Grammar & spelling lessons and pet peeves

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Grammar & spelling lessons and pet peeves

Post  Poink88 on Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:50 pm

As started here ( http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t9231p15-ramificationis-there-such-thing-as-too-much ), I am creating this thread as a venue to vent out our grammar/spelling pet peeves (not just English, though I expect it will be the majority).

I am guilty of committing the same mistakes and I offer no defense or excuse, just hoping for some understanding and acceptance for my inadequacy. I welcome and appreciate critique and guidance but do not wish it to become the focus of the thread either. On that thread, though I did not say it...I thank those who posted my mistakes.

Most of the time, I also post in haste...not proof reading what I write. I imagine others do the same and I hope people can see past those errors and understand. If the error is recurring, then maybe it is something that need to be addressed to help that person.

The things I usually see that I almost comment on:
1. Lack of capitalization.
2. Improper use of punctuation marks.
3. Not having readable and understandable sentences.
4. Interchanging use of; their, there, they're, loose, lose, than, then, etc.

I hope this will help us understand each other better...not to demean anyone but help them improve.

Now have at it and have FUN! lol!

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Re: Grammar & spelling lessons and pet peeves

Post  Poink88 on Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:52 pm

BTW, I know some don't like the grammar police too! Arrow

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Re: Grammar & spelling lessons and pet peeves

Post  John Quinn on Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:13 pm

I also have a visceral reaction to misuse of the language by native speakers: complement vs. compliment; your vs. you're; et cetera.
I won't even point out the two errors in your first post! Cool


Last edited by John Quinn on Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:30 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Grammar & spelling lessons and pet peeves

Post  Poink88 on Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:14 pm

John Quinn wrote:I won't even point out the two errors in your first post! Cool
Oh, please do! Smile

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Re: Grammar & spelling lessons and pet peeves

Post  drgonzo on Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:58 pm

Back when I was in college. I had a professor that would allow you three grammar or spelling errors (total.) When she saw error number four, she put the paper down and wrote an "F" at the top of it.
-Jay


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Re: Grammar & spelling lessons and pet peeves

Post  JimLewis on Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:30 pm

These kinds of threads can be dangerous, so a couple of cautions, please.

1. Do not criticize the language (spelling, usage, punctuation, syntax, etc.) of those who are writing in something other than their native language. If in doubt, assume that they aren't born in that language. (I will say, however, that many users of English as a second language do much better with it than those for whom English is the ONLY language.)

2. Do not criticize OBVIOUS typos. Look at your keyboard and see what keys are near or adjacent to one another. Mistakes happen. Feel free to chuckle at Freudian slips.

3. DO use the spell checker your browser undoubtedly offers. Set it to correct (or show) errors as you type. Then review what you write before you send it off to the world's critics.

4. Be certain you are correct before you correct someone else. AND, do not get all pissy if someone chides you for bad usage. Learn from it.

5. If the criticism is wrong, defend yourself -- but carefully.

Some books you can use to be certain your point is on point:

1. Fowler's Modern English Usage -- at one time, THE reference for everyone. Today a bit outdated and stuffy. VERY correct.

2. The Handbook of Good English (Edward Johnson) -- also a bit on the old fashioned side, but very useful.

3. The New Well-Tempered Sentence: A Punctuation Handbook for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed (Gordon) -- a light-hearted romp through punctuation that is EASY to read and understand. MY favorite.

4. The Transitive Vampire: A handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager and the Doomed (Gordon) -- again very easy to read and understand, and fun. Another favorite.

6. Woe is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plan English (O'Conner) -- Another fun favorite.

7. Lapsing into a Comma: A Curmudgeon's Guide to the many things that can Go Wrong in Print and How to Avoid Them (Walsh) -- another enjoyable and useful read.

=============
Anyone who uses "texting-speak" with no punctuation, no capitalization, very abbreviated abbreviations is fair game for all the shaming we can pour on them. The IBC is not Twitter, Facebook or those other bastions of popular blathering.

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Re: Grammar & spelling lessons and pet peeves

Post  JimLewis on Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:39 pm

Oh yes, be aware that English English and American English do differ on a few points of grammar, spelling and punctuation. The same is probably true for Aussie and Kiwi English and the language as written elsewhere.

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Re: Grammar & spelling lessons and pet peeves

Post  fiona on Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:50 pm

John Quinn wrote: I won't even point out the two errors in your first post! Cool
I made it four.


Oh dear. And I haven't even put finger to keyboard yet!

As Jim says, let's be very careful with how we proceed on this one as there are precious few on here who have earned the right to criticise (UK Eng. "criticise" rather than Am. Eng. "criticize") others. Even I have been known to make mistakes, and that with an honours degree and nearly thirty years spent teaching English. For my part I would also ask people to remember that as well as typos there are those members who do have recognised difficulties with language and they should not be ridiculed for it. To be frank, I'd say forget the text books - especially Fowler as he was an inveterate snob in the first instance and because of it occasionally wrong in the second. Let's just adopt a common sense, check before you write approach. And that applies to spelling plant names too.

But back to that apostrophe: as well as the abominable apostrophising of plurals aspect already outlined, my particular bugbear is the current tendency to replace the apostrophe with a comma. I am aware that this is often because on a mobile (cell) phone the apostrophe is not on the main character menu and it is easier to hit the comma key. I'd personally rather folk missed it out than do that.

In other words, please don't write don,t. It's just plain wrong.


Grumble over. Can we get back to some bonsai now?

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Re: Grammar & spelling lessons and pet peeves

Post  Poink88 on Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:03 pm

fiona wrote:
John Quinn wrote: I won't even point out the two errors in your first post! Cool
I made it four.
Did I mention I am a "numbers" guy and language, history, social studies are my weakness? Just an excuse, but my brain doesn't work the same way as some of you guys (and gals). Wink Actually, even my math skills have dwindled, never mind...

fiona wrote:Can we get back to some bonsai now?
Yes please, but if you must...please post grammar and spelling stuff here...not on the bonsai threads. PLEASEEEEEEE!!! Very Happy

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Re: Grammar & spelling lessons and pet peeves

Post  jgeanangel on Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:14 pm

fiona wrote:

Grumble over. Can we get back to some bonsai now?

Which brings us back to the start of all of this...the plural form of the word bonsai which had more to do with the understanding of how to correctly use Japanese terms. Since Japanese is a language that is native to very few of us, I was just trying to provide a useful tip and did not intend on stirring things up! I am the very last person to criticize the use of the English language.

and just so we can get back to the bonsai...here is a picture of a few of Mr. Iwasaki's Bonsai

(crap...I hope all that is correct:))
John

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Re: Grammar & spelling lessons and pet peeves

Post  fiona on Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:30 pm

jgeanangel wrote: (crap...I hope all that is correct:)) John
I'll give you a gold star and a happy face. Wink

In the UK it's not considered good practice to give marks out of ten in case some poor wee bugger gets a complex. This is probably why we're so crap at spelling and grammar over here in the first place.

And Dario, we're almost as bad at numeracy in the UK as we are at literacy. Your numbers skills would be a real boon should you come over. But then again I am jealous of people who can do Maths.

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Re: Grammar & spelling lessons and pet peeves

Post  William N. Valavanis on Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:05 pm

Speaking of spelling and typo errors, here my "best" example.

When Yuji Yoshimura got ill and retired I wrote the following in a magazine (but not International BONSAI).

This is what I wanted to say:
Yuji Yoshimura is now limiting his public appearances.

But I made a slight typo and omitted the "L", and here is what "appeared:"
Yuji Yoshimura is now limiting his pubic appearances.

Boy, was I embarrassed, but fortunately the error was caught and they reprinted the magazine before it was distributed.

Bill

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Re: Grammar & spelling lessons and pet peeves

Post  fiona on Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:06 pm

lol!

Now that's the sort of typo we could do with more of on here if only to lighten us all up a bit.

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Re: Grammar & spelling lessons and pet peeves

Post  Orion on Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:15 pm

...and that magazine article would be nice collector's item if any went to press.

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Re: Grammar & spelling lessons and pet peeves

Post  Mitch Thomas on Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:30 pm

Bill
I guess you could say you were saved by a public hair. Lol .... Oops sorry if that lol miffed anyone off.

Most of my post come from my IPhone and the auto correct can really get you in trouble. Some are down right hilarious. Google auto correct errors.

Mitch

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Re: Grammar & spelling lessons and pet peeves

Post  JimLewis on Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:51 pm

the current tendency to replace the apostrophe with a comma. I am aware that this is often because on a mobile (cell) phone the apostrophe is not on the main character menu and it is easier to hit the comma key. I'd personally rather folk missed it out than do that.

Well! I learned something there. But then, all I use the cell phone for is . . . phone calls.

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LOs,t for word,s .............!?

Post  Hans van Meer. on Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:07 am

Poink88 wrote:Did I mention I am a "numbers" guy and language, history, social studies are my weakness? Just an excuse, but my brain doesn't work the same way as some of you guys (and gals). Wink


Jou don,t say?! Who woul,d hav though,t ?!

fiona wrote:Can we get back to some bonsai now?


Yes we can! Talking about "SLOW", two day's ago I compleatly restyled one of my old Blackthorns! HERE !

Cheers,
Hans van Meer.


Last edited by Hans van Meer. on Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:10 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : No scooling,s!)

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Grammar & Spelling

Post  bonsaisr on Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:10 am

Eye halve a spell cheque program. It came with my pea sea.
It plainly marcs four my revue Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
Eye strike a key and type a word And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write. It shows me strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid, It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite. It's rare lea ever wrong.
Eye have run this poem threw it; I am shore your pleased two no
It's letter-perfect awl the weigh. My chequer tolled me sew.

-Sauce unknown

I got this off the Internet, but as far as I know, it is not copyrighted.
Iris

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Re: Grammar & spelling lessons and pet peeves

Post  JimLewis on Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:31 pm

And that is exactly why I also said to review what you write before you send it. (And, Iris, spell -- and to a MUCH lesser extent, grammar -- checkers are much better able than that.)

An unfortunate misuse of an apostrophe in this month's International Bonsai Magazine, if anyone would care to look it up.

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Re: Grammar & spelling lessons and pet peeves

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:37 pm

William N. Valavanis wrote:Speaking of spelling and typo errors, here my "best" example.

Bill

Ahahhahahha Thanks Bill. I needed a good laugh today.

~Sam

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Spelling and Grammar

Post  bonsaisr on Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:26 pm

I dunno how good spell checkers are, Jim. Every time I mention prostrate juniper, the one in my layout program wants me to change it to prostate. And every program I own, from Word to AOL, thinks Upstate New York is a city & keeps telling me to insert a comma.
Here's another poem. Don't remember where I got this one.

The Typographic Error
Anonymous

The typographic error is a slippery thing and sly.
You can hunt till you are dizzy,
But it somehow will get by.
Till the forms are off the presses,
It is strange how still it keeps;
It shrinks down in a corner
And it never stirs or peeps.
The typographic error,
Too small for human eyes,
Till the ink is on the paper,
When it grows to mountain size.
The boss, he stares with horror,
Then he grabs his hair and groans;
The copy reader drops his head
Upon his hands and moans.
The remainder of the issue
May be clean as clean can be,
But that typographic error
Is the olny thing you see.
Iris

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Re: Grammar & spelling lessons and pet peeves

Post  marcus watts on Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:29 pm

hi,

Dario is trying to fill in the time while his new trees ramify Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

My two peneth...........(to all, including me) 1) get all our trees good enough before worrying about puntuation, 2) pass on actual facts and observations NOT internet links to someone elses ramblings, 3) if you have a theory or new idea try it out on your own trees, document it with pictures and then start a thread once it works, and as you asked Dario 4) think before jumping in with both feet - ( it doesnt really help to answer a persons tree question when the links you 'answer' them with are for the wrong species of quince, even though it raised a smile).

hopefully that was the longest sentence in a thread and everyone is out of breath Very Happy Very Happy

the biggest variable we face is UK written English, US written English and the unfortunate modern english. Plus everyone has to be very tollerant of translator sites like babel fish etc as the input from the non english speaking members is very interesting and essential to the variety of the thread contents.

now bonsai - the benches are a bit more blacker, the decking is a bit more screwed down and now it,s dark and raining so cant' do no more work. Twisted Evil video on the mighty utube will follow when done - oh, and where is Dr Jay? he can spell proper

best regards Marcus

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Re: Grammar & spelling lessons and pet peeves

Post  rock on Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:22 am

Their's an half our I wont get back.

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Grammar & Spelling

Post  bonsaisr on Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:03 am

JimLewis wrote:Oh yes, be aware that English English and American English do differ
I will never forget, in an old newsgroup, a British member insisted that plants communicate. (If one plant in a field is attacked, the other plants of the same species all produce a defensive chemical.) I countered that since they have no nervous system, plants can't communicate. He insisted that according to the definition of communication, plants communicate. The next time I was in the library, I checked the OED. Sure enough, according to their definition, plants communicate. According to Merriam-Webster (US equivalent), they do not.
Iris

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Re: Grammar & spelling lessons and pet peeves

Post  bonsaisr on Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:04 am

JimLewis wrote:
An unfortunate misuse of an apostrophe in this month's International Bonsai Magazine, if anyone would care to look it up.
I haven't found it yet. May I have a hint?
Iris

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Re: Grammar & spelling lessons and pet peeves

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