Author Topic: Question for those who do online, text roleplaying  (Read 3160 times)

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Adelaide

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Question for those who do online, text roleplaying
« on: November 02, 2012, 10:01:06 PM »
I rp in chat rooms and message boards and have been doing so for a number of years. One problem I have is that a lot of times people don't use correct grammar, spelling, or punctuation when they're rp-ing. Unfortunately, this sometimes doesn't happen until two or three posts in. I don't like just ditching someone when they're invested in a thread already, but I can't think of a way to say "Your spelling and grammar are so bad that they're off-putting and I don't want to continue the thread" that sounds nice at all. Has anyone had experience with this? How do people usually respond if you say something? Is it worth it? I feel like it would be rude to just leave with no explanation, but so far I can't come up with a good one. I realize that sometimes, especially when you're not in a chat room, it's easier to "weed out" people you don't want to thread with early on, but sometimes this doesn't become a problem until further on into the thread.

ETA: My main issue isn't why this is happening or if I'm being unreasonable. The main problem is that I really want to say something but I don't know how to phrase it without making a donkey's behind of myself. I am going to say something, but I don't want to sound like a snob when I do.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2012, 11:13:04 PM by Adelaide »

tangelloyellow

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Re: Question for those who do online, text roleplaying
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2012, 11:13:38 PM »
Maybe you can work into the role playing that your character drops dead and can't partake in the thread anymore?

Adelaide

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Re: Question for those who do online, text roleplaying
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2012, 11:17:34 PM »
Maybe you can work into the role playing that your character drops dead and can't partake in the thread anymore?

Haha if only. I usually don't play out scenes where it would make sense for the character to die, and a lot of times I don't want to kill off my character for good.

tangelloyellow

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Re: Question for those who do online, text roleplaying
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2012, 11:19:50 PM »
Maybe you can work into the role playing that your character drops dead and can't partake in the thread anymore?

Haha if only. I usually don't play out scenes where it would make sense for the character to die, and a lot of times I don't want to kill off my character for good.

Teehee, sorry I just had to throw it in there because the thought of it amused me.  ;D

Sorry I don't have any good advice then :)

Penguin_ar

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Re: Question for those who do online, text roleplaying
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2012, 06:53:26 AM »
So these people type perfectly and then suddenly, after several paragraphs, their spelling/ grammar gets atrociously bad? How odd.   It could be that they are using a dictation program, or maybe suddenly have a toddler in their lap or get jostled in the train. Is there a provision in the games you play for OOC (out of character) talk?  If so, I think it is ok to say something about their actions/ speech being difficult to read, making your responses slower. 

If it is more a case of you being very particular about grammar and them getting caught up in answering quickly/ the emotions of the scene and making some minor mistakes, I think you need to let it go.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2012, 06:55:29 AM by Penguin_ar »

Adelaide

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Re: Question for those who do online, text roleplaying
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2012, 07:21:16 PM »
It's not that I'm particular about grammar, as I know that mine isn't stellar. And it isn't as though they type posts that would make the angels weep before suddenly switching into chatspeak. The change isn't severe. I'm not terribly particular to begin with-a few minor spelling/grammatical errors are fine, and sometimes I start out knowing that they'll be making a few of those. Then we'll keep going and they'll steadily get worse, to the point where it's distracting to a reasonable person. Perhaps they are getting caught up in the drama but I don't think that's a reason to get careless to the point where you're using words that don't make sense in context and spelling several things incorrectly.

I know that I should probably say something (as there is an OOC provision) but right now I'm at a loss. I think "Hey, would you mind proof-reading your responses for grammatical and spelling errors, they're getting distracting) would come across as snotty. I wish I had some examples to post on here, because I promise that it isn't just me being snotty. It's an actual issue.

sweetonsno

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Re: Question for those who do online, text roleplaying
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2012, 09:58:03 PM »
Distracting errors are annoying, but because the errors do not interfere with your ability to understand them, I wouldn't bring it up. Because this is a social exchange, I don't really think it's appropriate to bring up mechanics. In the case of professional and academic settings, I would absolutely mention it. (I don't think it's snotty to be annoyed by lazy writing. I'm a professional grammando and my friends will periodically use dreadful grammar just to see my English Teacher Death Twitch. I just don't think it's as important to everyone as it is to people like us. If you can easily understand what they're saying, then asking for something closer to SEE is a personal preference and not really something that you should dictate.)

If the errors get to the point where understanding is difficult, then I do think you can bring it up. I'm not a gamer, so I'm not sure how you'd make an aside, but something like, "Can you please give your posts a quick once-over before you send them? I think your autocorrect is on the fritz. I wasn't sure what you meant by 'raffling goop' at first. It took me a minute to realize you meant 'grappling hook." I guess that if the errors are distracting enough that they really take you out of the scene, you could say something similar. I'd blame autocorrect and use a specific example of something that confused you.

GrammarNerd

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Re: Question for those who do online, text roleplaying
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2012, 11:07:47 PM »
What is the time lapse between the posts?  Could the person possibly be imbibing some sort of adult beverage that impairs the ability to type after a period of time?

I have no idea about the RP situation, but would it work to ask about this in-character, as if the person is in front of you, speaking, rather than on the computer, typing?  Like when you notice the mistakes, you ask (type) something like: "Hey, Character, are you feeling okay?  You're starting to slur your words/I'm not really understanding what you're saying.  Do you need a nap?"

LilacRosey

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Re: Question for those who do online, text roleplaying
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2012, 01:20:46 AM »
I text alot and I think you should say something if it's bothering you. Maybe say it funny like it's no big deal and even through in a text joke like "Hey guys would you mind trying a little harder with the grammar, it's kinda bugging me. That would be really leet of you! Thanx!", LilacRosey

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Question for those who do online, text roleplaying
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2012, 01:51:17 AM »
I wish I had actual advice, except to say that when I used to play in the Red Dragon Inn on AOL, ::mumblemumble:: years ago, the same problem existed then.  The only thing I can say is, if it seriously inhibits the flow of RP, then a) make a note of who they are for future reference, b) s l o w the scene waaaay down (if it's chat room, pause a little longer than usual between each send... if it's play-by-post, then take a while longer to respond than usual, and c) if all else fails, make up a reason why you can continue.  For chat rooms, this is easy "brb, the fern just attacked my kid", for play-by-post, just say that you've gotten busier and can't devote time to playing right now.  Then play a character nobody knows about for a while.  ;)

(Hey!  I DID have actual advice!)
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Mental Magpie

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Re: Question for those who do online, text roleplaying
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2012, 11:10:01 AM »
I haven't RP-ed in a long while, but one of our standards was being able to be understood.  Let's put it this way, almost everyone on E-Hell would be accepted because we can all understand what you're saying.  Much worse than that and you probably wouldn't have been accepted for the character.  It just made for ease within the game.  I don't think it would be wrong of you, OP, to say something.  A simple, "I am having trouble understanding you.  Could you please use grammar or spellcheck?" would work.  If they refuse, another simple, "I'm sorry, I won't be able to continue.  It is too hard to understand you."  Just be plain and not emotionally vested in your words.
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Surianne

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Re: Question for those who do online, text roleplaying
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2012, 05:48:29 PM »
I think it would be best to just excuse yourself and leave.  Incomprehensible spelling/grammar/textspeak (where you really have to work out what a person is saying, not simple misspellings) makes me crazy, so I feel you, but someone who plays like that normally probably isn't going to change it easily and long enough to get through a full game.  You'll just be frustrated. 

Kiara

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Re: Question for those who do online, text roleplaying
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2012, 02:19:47 PM »
If you're doing it on a message board, any chance you can get it added to the rules by the admin?  The board I run flatly states we don't do textspeak, and we have to understand you.

So if someone veers off, we're fine doing a "Dude!  Check the rules and end the text speak!  :)"

Drawberry

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Re: Question for those who do online, text roleplaying
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2012, 07:15:20 PM »
As someone who's text-based roleplayed for ages I can attest to how absolutely bad spelling can completely ruin the flow. It would be like watching a classic Disney film and half way in the animation turns into scribbles and stick figures that look more like wet noodles then Snow White. The feel of the film is gone, the mood is gone, the fantasy world is gone and you cannot keep watching it.

I've had to tell more then one person to please not use 'chat speak' or at least to keep their spelling in check. I am not a stickler for grammar per-say but basic things like no run on sentences is an acceptable note to point out.

To be frank, there really may be no way to not come across as a bit rude no matter how politely you try and word it. But you just take the plunge and do your best to be polite in asking the user(s) to watch their spelling.

"Hey can we please keep the forums free from chat-speak? I'd really appreciate it, thanks guys."

"So and so I really enjoy roleplaying with you but sometimes it's a bit hard to understand what your typing and I've had to re-read sentences before, can you please watch your spelling in the future?"


Mad Goat Woman

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Re: Question for those who do online, text roleplaying
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2012, 02:54:25 PM »
I rp in chat rooms and message boards and have been doing so for a number of years. One problem I have is that a lot of times people don't use correct grammar, spelling, or punctuation when they're rp-ing. Unfortunately, this sometimes doesn't happen until two or three posts in. I don't like just ditching someone when they're invested in a thread already, but I can't think of a way to say "Your spelling and grammar are so bad that they're off-putting and I don't want to continue the thread" that sounds nice at all. Has anyone had experience with this? How do people usually respond if you say something? Is it worth it? I feel like it would be rude to just leave with no explanation, but so far I can't come up with a good one. I realize that sometimes, especially when you're not in a chat room, it's easier to "weed out" people you don't want to thread with early on, but sometimes this doesn't become a problem until further on into the thread.

ETA: My main issue isn't why this is happening or if I'm being unreasonable. The main problem is that I really want to say something but I don't know how to phrase it without making a donkey's behind of myself. I am going to say something, but I don't want to sound like a snob when I do.


As an admin of text-based forum roleplaying, I include a rule that states:

Quote
This is an intermediate rpg, which means we expect to see proper spelling and grammar used in posts. Of course people will make mistakes, and that's fine, but if every other word is misspelled and your posts are nearly unreadable, something is wrong. There are spell checkers all over the internet, so make use of them if you need to.

This generally tends to weed out those who talk in text-speak which you seem to encounter. My advice is to say to them gently, "hey, would you mind editing your post? I find that I don't have enough to work with." I've done that to great effect in my 10+ years of rping on forums.






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