Author Topic: Not Even Sure That's English  (Read 3679 times)

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TootsNYC

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2013, 02:05:50 PM »
No, just stupid.

And does that person run around using his own brand of language in OTHER places? Perhaps then it might be rude, but that's so hypothetical that it's just annoying, as a question.

fountainsoflettuce

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2013, 02:15:05 PM »
I'm afraid I don't understand your post Toots. Are you calling my question rude?

 I am currently communicating  in writing with an individual who is using QUANTAM.  I can't make heads or tails out of what he's saying and I've taken the appropriate steps to clarify the situation.  This experience along with some very recent posts on eHell serve as the basis for my question. Unlike the Internet, I can not just ignore this individual. 

And I agree, does that person actually speak QUANTUM?  I would love to find out.

BabylonSister

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2013, 02:18:46 PM »
I would simply say: "I'm sorry, I cannot understand what you are saying.  Would you please reformulate that in plain English?"  I hope that's not a rude way to ask.

m2kbug

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2013, 02:25:18 PM »
I am currently communicating  in writing with an individual who is using QUANTAM.  I can't make heads or tails out of what he's saying and I've taken the appropriate steps to clarify the situation.  This experience along with some very recent posts on eHell serve as the basis for my question. Unlike the Internet, I can not just ignore this individual. 

And I agree, does that person actually speak QUANTUM?  I would love to find out.

I suppose if someone chooses to speak a "foreign language," you might need a translator?    :o

What I'm not grasping here, but is this "language" supposed to be a "better" form for legal documents or is this how people intend to write about every day things?  Because on that one video, he spoke normally, even though I was completely lost as to what he was trying to say or what his point was, so maybe minus that crazy punctuation, that's what it sounds like?

Flora Louise

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2013, 02:30:17 PM »
It must make ordering in restaurants frustrating.
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artk2002

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2013, 02:37:48 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.

There are many sub-cultures, societies, professions and avocations that have specialized language. I don't think that they're rude. Sometimes there are ideas that are difficult to explain in common English. For instance, I sail square-rigged ships. Am I rude for saying "brace about" or "box haul?" Even explaining what "box haul" means takes terms that aren't in common use ("To tack a square-rigged vessel short round. To perform this maneuver, the sails were backed to take way off with the helm held to weather, causing the ship to go astern until the eye of the wind was on the other side. Then the sails were handled around to the new tack.")

Is a mathematician rude for using terms like "ring" and "integrate" in ways that are very different from their common meanings? Are they rude for expecting their reader to understand those terms? Absolutely not.
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

squeakers

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2013, 02:51:13 PM »
  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?

The only thing I can think of is "I'm sorry, I don't quite understand what you just wrote.  Did you mean "X" or "Y"? 

If this is on a forum for "fun" I don't think there is a nice way to point out that the person's writing is hard to read.  PMs might work but then they might get defensive.

Also some people post using phones and I guess they (the phones) don't have spell-check or the ability to go back and edit (judging by some of the posts I have tried to read lately.)
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rose red

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2013, 02:55:32 PM »
I'm confused by this thread.  Are we talking about a made-up language, technical terms, poor spelling/grammar, or text-speak? 

I guess the bottom line is that I will just ignore posts I don't understand.  If I'm really interested, I would just say I don't understand, can you please clarify or simplify.  Or ask if anyone can translate for me.

Cat-Fu

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2013, 03:00:36 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.

There are many sub-cultures, societies, professions and avocations that have specialized language. I don't think that they're rude. Sometimes there are ideas that are difficult to explain in common English. For instance, I sail square-rigged ships. Am I rude for saying "brace about" or "box haul?" Even explaining what "box haul" means takes terms that aren't in common use ("To tack a square-rigged vessel short round. To perform this maneuver, the sails were backed to take way off with the helm held to weather, causing the ship to go astern until the eye of the wind was on the other side. Then the sails were handled around to the new tack.")

Is a mathematician rude for using terms like "ring" and "integrate" in ways that are very different from their common meanings? Are they rude for expecting their reader to understand those terms? Absolutely not.

I think using jargon is also generally frowned upon when you are in the company of people who won't understand it. For example, I'm not about to go on and say "POD" to my friends when I agree with them, because they'll have no clue what I mean. Another example, in software documentation using jargon for an administrator is ok, but is discouraged for end-user documentation (because they most likely have no idea what it means).

Online I generally just skip anything that is incomprehensible. It's not worth my time to try to parse it out. Pointing out language errors is generally pedantic and tiresome (especially in an argument) so I try to avoid being That Guy.
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Fleur

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2013, 03:06:46 PM »
I'm confused by this thread.  Are we talking about a made-up language, technical terms, poor spelling/grammar, or text-speak? 

I guess the bottom line is that I will just ignore posts I don't understand.  If I'm really interested, I would just say I don't understand, can you please clarify or simplify.  Or ask if anyone can translate for me.

I'm also confused. I saw the OP make a reference to E-hell in one post. I have to say that I thought that the rule here was that if you didn't care for someone writing style, you just didn't read their posts. But I am at a loss as to what this QUANTUM thing has to do with anything. Why would someone write in that way except to a like minded person?

Hmmmmm

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2013, 03:08:50 PM »
I'm afraid I don't understand your post Toots. Are you calling my question rude?

 I am currently communicating  in writing with an individual who is using QUANTAM.  I can't make heads or tails out of what he's saying and I've taken the appropriate steps to clarify the situation.  This experience along with some very recent posts on eHell serve as the basis for my question. Unlike the Internet, I can not just ignore this individual. 

And I agree, does that person actually speak QUANTUM?  I would love to find out.

Honestly, I'd be worried about dealing with someone trying to communicate with me in QUANTUM, but I don't believe they are rude.  They are using a different "dialect" (for lack of a better term) then you are accustomed to.

I once visited a friend in very southern Louisiana, true Cajun bayou country.  We went to visit a family she knew well.  The family spoke a dialect of American English that, though I had grown up in East Texas and spent plenty of time in Lousiana, I truly had a very difficult time understanding.  Between a very different cadence, strong accents, and a mixture of French thrown in, it was almost impossible for me to follow conversations.  My friend had to do some translating for me.  They were not rude for speaking this way, I was not rude for not understanding them, and my friend was not rude for interpretting for me at times. 

Lynn2000

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2013, 03:44:37 PM »
I'm confused by this thread.  Are we talking about a made-up language, technical terms, poor spelling/grammar, or text-speak? 

I guess the bottom line is that I will just ignore posts I don't understand.  If I'm really interested, I would just say I don't understand, can you please clarify or simplify.  Or ask if anyone can translate for me.

I'm also confused. I saw the OP make a reference to E-hell in one post. I have to say that I thought that the rule here was that if you didn't care for someone writing style, you just didn't read their posts. But I am at a loss as to what this QUANTUM thing has to do with anything. Why would someone write in that way except to a like minded person?

Yeah, I'm also confused. I thought it was about people with careless/poor punctuation and grammar skills, in a non-professional (fun) setting, on the Internet. But now it sounds like a different situation, something the OP can't simply walk away from because there's some kind of obligation there.

I'll try again with advice. If you have to communicate with someone, and presumably they want to communicate with you, both people have an obligation to try and reach a compromise. Even people who are speaking perfectly fine English have trouble communicating complex ideas to each other, so they try different ways of explaining, using examples, figurative language, etc.. Both people have to bend as far as they're able, or decide to just give up the communication attempt.

If someone has a religious/philosophical reason for using only a certain language, even though technically they know others, okay, fine, that's not necessarily rude. But, they--or anyone--shouldn't put all the work of communication on the other person. Both people should be trying to use the words they know in the other language. Both people should be looking into translators (people or programs). It shouldn't be one person sitting back, saying unintelligible things, and expecting the other person to do all the work of figuring out what they mean.

Is this more on target?
~Lynn2000

problemattic

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2013, 03:51:39 PM »
I can't believe no one has mentioned air quotes.  My boss uses them with reckless abandon and it makes me nutty.   ::)

fountainsoflettuce

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2013, 04:05:20 PM »
My original post addressed two scenarios:  on the Internet and in real life.  The Internet scenario was discussed initially then, the conversation turned to the real life scenario. 

Edit - I accidently deleted the rest of the post:

The bottom line is that I've recently come across both Internet postings and real life writings which are incomprehensible.  Not merely spelling mistakes or misuse of homonyms.  I'm talking about using a language that is not universally accepted (i.e. QUANTUM) or using extraordinarily flowerly language to express a simple idea but in so doing, the simple idea is lost in a sea of words and convoluated sentences.

Sure, on the Internet I can ignore but then I don't get to participate in the discussion. Or, in real life where I must participate, the OP gets offended when his original post is "misinterpretated."   (His words, not mine.  My response: Really, you accused me of "TREASON" [sic] and when I call you on it, you accuse me of misinterpretation?!  But I digress...).
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 04:14:29 PM by fountainsoflettuce »

ettiquit

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Re: Not Even Sure That's English
« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2013, 04:05:42 PM »
I can't believe no one has mentioned air quotes.  My boss uses them with reckless abandon and it makes me nutty.   ::)

That reminds me of the episode of Friends where Joey doesn't know how to use them correctly.  :D