Why's it so bad to correct people's spelling mistakes?

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Asp-Z
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22 Oct 2010, 4:56 pm

From what I've seen, this seems to be some sort of taboo online, even here in WP. What I can't work out is... Why?

Literacy is a basic skill. If someone rites like dis then, unless they have dyslexia or are still learning English as a second language, I'm gonna have a damn go at them.

I see a lot of adults who have English as their main language yet can't even write it properly. It's pathetic. Every time I get a letter from my school, for example, I can read it and pick out at least one glaringly obvious error in each paragraph. These are people who are employed to write letters, it's part of their job, and they can't even use the English language properly.

I'm not saying I don't make mistakes or anything - everyone does - but if I made an error in my writing, I'd appreciate someone correcting it. I wouldn't get angry about it; I'd accept I made a mistake, thank the person who noticed it, move on, and hopefully not make the same mistake in the future.

Why can't everyone do this? Why's it so bad to correct peoples' mistakes so they can avoid making them in the future?



CockneyRebel
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22 Oct 2010, 5:03 pm

I'm one of those not so bookish people who do have trouble with spelling and grammar. I don't appreciate it when people correct me, because I really can't help it. I'm not much of a writer, though I do have a lot to say.


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22 Oct 2010, 5:18 pm

Because people like to take offence.


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22 Oct 2010, 5:30 pm

I think it's generally considered high handed to correct someones spelling or grammar errors.



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22 Oct 2010, 5:38 pm

I have no objection to anyone correcting any of my spelling and grammar. I do, very rarely, make spelling mistakes, and I make grammatical ones slightly more often. However, me being me, I very frequently deliberately misspell words and use archaic and/or unusual grammar, 'cos I love that s**t, and I've a low opinion of the correctness of much grammar anyhoo; a lot of it's down to a bunch of muppets trying for no good reason to shoehorn bollocksy Latin rules into the bastard mix of languages that is English. And I'm an enthusiastic user of emoticons. :wink:

*shrugs* (also enthusiastic user of texty punctuation devices) ...what I don't understand is when I see people repeatedly making a mistake despite the proper spelling or grammar being on the same page. I mean, you make a mistake once, fine. You make a mistake a few times, fine. But to make a mistake over and over when the proper thing is in front of you, that's just... I dunno, blind, wilful, something. :?:

It's all much more excusable for anyone who isn't typing English as a first language - my Frog and Kraut are execrable - and people who are dys-whateveric, but while it's a decent excuse it doesn't mean that their mistakes are legitimate. :)

Ooh. I feel, like, harsh. :lol:


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jpfudgeworth
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22 Oct 2010, 5:43 pm

I like to push spelling in simpler directions by omitting apostrophes and using abbreviations like tho and thru. I thingk things should be spelled the way they sound.

However, I have a strong urge to correct people's pronunciation, mostly because words are often spelled in a confusing way. I think its a good thing to correct someone on the sound of a word because how else does that knowledge spread? Most people dont see it that way.



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22 Oct 2010, 5:49 pm

I think people can take it as being a bit snooty and superior. Spelling and grammar aren't all that important in our culture, what matters is the content that is transmitted and received, not the technical quality of the packaging.

I think to correct people's mistakes in general, you have to be one or more of the following;

a) Familiar enough with the person so that they know you are doing it to be helpful, not superior

b) Invited to do so

c) Be incredibly diplomatic about it


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Namtro
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22 Oct 2010, 6:04 pm

I can't speak for everyone though I'm sure I can for most. If you correct someones grammar or verbal pronunciation without their request for assistance you are attempting to dominate and interupt ones train of thought. In a sense it devalues he's or her's statement. Only exceptions would be if you are confused and need clarification or the speaker request assistance. I know it's a common Aspie trait but that doesn't or shouldn't excuse it. That's my two cents. Grammar assistance requested with above statement. :)



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22 Oct 2010, 6:09 pm

CockneyRebel wrote:
I'm one of those not so bookish people who do have trouble with spelling and grammar. I don't appreciate it when people correct me, because I really can't help it. I'm not much of a writer, though I do have a lot to say.

To the bolded: yes, you can. By appreciating when someone corrects you and learning from it.

English isn't even my native language yet I correct people's grammar, people whose native language is English. I just don't understand why this is such an issue.



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22 Oct 2010, 6:16 pm

:roll:



Lecks
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22 Oct 2010, 6:17 pm

OneStepBeyond wrote:
:roll:

How eloquent. Would you care to elaborate or did you just want to pop in to be an ass?



CockneyRebel
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22 Oct 2010, 6:22 pm

I find it amazing how many people like to try to hurt others, around here. It just makes me want to shake my head.


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CockneyRebel
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22 Oct 2010, 6:29 pm

Lecks wrote:
CockneyRebel wrote:
I'm one of those not so bookish people who do have trouble with spelling and grammar. I don't appreciate it when people correct me, because I really can't help it. I'm not much of a writer, though I do have a lot to say.

To the bolded: yes, you can. By appreciating when someone corrects you and learning from it.

English isn't even my native language yet I correct people's grammar, people whose native language is English. I just don't understand why this is such an issue.


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22 Oct 2010, 6:29 pm

Moog wrote:
I think people can take it as being a bit snooty and superior. Spelling and grammar aren't all that important in our culture, what matters is the content that is transmitted and received, not the technical quality of the packaging.

I think to correct people's mistakes in general, you have to be one or more of the following;

a) Familiar enough with the person so that they know you are doing it to be helpful, not superior

b) Invited to do so

c) Be incredibly diplomatic about it


I think this is right. People also don't like to be made to feel stupid. Spelling doesn't necessarily have anything to do with intelligence, of course, but that doesn't stop people from feeling like an idiot when they have someone point out their mistakes.

I like to correct my friends' spelling and for them to do the same for me--I appreciate them taking a moment to correct my mistakes and teach me something, even if it is something as simple as how to spell a word properly. I know that it's not for everyone, however, so I generally avoid doing it with people until they know me very well.


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22 Oct 2010, 6:33 pm

I think that part of the problem is that spelling and grammatical errors are so common, that people consider anyone pointing them out to be wasting their time with trivia. I suspect that many posters here and elsewhere on the web could do better at using standard English, but don't want to take the time to make the corrections. They think that misspellings are equivalent to using abbreviations. I just used my automatic spell check to correct a few misspellings during this post. Many here probably know how to do this (usually right clicking a misspelled word will give them the correct spelling) but don't take the time to do so. Homonyms on the other hand, are not usually caught by spell checkers and are even more common.

I learned much of my grammar at home by being corrected by members of my family. I am glad they helped me as they did. My classes were much easier because of it. I consider the proper use of standard English, not as being trivial but important for effective communication. It even helps one to think coherently. I personally tend to think using words. I know others think visually.


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CockneyRebel
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22 Oct 2010, 6:38 pm

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are people on this site, who have learning disabilities in reading and writing, believe it or not. That's it. This is my last post in this thread. I've overstayed my welcome, in this thread. There are other threads that I can move on to. I'm afraid that I'm going to hurt a lot of feelings here, and I don't believe in doing such a thing to anybody mentally, emotionally, or physically.


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Last edited by CockneyRebel on 22 Oct 2010, 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.