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quick tutorial on how to be patronizing and obnoxious  RSS feed

 
tel jetson
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so, you find that folks' high opinion of you is getting you down and you've just got to do something about it.  have no fear, brave soul: upsetting people and ruining pleasant internet conversations is as easy as arrogantly correcting simple punctuation and spelling errors.

let's start with "a lot": two words.  "allot" is a word, but not the word that ignoramus was after.  for maximum impact when correcting a person, it's important to call that person an ignoramus.

there, their, they're: "their" is possessive, "they're" is a contraction of "they are", "there" is the likely candidate for everything else.  everybody will make a mistake of this variety eventually.  it's your job to be there and point it out when they do.  correcting gently isn't going to do either of you any favors, though, so no pussyfooting.

I think that's enough for today, gang.  future installments will include "it's vs its", proper correction of improper comma use, why not capitalizing sentences is entirely consistent with being a stickler for punctuation, and much, much more.
 
Michael Hansen
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Hmm. Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
 
paul wheaton
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Well, hell. 

yer not gonna be some sort of grammar po-leece are ya?

Can't a fella have a bit of american dialect?

Do we wanna shame folks where english is not their native tongue?

 
tel jetson
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my intent was more along the lines of a cheap joke than shaming anyone.
 
paul wheaton
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I love it when the phrase "your data is biased" is presented as a good debate technique. 
 
tel jetson
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my Data is never biased.
 
Jami McBride
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       Big sigh.... in the end we only have control over ourselves.... after all. 

My favorite is when people view their opinion so high as to waste a post just to shoot down other opinions. 

LOL - Or when someone tries to excuse themselves by saying "just a cheap joke".



...... funny, that people who hold themselves to a high standard of punctuation, grammar and spelling allow themselves to be bothered by such a little thing as the disregard of it by others.



Ah Captain, if only we all had your Data 

 
                    
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hahaha!  that picture made me laugh. 
 
Gwen Lynn
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paul wheaton wrote:
Do we wanna shame folks where english is not their native tongue?


Whut aif thar tung iz anglush?

I watched the show "Pig Bomb" a while ago, and it aired again recently. They were interviewing folks that lived somewhere deep in the back hills/woods of the south. I don't remember which state. When the person they were interviewing answered in...ummm...english; they ran subtitles at the bottom of the screen. It was kind of like watching a foreign flim, but they weren't foreigners. I've seen this happen on other shows too.
 
tel jetson
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ooh.  that reminds me of a great website.  it's a quiz to see if you can identify regional US dialects.  there's some great stuff about how dialects form (vowel merging is a big part), and where brand new dialects are beginning right now.
 
Ken Peavey
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I speak fluent Yankee.
 
Gwen Lynn
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Well, I'm fluent in Yankee (originally from Chicago area) and...ummm...non-Yankee. Or whatever you call the "language" of the south. 
 
tel jetson
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Or whatever you call the "language" of the south.


Cajun?  Creole?  Mikasuki?
 
                    
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only got two right on that test.  But four of them wouldn't play the sample sentence! 
 
Gwen Lynn
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I didn't even try that test! The little sound clips didn't give you much of a chance to hear or guess anything!
 
Leah Sattler
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love the little ads about fixing your grammar at the bottom. it just adds to the fun. 

I figure.....if I know what people are trying to say.....then who cares about their grammar especially punctuation. spelling can sometimes be confusing. I read my own posts a few days later and am sometimes appalled at my mistakes! I need more coffee less auto fingers stuck on letter sequences! 

 
Fred Morgan
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My solution for anyone who attempts to criticize my writing is to submit what they wrote to my wife, who is an editor. Be afraid, be very very afraid... 
 
Daniel Zimmermann
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Does this mean we're not going to get the "it's vs its"?  That's my worst one.
 
tel jetson
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Antibubba wrote:
Does this mean we're not going to get the "it's vs its"?  That's my worst one.


tell you what: how about a link instead?  a quick browse around that website should provide some chuckles, at the very least.  Fred's got me fearing his wife even though I've seen plenty of pretty egregious mistakes left in good books by bad copy-editors.
 
Daniel Zimmermann
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Thanks (not thank's) for the link.

It bothers me that I have more trouble with this as I get older.
 
charles c. johnson
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Gallagher and the Language


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDFQXxWIyvQ
 
Gwen Lynn
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Gallagher makes some good points! Our language has got to be one of the toughest to learn.

In the last decade or so, I've noticed that somewhere along the way, the word troop (when referring to the military) is often misused. When I was young, I was in a troop (aka group) of girl scouts.

These days, I can't even count the number of times I've heard the media and/or government/military persons refer to a troop as one soldier. You hear "3 troops were killed by an explosion today." ...and you think OMG, that's a lot of soldiers! When actually, they are talking about 3 individual soldiers. It drives me crazy when they do that! I don't understand why they can't just say soldiers when they are talking about individuals. 
 
Leah Sattler
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Gwen Lynn wrote:
Our language has got to be one of the toughest to learn.



there are so many things I didn't ever notice or think of until I had a little one full of questions while learning to read. Now I wonder how any of us could figure out our language! It is so confusing! It still amazes me how fast she picks stuff up even with all the quirky language rules and words.
 
Gwen Lynn
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Your little one is ONE FANTASTIC KID!!! Maybe I'm a little biased, but so what!?
Her powers of perception have never ceased to amaze me!

I miss her like crazy! 
 
Scott Reil
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Tel, this was a stupid idea for a thread.

Paul's an idiot for allowing you to post this crap, and so are all the rest of you for even clicking on the topic. In fact I'm the ONLY one with enough intellectual savvy to see just how dim the rest of you are...

THAT'S how it's done. Amateurs. 



Scott
 
tel jetson
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The Helpful Gardener indeed...
 
He's dead Jim. Grab his tricorder. I'll get his wallet and this tiny ad:
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