Linked by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on Fri 10th Jul 2009 14:00 UTC
Linux Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" was released a little while ago, so before it became too old of news, I thought I'd take a whack at experimenting with it for the sake of netbookers everywhere (and for myself, naturally). As I type this on gedit after about two weeks' use, let's just say that the system on my EeePC 1000 HE is, for the most part, rather glorious-- pun intended. As a bonus, I also got Google's Chromium browser to run on it, so keep on reading to find the section on that.
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RE[2]: Poor writing
by lproven on Sat 11th Jul 2009 13:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Poor writing"
lproven
Member since:
2006-08-23

> who gives a shit about the grammatical errors

Lots of us do. I care a great deal, for instance.

Errors make the language much less readable. For those of us who know how to use the language correctly, they are intensely irritating and make a piece of text almost painful to read.

Errors impair communication. They are not arbitrary rules, to be ignored; the difference between "its" and "it's", for instance, is important, because "its" and "it's" mean two totally different things.

You would not forgive someone who sometimes said "ATI" when they meant "nVidia", or who kept mixing up "Linux" and "BSD". You'd call them a fool and ignore what they wrote. Well, "its" and "it's" are just as different, as are "there" and "their", or "there's" and "theirs".

There are rules and standards for a reason, and the reason is that they make communication more clear, less ambiguous and easier for the recipient, the reader, to understand.

Misuse and mangling of language mark the writer out as someone of below-average intelligence or poor education. In a comments board, someone who can't spell or doesn't know grammar is someone I can probably safely ignore; they have branded themselves as a fool.

Learn the rules. Use them. And prepare to be mocked, vilified or ignored if you don't.

But in an article, in a published work, for such errors to persist makes me think that the piece is not worth reading, and it makes the publishers look bad.

There is a rider to this, which is that I am a native English speaker. I do not expect perfection from someone to whom English is their second or third language. That includes, in this instance, the site editor - although Thom's written English is excellent and very nearly flawless.

However a name like Jordan Cunningham sounds to me like a British or American name. I don't know this, but it seems a reasonable guess. In that case, I expect native fluency.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Poor writing
by weildish on Sat 11th Jul 2009 21:59 in reply to "RE[2]: Poor writing"
weildish Member since:
2008-12-06

I thought I might address your critisizms of my use of the English language (I'm the Jordan Spencer Cunningham in question despite my comment username being displayed as "weildish"):

I'm an American citizen, and I happen to be very fluent in the English language-- definitely better than ~80% of the US population is, at least. I cringe as you have while talking to many of them online. However, I understand and will be the first to admit that I don't understand the rules perfectly, and then there are some rules that I throw out for the sake of a style of writing or simply because I feel they don't matter; I want to say things a certain way, and if my readers can understand it, I'm happy to trample a few rules. I am a creative writer by nature and not one to hold strict to the rules, but I still try to maintain a certain standard. You have to admit that I am not as most of the US population seems to be with their language. I love English-- how it is so flexible and how one can explore it, even break through it to yet unknown vistas.

I am happy to better my English, and I appreciate constructive criticism. Please understand that I can only do so much as an editor, and even though I proofread my work multiple times before posting, I usually won't pick every mistake up (also, I often skip over known mistakes simply because I'm used to bending the rules for my creative work).

I will gladly accept future criticisms in email if the criticizer explains the rules behind these criticisms, but please leave criticism on the author's language use out of the comments from this time forward. Thank you.

PS-- Kerfuffle and kafuffle are interchangable. I consider them slang (as do many others), and both are acceptable if the occasion permits; even multiple dictionaries agree with me if you'd like to be technical.

Edited 2009-07-11 22:00 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Poor writing
by maydaytx on Sun 12th Jul 2009 09:20 in reply to "RE[2]: Poor writing"
maydaytx Member since:
2006-04-17

There are rules and standards for a reason, and the reason is that they make communication more clear, less ambiguous and easier for the recipient, the reader, to understand.


English is not a controlled language. There is no governing body that dictates "correct" English. There are hundreds of different dialects of English, each with its own set of "rules".

Errors impair communication. They are not arbitrary rules, to be ignored; the difference between "its" and "it's", for instance, is important, because "its" and "it's" mean two totally different things.

You would not forgive someone who sometimes said "ATI" when they meant "nVidia", or who kept mixing up "Linux" and "BSD". You'd call them a fool and ignore what they wrote. Well, "its" and "it's" are just as different, as are "there" and "their", or "there's" and "theirs".


I've never seen an instance of interchanging (their, they're, there), (it's, its), or (you're, your) where context didn't provide the intended meaning. Saying "nVidia" when you mean "ATI" is a clear semantic difference. Not even remotely an adequate analogy.

Lots of us do. I care a great deal, for instance.

Errors make the language much less readable. For those of us who know how to use the language correctly, they are intensely irritating and make a piece of text almost painful to read.


The purpose of language is to communicate. When there is coherence, the communication is successful. Despite you being annoyed by "errors", this article is perfectly coherent...the intended meaning is adequately conveyed.

Reply Parent Score: 1