Author Topic: Not Even Sure That's English  (Read 3703 times)

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fountainsoflettuce

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Not Even Sure That's English
« on: January 03, 2013, 12:22:16 PM »
Recently, I've come across a slew of posts on the Internet  and other writings in real life that just totally butcher the English language.  This is after consideration is given towards "Internet speak" and/or perhaps English is not the OP's original language. 

In regards to the Internet, I've seen excessive use of punctuation, totally improper use of "quotation marks",  and improper use of overly flowerly or explanatory language to the extent that it renders the post unintelligible.  Do you really speak like Yoda? Because you write posts the way Yoda speaks.  In real life, I have received writings in some perverse form of English (Google ":David-Wynn: Miller" and yes, include the improper punctuation) or which misuse certain words and terms.

In real life, is it rude to communicate in a perverse form of English when the receipient is not conversant in this type of "English"?  The same answer follow for the Internet?

In both scenarios, in my head I mentally respond that "Your writing, to the extent intelligible, does not make you look superior or well educated. Quite frankly, it makes you look stupid.  Stop wasting my time."   

I have some ways of dealing, or trying to deal, with the garbled English writings in a professional setting.  As to the Internet, am I permitted to respond, nicely of course, that I don't understand their post?  Exactly how should this be said? 

TootsNYC

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2013, 12:23:47 PM »
Just say, "I'm sorry, I don't understand what you mean."

Or better yet, move on.

It's the Internet. It's entertaining; it's fun; sometimes it's even educational.

But most of the time, it's not really *important.*

Lynn2000

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2013, 12:30:04 PM »
I agree with TootsNYC. If you're in a professional setting, or there's a friend or relative you really want/need to communicate with, you can politely get into ways to better communicate with you.

But if we're talking about, say, posts on an Internet forum, I think I would just skip over the ones that I had a hard time reading. If for some reason the person really wants your particular advice, you are free to say, "I'm sorry, your post wasn't clear. Could you try explaining again/being more concise/using fewer quotes?" etc.. If you want.
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Hmmmmm

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2013, 12:40:41 PM »
I agree with TootsNYC. If you're in a professional setting, or there's a friend or relative you really want/need to communicate with, you can politely get into ways to better communicate with you.

But if we're talking about, say, posts on an Internet forum, I think I would just skip over the ones that I had a hard time reading. If for some reason the person really wants your particular advice, you are free to say, "I'm sorry, your post wasn't clear. Could you try explaining again/being more concise/using fewer quotes?" etc.. If you want.

Agree.  Everyone has different writing styles and some are going to be easier for me to understand than others.  Just using your post as an example:

I have no idea why you want me to google that person.  Are you implying if I do I'll see the perverse style you reference?  Or was this the actual writing you directly received?

You ask "In real life, is it rude to communicate in a perverse form of English when the receipient is not conversant in this type of "English"?"
By real life do you mean in verbal communication with someone, do you mean written communication between you and a colleague or friend, or do you mean any communication that is not in a virtual reality setting?  I'm not really sure.
I'm also unclear about "ot conversant in this type of English".  Do you mean something like someone talking to you in say "Spanglish" or "Hobbit Talk" or using internet abbreviations?

If somene is trying to communicate in a language I do not understand, I either try to garner as much understanding as I need or tell them I do not understand.

But if just a random posting, I probably wouldn't comment.  Had your post not been about this subject, I wouldn't have asked for clarification of the points above.  I'd have just moved on to another topic.

Ginya

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2013, 01:03:42 PM »
I agree with TootsNYC. If you're in a professional setting, or there's a friend or relative you really want/need to communicate with, you can politely get into ways to better communicate with you.

But if we're talking about, say, posts on an Internet forum, I think I would just skip over the ones that I had a hard time reading. If for some reason the person really wants your particular advice, you are free to say, "I'm sorry, your post wasn't clear. Could you try explaining again/being more concise/using fewer quotes?" etc.. If you want.

Agree.  Everyone has different writing styles and some are going to be easier for me to understand than others.  Just using your post as an example:

I have no idea why you want me to google that person.  Are you implying if I do I'll see the perverse style you reference?  Or was this the actual writing you directly received?

You ask "In real life, is it rude to communicate in a perverse form of English when the receipient is not conversant in this type of "English"?"
By real life do you mean in verbal communication with someone, do you mean written communication between you and a colleague or friend, or do you mean any communication that is not in a virtual reality setting?  I'm not really sure.
I'm also unclear about "ot conversant in this type of English".  Do you mean something like someone talking to you in say "Spanglish" or "Hobbit Talk" or using internet abbreviations?

If somene is trying to communicate in a language I do not understand, I either try to garner as much understanding as I need or tell them I do not understand.

But if just a random posting, I probably wouldn't comment.  Had your post not been about this subject, I wouldn't have asked for clarification of the points above.  I'd have just moved on to another topic.

I have to agree with everyone else because the examples you're using are rather vague. I goggled your suggested search to try and get a better understanding and my search results garnered nothing remarkable or showed any egregious abuses of the English language. People will occasionally misuse words and punctuation. We are all human and many of us are not English professors.

Being a grammar nazi doesn't really help anyone unless they're attempting to improve themselves or care that they are using it incorrectly. Many of my friends text and post Facebook statuses that make me cringe because they're so mangled but they don't care and pointing out their mistakes is a useless exercise and will eventually probably make them upset. If it's not personally directed at you let it go and move on. If it is directed at you, then I think you're fine in asking for clarification.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2013, 01:07:42 PM »
I am a big proponent of proper English usage.  However, I know that not everyone shares my views.  I will correct DH and DS, in a kindly manner, if they are not using proper English but will refrain from correcting others.

A friend of my DH loves to speak as Yoda.  He thinks it makes him sound funny and charming.  Truthfully, it only makes him sound like a Star Wars geek.  He does it all the time.  I've gotten into the habit of looking at him blankly and blinking a few times.  That usually does the trick.

onyonryngs

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2013, 01:08:19 PM »
It drives me "nuts"  >:D sometimes but I tend to just skip over whatever it was that was unintelligible.  I could try to figure out what they were trying to say, but most of the time I just don't want to take the time.

Amava

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2013, 01:16:16 PM »
Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

Just kidding. If I genuinely want to reply to someone, but don't understand what they mean, what I usually do is take a few stabs at what I /think/ they are trying to say, asking: "Do you mean X, or do you mean Y?" If I'm not interested, then I leave the post alone.

In real life, I just ask them to rephrase if I didn't understand what they're saying (if they're addressing me directly). 

fountainsoflettuce

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2013, 01:19:30 PM »
 By no means am I a grammar Nazi.  As noted in my post, I do make allowances.  Many of my Internet postings do not grammatically correct either.  <-- for example

For edification, here's the :David-Wynn: Miller  link mentioned as an example in my original post-
http://www.davidwynnmiller.com/     and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Wynn_Miller

And here's an example of how the traditional English language is translated into King of Hawaii and Judge Miller's language:
http://occupythetrust.wordpress.com/contracting/

In thinking about this, perhaps a person using QUANTUM language is no different than someone communicating in Spanish.  Yet Spanish is a more universally accepted language as opposed to QUANTUM. 




Betelnut

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2013, 01:26:22 PM »
Well, after looking over the blog, I would say the guy is a nut.  I hope that is plain English enough.
Native Texan, Marylander currently

Luci

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2013, 01:30:36 PM »
I never buy a book that has a grammar error in the summary.

Guess that leaves that one out for me, too.

stitchygreyanonymouse

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2013, 01:31:05 PM »
On the internet, I treat someone who writes in a manner that I canít easily understand the same way I do blogs who use ridiculously cutesy, curly, and illegible fonts or low-contrast text/backgrounds: I move along and ignore them.

Someone else on the internet is probably saying the same thing, in a more legible context.

Correcting them will likely only come across as an act of someone who views his or herself erudite when s/he actually is really just pompous. Likewise, there are surely people out there who view posts which use the word erudite or edification as unintelligible.

If, for whatever reason, you choose not to ignore them, pervious posters have responded with good advice.

BabyMama

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2013, 01:39:10 PM »
My friend is a college professor and teaches a lot of into to writing and comp courses. He always has delightful/horrifying stories relating to his students' lack of writing basics.

Every semester I try to convince him that a response of "lol wut" would get the textspeak writer's attention. Or "Y U no write good?" "I read a comp paper once. Hated it." So many good memes to lend themselves to professor commentary...I even told him I'd buy him a Grumpy Cat or "dislike" stamp. >:D

artk2002

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2013, 01:39:30 PM »
By no means am I a grammar Nazi.  As noted in my post, I do make allowances.  Many of my Internet postings do not grammatically correct either.  <-- for example

For edification, here's the :David-Wynn: Miller  link mentioned as an example in my original post-
http://www.davidwynnmiller.com/     and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Wynn_Miller

And here's an example of how the traditional English language is translated into King of Hawaii and Judge Miller's language:
http://occupythetrust.wordpress.com/contracting/

In thinking about this, perhaps a person using QUANTUM language is no different than someone communicating in Spanish.  Yet Spanish is a more universally accepted language as opposed to QUANTUM.

I'm afraid that you've run into what's really a political issue. David Wynn Miller and his friends are part of the Sovereign Citizens movement which can be best described as the legal version of a cargo cult. They believe that by manipulating punctuation and grammar that they can circumvent some legal situations (situations that they've made up out of whole cloth, I believe.) Interestingly there is a post here discussing this. I suggest that you comment there on this topic and not here.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

fountainsoflettuce

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2013, 02:03:27 PM »
Oh, I'm well aware of what Mr. Miller stands for.  You misunderstand-in no way is my post commenting on his politics.  My question was based on the use of a less than universally accepted langugage and whether it is rude to expect the reciepent (sp) to be knowledgeable about that language when communicating.  So, what's your answer Mr. Artk2002? I'm curious.