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Thread: Hackers, Spelling, and Grammar?

  1. #1

    Hackers, Spelling, and Grammar?

    Strom Carlson asks: "Over the last few years, I've noticed that a surprisingly large number of native English speakers, who are otherwise very technically competent, seem to lack strong English skills. Mostly, this seems to manifest itself as varying degrees of poor spelling and grammar: 'definately' instead of 'definitely'; 'should of' instead of 'should have'; and I even see the names of products and companies misspelled from time to time. It baffles me that a culture so obsessed with technical knowledge and accuracy can demonstrate such little attention to detail when it comes to communicating that knowledge with others, and it baffles me even more that many people become enraged when you attempt to help them correct and learn from their mistakes. Do hackers and geeks just not care about communicating effectively? Do they not realize that a mediocre command of written English makes them appear less intelligent? Am I missing something here?"

    What I find extremely ironic is when another member complains about a previous user's grammer. I've seen it multiple times on various message boards.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Well, I was at university 1969-72. Science students were notorious for their lack of ability in using the English language. I would therefore suggest that this is nothing new.

    Now, couple that with the use of computers and the keyboard. I know of a lot of companies who got rid of professional secretarial staff on the grounds that people had a computer, a printer and a word processing package. How many people here were given a typing course though?

    Every college student and its fleas want a laptop and a mobile phone these days. How many of them actually write letters? I guess that it is just a sign of the times.

  3. #3
    When I was in high school my writing teacher insisted that I use longhand for all compositions. I hated her for it at the time, however in the long run I came to realize that her method actually served a purpose. No matter how much of a computer addict you are, there will always be times where there is no substitute for clear, legible writing. Thanks to her instruction whenever I visit a trade show/seminar I can read my notes after the event is over.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Pacific Northwest
    Many moons ago (just about the time the IBM Selectric came out) I was in high school, and a very wise football coach instructed me on how to meet girls. He told me to take two years of typing classes and any english class I could get into. If I would follow his advice, I'd meet more girls than I knew what to do with! And now mega years later, although I'm not out chasing skirts anymore, here I am on a keyboard and somewhat grammatically correct.

    I'm not too critical over a few mistakes. However I must say I will not read very much of a poorly written document. Some people could probably care less, but I feel if the person doesn't respect the reader enough to put some effort forward and display attention to detail, then it's probably not worth reading.

    Connection refused, try again later.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Well, I was at university 1969-72.
    Let me just open this post by saying one thing -- Johnno you are one OLD man.

    Anyways, bleh people have complained over the way I use grammar while typing. Oddly enough however, when it came to writing papers, essays, etc I can write fairly well. Online though I get all "out of funk".
    Space For Rent.. =]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    I can't read a word of this...

    Put a semicolon after each statement ;

  7. #7
    Flash M0nkey
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Nooooo! I actually found one of spec's posts funny >.<

    as for the whole speeling(!?) thing - I have to admit even after 5yrs of English literature classes my spelling is attrocisous, atroiceous, attrecious.....really bad


    edit -> what no strike through - bah

  8. #8
    Frustrated Mad Scientist
    Join Date
    Dec 2004


    I was a science student, yes my spelling and grammar is not good at all. It wasn't seen as a priority within our course you weren't marked down for it as long as it was intelligible.

    I get embarrassed (**** had to look that one up) by my poor English so I've got a few dictionary and grammar websites in my favourites.

    My GF is a business studies teacher in a secondary school (12-18yr). Some of the stuff she brings home really opens your eyes. There are a lot of kids who can barely read/write usually these are the dimmer kids but a lot of average kids have really terrible English skills. She's had a few things handed to her written in txt. Nothing in 133t yet.

    [Edit] Sigh, edited for both spelling and grammAr, I'm going to the frickin pub[/Edit]

  9. #9
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    No comment;
    West of House
    You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door.
    There is a small mailbox here.

  10. #10
    They call me the Hunted foxyloxley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    3rd Rock from Sun
    Put a semicolon after each statement ;
    I'd have thought that the Specialist would put a colon after each
    After all it IS his specialist subject ...........

    When I was at school [middle] 64-69 we HAD to write clearly and legibly.
    For failing to pass your weekly test, you had to write in a different colour ink.
    By the second year I was on pencil ................. sat next to a girl who was allowed to write in PURPLE ink [the top peoples colour don'cha know]

    As for PC's, how many [L]users actually know WHERE the auto correct feature is ?

    It's just a VERY lazy world nowadays .......... [IMnotsoHO]
    55 - I'm fiftyfeckinfive and STILL no wiser,
    OLDER yes
    Beware of Geeks bearing GIF's
    come and waste the day :P at The Taz Zone

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