correcting kids because there's too much to correct. I have learned to tune it out. I don't think American schools emphasize grammar as much as European schools.

I am flabbergasted by how many Americans can't spell. I frequently see adults write things like "egg's" or "there coming to my house." They should know better!
Response from Yodama made on 16th Jan 2020 22:40:24
Be kind lonewolf, not everybody has had the luxury of a top notch education.
Since you were a teacher, you will know that some of your pupils would have come from backgrounds where education is not on top of their survival list.

Dyslexics, people who are foreign, people who have handicaps and mental problems must be cut some slack. A perfect world where everybody does everything perfectly is a Disney world.
I am wondering if Pedanticism is a proper word, perhaps you could help me? 😉
Response from Yodama made on 30th Jan 2020 10:47:16
Kind of you Enchanted7Dandelion.

Not just children but grown up's who write beautifully but are unable to navigate the minefield of correct spelling and grammar.
Pendle Witch
12th Oct 2019 10:34:05 (Last activity: 16th Jan 2020 23:26:46)
1
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I always thought the plural of roof was rooves. Why is rooves no longer used?

Also, what is "from the get-go" supposed to mean?
Response from lonewolf56 made on 16th Jan 2020 23:26:46
It basically means since the beginning. Brits also have some pretty interesting slang as well.

In the U.S. I have never seen rooves as a plural for roof. It would make sense, though.
[deleted]
12th Oct 2019 11:55:11 (Last activity: 15th Oct 2019 19:35:28)
1
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[deleted]
Response from jeanmark made on 15th Oct 2019 19:35:28
It would it appear MaryPoppins56 that you are not alone with regard to the word 'gotten'. However, despite the many claims that it is an Americanism, it is of British origin and the Oxford English Dictionary traces its first use to the 4th century.
[deleted]
12th Oct 2019 11:59:46 (Last activity: 13th Oct 2019 19:13:47)
1
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[deleted]
Response from CaroleAH made on 13th Oct 2019 19:13:47
Not sure about Liverpudlians but a double negative usually translates to a positive!
nevertoolate
11th Jan 2019 09:32:14 (Last activity: 25th Sep 2019 18:29:52)
3
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The most irritating word at the moment is 'so'. Why, oh why do people have to preface a sentence with it? Is it a stalling mechanism while thoughts are gathered? Is it an affectation learned from other cultures? Whatever the reason, it really annoys me!
Response from reevej made on 11th Feb 2019 22:18:13
I totally agree with you . Unfortunately, it is being used in the media with increasing frequency. My greatest fear is that I will use it myself without being aware. Jen
Response from MoiraC8 made on 25th Sep 2019 18:29:52
I agree about "so" but "like" is even more annoying. For example - "I was like...", "they were like...." etc.
JoesGranny
6th Sep 2019 16:25:08
2
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My current ire is for those who use ´amount’ instead of ´number’, as in ´an amount of cars’ or ´an amount of people’. This would only be appropriate if you were weighing them, or measuring their length etc.
kevros123
31st Jul 2019 15:18:40 (Last activity: 31st Jul 2019 21:25:13)
2
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Bad English Grammar annoys me greatly.

Hearing it or reading it detracts immensely from whatever meaning or pleasure I'm trying to derive from any situation.

What is even worse, is outlandish exaggeration. I of course refer to trend of everybody now claiming that everything is 'awesome'. Another great import from America.

The Grand Canyon is an awesome sight. Witnessing and being a part of the birth of your first child, is an awesome experience. I have no doubt the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were also a magnificent and awesome sight. Pizzas, Coffee, clothes and nights out are not awesome.
Response from KLR made on 31st Jul 2019 21:25:13
I couldn't agree more: my current pet hate is the use of the word "impact" instead of affect or effect, closely followed by using "so" at the beginning of sentences.
PatriciaB96
31st May 2019 18:22:18
2
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Why do people think that dogs are dirty when humans are more disgusting than animals
Felix1
30th May 2019 15:21:09 (Last activity: 31st May 2019 13:22:53)
0
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I get very irritated at bad spelling and punctuation. I wonder, are these mistakes or just ignorance. My pet hate is the use of, I am assuming, Jamaican slang. I want to write back, you are British for heavens sake, speak like it.
Response from CaroleAH made on 31st May 2019 13:22:53
Felix1, I am confused! Why is "I am assuming" Jamaican slang? What would you use instead of that prefix to a question?
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