Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

should grammar be corrected in public?


Pete
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi folks,

I was wondering how you all feel about the correcting of someone's grammar, in a discussion group?

I personally, have terrible grammar skills. I ramble on and on.

I misspell the simplest words, and I'm a punctuation nightmare!

But I have always been able to get my point across.

I believe grammar should be taught in the class room, not in a public forum like this.

I think it's the same thing as correcting someone in person.

How rude would that be ... if you interrupted a conversation with someone in person, to correct them on their vocabulary?

I certainly would not do that.

Many people had no control of their education and how embarrassing it must be. There's no harm in a little written boo boo.

Let's please share our opinions on this subject for the benefit of us all.

By the way, I'm really making some strong improvements on the violin, thanks to all the help I got here last week!

Pete

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I personally prefer to be corrected. English is not my native language, and I take every chance I can (be it in a forum or not) to learn to speak and write intelligently, and to convey my ideas effectively.

I come to this forum to learn more about instruments of the violin family, but there is no harm in picking up a little grammar on the side as well.

Victoria

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As long as the writer conveys his/her point in an understandable manner, grammar is the least of my concerns.

However, there have been some occasions when I have had to reread a post several times to be certain of the idea. If English is not the first language of the writer, then we certainly should make some allowances. I've always had a mutual agreement with my international friends: they want me to help them out when we are together, so I do so discreetly. I gave up speaking Spanish a few years ago when I had Mexican, Cuban and Spanish friends all correcting me according to differing rules.

We should all give consideration and proof our own posts for sense and tense so that we are clear in what we say, but there is no reason for us to be critical of each other's writing as this is a somewhat conversational forum. Sometimes, though, a misspelled word is not decipherable or becomes another word entirely, so some care is in order as a courtesy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I couldn't agree with you two more when it comes to situations of importance and when helping someone who's not familiar with the language.

My pet peeve with correcting someone however, is not with this. It is when correcting for the sake of ... whatever, to show off or make yourself feel smarter?

I'm sure you see this every day if you use a discussion group often. Correcting the spelling of totally nonessential words.

Things that bear no relevance to the subject matter.

I'm sure you'd agree guys.

Pete

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No. Not unless requested. We have a bandwidth problem as it is, in all fora. Furthermore, the Fingerboard is an international venue with many high-quality participants whose principal language is not English. We should do nothing to discourage their participation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm with Mark 100%.

However, when I write in French about my aunt's pen, I welcome grammatical correction. It's been over three decades since I studied French, and I don't mind having anything at all corrected that I write. But I'm a teacher and I think teachers kind of get excited about that red pencil appeal--we're so excited about improving things such as writing skills, etc.

But I would never correct someone's grammar on the Fingerboard unless specially asked to.

Besides, I make a bunch of errrxcc myselbk czus sometimes I typpinnz zo faszit thathh me thutss git aheaddfo of me fingrss.

TR

Link to comment
Share on other sites

eye am nought shoor wot yue arr tokking abowt. I don't think that the current conundrum is overpoweringly important. If some individuals feel the need to correct someone else's grammar, let them do so. Feel free to correct my grammar: English or French.

PS- please forgive me if I used or spelled conundrum incorrectly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a somewhat controversial issue that has been argued about extensively on the old board. Personally, I think people whose first language isn't English should be pardoned with understanding, but I do believe there are some people who should know better. You won't catch me correcting anyone's grammar though.

-Stringhappy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First of all, Lymond, I understood every word you typed at the top of your post, and that is sad! laugh.gif

Now, the reason I understood Lymond's post, is because schools today teach children to spell "the way they hear it". I don't remember learning that way. I certainly remember being taught to sound a word out, but not to just go with the flow and hope someone can understand you. I have been homeschooling my daughters trying to re-train this teaching. This is why so many younger people who speak English as a first language, can be terrible at Grammer.

I don't criticise(and I sure hope I spelled that correctly laugh.gif). I have made enough typing mistakes (not necessarily spelling, just typing), to know that I am not innocent enough to cast stones.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

AnneS,

You're talking about phonically spelling.

I've have been hard of hearing all my life, and although I have no speech impediments, I am always finding pronunciations of words I thought I understood since childhood, that turn out to be off the mark.

Add that to my Tennessee hills drawl, and you wouldn't understand a thing I wrote that way!

or would that be phonetic spelling?

Pete

[This message has been edited by Pete (edited 05-13-2000).]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You think you guys have a dilemma? Try teaching English or writing for a while :-)

This question is one I grapple with all of the time. I spend time at the beginning of each term talking to my students about "how we FEEL about our language use." People don't go into a writing class as they may into a geology lecture. Trust me, psychodrama is at the heart of most of our relationships with our language.

Let's say I would pose the question, "Why does mechanics (grammar, spelling, punctuation) matter? Most of the time we get the meaning well enough, right?" About half of a class will argue that mechanics are but stuffy technicalities that stand in the way of free and honest expression. Why be concerned about the semi-colon when ideas can flow?

However, another contingent will inevitably be fiercely on the attack. This "Good English" contingent will argue that if even one little mechanics error occurs in writing (or in speech) credibility plummets.

So ... correct and risk squelching the free flow of ideas? or ensure that a person will be completely the master of his code of communication? It's not a glamorous answer, but I think that a balance must be struck. (One good thing at my university is that classes are small enough to allow me to know each student. It's E-Zer to figure out where a person stands on the free to err vs. uptight and right spectrum and adjust accordingly.

Catherine

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It depends on HOW you correct someone. If it's done in a patronizing manner then it's RUDE. If, however you want to make sure you understand someone correctly and ask them in a courteous way if what you're reading is being interpreted properly (as what happened to me two days ago), then I don't see the harm. However, I've been able to read and understand many of the typical errors on this board without feeling the need to correct the person posting the message.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

AAAHH!!! My personal worst pet peeve: saying "nucular" instead of "nuclear." I used to work for nuclear power plants, and was AMAZED at the number of people in the industry who said "nucular." I wouldn't correct anyone unless it was a good friend, and I could get away with giving him a really hard time about it. (Like "Gee, Ed, can't you learn how to say the one word that describes your whole career?")

In general, I don't correct other people's grammar or spelling, especially in an informal forum like this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Probably not in public, unless it is done with utmost politeness. I myself make mistakes from time to time (I usually take time to check my spellings, though), but I think I am making myself clear enough for most of the time.

Unless the grammer and spelling are messed up beyond recognition (which I never witnessed on this board), we should just quietly let those mistakes go with a good heart. After all, this is a music forum and not an English class.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would also suggest that anyone who might be so bold as to correct someone else's grammar should understand it themselves. One of my pet peeves is the use of "I" as the object of a preposition: "I appreciate what you did for Janet and I." I have had people correct me in public for saying "for Janet and me" rather than "for Janet and I." I just ignore it and go on, but once I responded, "Thank you. You have been so helpful to I."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The grammar I use here is akin to what I might use among my peers at work if we're chatting at lunch. It's not the grammar I use if I am giving a presentation or trying to impress someone or sell an idea. I can write beautifully and have published scientific papers. But here, I choose not to use that style. Here I can be the displaced Southern girl who happens to live up-North and likes to play violin. I like to think of this place as a virtual backyard get-together where you sit under the trees and exchange ideas and play a few tunes. You can be serious or be funny and no one should care as long as you're also trying to be honest and helpful. If I'm busy correcting someone's grammar then I'm not really listening to what they're saying, only how they're saying it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It also depends greatly on the setting. Correcting people would mean you are now acting as a teacher and you are subjecting the other person as a student. You are undermining the other person’s authority as well. Some people would do this intentionally for that destructive reason. If you are doing it as a friendly gesture you should still watch the setting where it is inappropriate for you to act out even if you are right.

I also found most people do not appreciate free lesson, except when they ask for it. So why do a thankless job?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Correcting someone else's grammar exposes one's personna. The action says much about who you are as a person, what kind of personality you have and how you rank yourself relative to the person you are correcting. I think one better have a very good reason for correcting another person's grammar. And it should be done in private, if it must be done at all; even that is probably bad manners. (Once did correct an English-speaking French friend who had written in a card that his new daugher had been born and "his name is Agnes." (Le nom, you know?) I felt that his professional exposure in English would be affected by continuing that usage. That was 23 years ago and I still remember doing it )

The use of incorrect grammar merely lets other's know what you have not been exposed to.

Considering that most movie and TV scripts are written with errors and that most actors and other public figures make grammatical errors because of ignorance (or ignor-ance) of some of the rules, it can be hard to know what is or is not "correct."

Realize that what we consider correct grammar is based largely on a book written many generations ago on the basis of how people were using the English language up until then and the prejudices of that writer.

I do have pet peeves about some grammar usage, but if I can understand what is being said - there really should be no problem.

After all, I live in California where people say "I could care less" when they mean the opposite. If I can let that one go, I can button my lips about anything. But I will never vote for a politician who says "Nookyouler power" - my feeble attempt to correct grammar, etc.

Andy

[This message has been edited by Andrew Victor (edited 05-16-2000).]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brad....

Similarly, I can't stand when I hear someone say something like, "John is a better violinist than me," when we know,in fact, that proper grammer dictates we instead use, "John is a better violinist than I."

Of course, what irritates me more is the fact that everyone is a better violinist than me... or I.....

[This message has been edited by Ludwig (edited 05-17-2000).]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sure, I may not always use proper sentence structures, but what really bothers me is consistent misuse of words. I often see the same people confusing words such as accept and except, or site, cite, and sight, or "could of" instead of "could have." I know everyone makes mistakes every now and then, but people should think about what they want to say and what they end up saying. It's difficult for me to not notice these mistakes. Perhaps it's because I learned English in my teenage years, and, unlike native speakers, actually had to make a conscious effort in learning the language. I apologize if I sound snobbish, and, as I mentioned, I do not mind if people correct me, because I'd rather learn to do things correctly.

Victoria

[This message has been edited by lagomorphs (edited 05-17-2000).]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by HuangKaiVun:

How you handle yourself after being criticized is more important than the criticism itself.

Wow. That was incredibly well-put and entirely accurate. Easily the best thing said on this topic.

Personally, I don't correct grammar unless asked to (even though, as a former grammar teacher, I am quite capable of doing so). I always notice it, though. Fact is, most of us just type these posts quickly and conversationally, so it differs from formal writing.

When it comes to my own writing, I appreciate it when people help me out. Like Victoria, I learned English in school (though it's my strongest language now) and so consciously learned the rules native speakers take for granted. It's only gotten better with positive criticism.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since communication is the goal, if the idea gets across, minor mistakes in grammar are no big deal. Major mistakes in grammar can prevent the idea from coming across clearly, but I don't really see any point in correcting them. I work with several people for whom English is a second language, and I am always impressed with how articulate they are!

If a post has a LOT of misspellings in it, and uses a LOT of words like "cuz" in it, I simply don't read the post because it is too annoying to decipher.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to admit I grit my teeth at a lot of the grammatical errors I see on boards like this, but I do not correct unless asked. Our language has developed with so much slang and misusage being accepted as correct how can any of us really correct anyone? Besides, I'm not perfect myself, and I often type too fast and hit the post button without checking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...