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pudge (1)

pudge
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Journal of pudge (1)

Thursday September 26, 2002
07:07 AM

Language Nazi

[ #8027 ]

On my alma mater's BBS, where I still keep in touch with old friends from college, an apparently new student posted a comment where s/you/u/g and questions didn't end in question marks, etc., and it was generally difficult to read.

I noted that if she had a point, it wasn't getting through, because reading her post gave me a headache, and I couldn't bear to get through it. I wrongly suspected the person might realize from this that communication is a two-way street, that to be understood, you need to be understandable.

She responded that I was overreacting, that there was nothing wrong with how she was writing. I tried to express the idea that most people won't bother to read her posts if she continued, and that they will mostly think of her as a careless, illiterate, sloppy person.

For this, some chastised me, saying all people make language errors, and we shouldn't judge people based on their cultural writing styles.

Flummery! I won't apologize for forming my impressions of people by how they present themselves. Why this is a difficult concept for people to grasp, I do not know.

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  • For this, some chastised me, saying all people make language errors, and we shouldn't judge people based on their cultural writing styles.

    At some point in the last 20 years, "how a person feels" overtook "whether or not the work is effective" in our school system. Not sure how, or precisely when. But this is the result. We've got a bunch of people who temporarily feel happy, but then go on to lead miserable lives because they aren't told that some things work and other things don't, and that life isn

    --
    • Randal L. Schwartz
    • Stonehenge
    • Amen merlyn. Say it again brother! How the heck are people going to learn to live in the real world if everything is sugar coated for them? It's a major eye-opener when you realize that sometimes the world is out to get you!
      --
      "Perl users are the Greatful Dead fans of computer science." --slashdot comment
      • At some point in the last 20 years, "how a person feels" overtook "whether or not the work is effective" in our school system.

      Yes, and it's insidious.

      Back when I was a child, we were taught "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me." This good adage wasn't actually taught in schools, but transmitted by society.

      My daughter was taught in the public school "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can break my heart." The clear implication being that psychological damage

      • Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can break my heart

        Note to self: teach William better versions.

        Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words are merely a clumsy discrete representation of a multidimensional continuum of internal images and emotions

        and

        Sticks and stones will break your bones and words are how I'll frame your friends

        and

        Sticks and stones will OW! FUCK! THAT HURT! THAT'S IT, MOTHERFUCKER, YOU'RE DEAD!

        --Nat

    • Short-term vs. long-term. Put on the game-theory hat. If you're a third-grade teacher, what are your options and payoffs?

      It's much less of an investment to teach kids to write however they want, restricting spelling/grammar correction to limited times during the year. You don't have to be the ogre, so there's less friction with the kids. You also get more output from them, so it looks more impressive to parents.

      The major advantage of teaching kids that grammar and spelling are always important is that,

    • There was a big article in a recent Readers' Digest (not sure exactly which issue) about how cheating is now officially o.k. in a lot of schools. (They were specifically discussing plagiarism.) Idiotic education "experts" pontificate that it's more important to protect and nurture the teacher-student relationship, and that making a big deal of (i.e. penalizing) cheating endangers that relationship.

      Not just sad. Disgusting.

      Is it any wonder, really, that homeschooling has experienced explosive growth in