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Does Grammar Matter Anymore?

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the pretty-talk dept.

Education 878

theodp writes "A lighthearted 4th of July post pointing out how Microsoft Word could help Google CEO Larry Page catch typos in his Google+ posts turned out to be fighting words for GeekWire readers. "Grammar is an important indicator of the quality of one's message," insisted one commenter. "You shouldn't have disgraced yourself by stooping to trolling your readers with an article about what essentially amounts to using a full blown word processor for a tweet. Albeit an rather long example of one," countered another. A few weeks earlier, the WSJ sparked a debate with its report that grammar gaffes have invaded the office in an age of informal e-mail, texting and Twitter. So, does grammar matter anymore?"

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878 comments

It's like this. (5, Insightful)

dtmos (447842) | about 2 years ago | (#40590253)

Whether grammar matters or not depends on the recipient of the message, not the originator. As anyone who has designed a compiler will tell you, it's an error-prone PITA to have to pre-process input before it is in a useable form. If the recipient can do this, no harm is done, except that the recipient is aware that the sender gave him more work to do than was necessary -- something usually not considered a compliment.

Re:It's like this. (4, Interesting)

WhiteHover (2679613) | about 2 years ago | (#40590319)

You're completely missing the point. We should be talking about the quality of Google's tools here. If Microsoft's Word can help Google's CEO with grammar, then why the hell Google's tools cannot. It just means that Google (and cloud) is lacking behind and desktop apps still rule.

Re:It's like this. (4, Informative)

dtmos (447842) | about 2 years ago | (#40590417)

You're completely missing the point. We should be talking about the quality of Google's tools here.

If I'm missing the point, why does the submission end with the question, "So, does grammar matter anymore?"

I would say that was the point.

Re:It's like this. (5, Funny)

sycodon (149926) | about 2 years ago | (#40590621)

"Don't grammar matter no more"

Fixed.

Re:It's like this. (3, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | about 2 years ago | (#40590673)

If I'm missing the point, why does the submission end with the question, "So, does grammar matter anymore?"

I would say that was the point.

I don't think you're missing the point, but I do think WhiteHover makes a valid point.

If you're asserting "yes, grammar does matter" - then yes, you've answered the original question. But I would venture to suggest that if the answer is "yes", then the very next question has to be "Okay, given that grammar is important - and given that Microsoft have had desktop applications with built-in grammar check since around 1997 - how come Google don't?"

Re:It's like this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590377)

Whether grammar matters or not depends on the recipient of the message, not the originator. .

It depends on how much the message deviates from proper grammer. If it deviates too much the message no longer gets across. In that case it depends on the originator, not the recipient.

Re:It's like this. (4, Insightful)

tsa (15680) | about 2 years ago | (#40590391)

I think you're spot on. If someone writes and uses bad grammar (and spelling) it takes time to translate the message to normal [insert language here]. Not using correct spelling and grammar shows disdain for the receiver, wether intentional or not.

Re:It's like this. (5, Funny)

alanthenerd (639252) | about 2 years ago | (#40590671)

...disdain for the receiver, wether intentional or not.

Whether. Or was that intentional?

Re:It's like this. (4, Insightful)

bedonnant (958404) | about 2 years ago | (#40590443)

You're forgetting the part where using improper grammar makes you look like an idiot.

Re:It's like this. (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#40590583)

You're forgetting the part where using improper grammar makes you look like an idiot.

One doesn't preclude the other...

(The duck test is applicable for grammar too.)

Re:It's like this. (2, Informative)

gmuslera (3436) | about 2 years ago | (#40590633)

still depends on the recipient. If he doesn't care or don't know the proper grammar, won't matter a lot. In fact, "wrong" grammar could be a part of a subculture where the proper one is bad. And is not just for english, i'm very aware about how this is going for spanish, and probably other languages suffer the same problem too.

Re:It's like this. (3, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#40590665)

Not necessarily an idiot, but ignorantly uneducated and aliterate. Ignorance != stupidity.

No, "aliterate" wasn't a misspelling or typo.

Re:It's like this. (3, Funny)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 2 years ago | (#40590675)

You're forgetting the part where using improper grammar makes you look like an idiot.

I was wondering when you grammar nazis would get around to sending a regiment our way but I see you felt alarmed enough by that headline to scramble an entire panzer corps.

Re:It's like this. (5, Insightful)

udoschuermann (158146) | about 2 years ago | (#40590501)

Use of proper grammar is an indicator that the originator of the message cared about the message, and would rather have the message be heard loud and clear, than allow presentation to distract from its poignancy.

Whenever I read things like "id like to by a new car," I cringe inside, imagine some grunting ape who happened across a keyboard, and move on without thinking about the attempted message. If that was the intended effect, then "buy all means," have at it, folks!

Re:It's like this. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590517)

Who are you communicating with? I toss resumes with grammar mistakes. Yup, I'm an asshole. However, I've got plenty of resumes, and I want programmers who can communicate clearly. Similarly, I make an effort to write clearly and use decent grammer. Perfection isn't the point; clarity of communications and the perception of competency, are.

Re:It's like this. (5, Funny)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#40590609)

Similarly, I make an effort to write clearly and use decent grammer.

Oh, the irony...

 

Re:It's like this. (4, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#40590547)

Don't forget the problems of misinterpretation and ambiguity.
Not understanding the message is one thing, but understanding it as something that wasn't intended is worse. And when correctly parsing the message and the result is completely different from what the author intended, it's worst of all.

Not only do people use reduced vocabularies and lackluster grammar, but they use words and phrases wrong, so unless the recipient also does it wrong, the same way, misunderstandings are very likely.

In short, I think it boils down to people not caring much anymore. There's no pride in anything one does. The "whatever" generation is taking over.

Re:It's like this. (2)

ElmoGonzo (627753) | about 2 years ago | (#40590581)

I agree. Grammar is a bit like neckties insofar as it is possible to function without one but when you wish to gain admission into establishments where they are required, neckties become indispensable. There are places where precise grammar is needed to reduce ambiguity and establish clear meaning but the primary function of grammar is to establish linguistic register. http://grammar.about.com/od/rs/g/registerterm.htm [about.com]

Re:It's like this. (1)

john29 (2676023) | about 2 years ago | (#40590585)

matters the most. i think grammar is very important and also very relevant, eventhough you use internet.

Re:It's like this. (1)

sootman (158191) | about 2 years ago | (#40590615)

> Whether grammar matters or not depends on the
> recipient of the message, not the originator.

I'll agree with that. This also means you have to know who your audience is (and care about how you're presenting yourself.)

Re:It's like this. (4, Funny)

ameen.ross (2498000) | about 2 years ago | (#40590669)

Maybe we should start making scary sounds when someone uses poor grammer in a conversation, just like compiler warnings.

Concurrence Is My Fort Which You All Belong To (2)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#40590261)

"You shouldn't have disgraced yourself by stooping to trolling your readers with an article about what essentially amounts to using a full blown word processor for a tweet. Albeit an rather long example of one," countered another.

Yeah he is being right about criticizing the example being an too long one. Why Jack Kerouac's On-the-Road is stream of conscious flowing but my posts, the ones that have the similar validity of writing or of grammar, are the same quality for some reason make you mad while his wins awards? Society has the double standards if we're going to talk about any of.

Re:Concurrence Is My Fort Which You All Belong To (-1, Flamebait)

WhiteHover (2679613) | about 2 years ago | (#40590333)

It's one of the reasons why Mac OS X rules. The system actually has system-wide spellchecker so it works everywhere. Things like that are missing from Windows and Linux and that's why you need to use apps like Word. Google's online tools are completely missing these things.

Re:Concurrence Is My Fort Which You All Belong To (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590555)

Re:Concurrence Is My Fort Which You All Belong To (1)

WhiteHover (2679613) | about 2 years ago | (#40590587)

It doesn't matter if it's easy, there just needs to be lots of FUD.

Re:Concurrence Is My Fort Which You All Belong To (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about 2 years ago | (#40590605)

"Google's online tools are completely missing these things."

Spell- and Grammar checkers are not sexy enough for programmers, not to mention that they usually suck in both, so we have to wait until some linguists with too much time on their hands, do one to get credit.

So guys, get off your ass and make my day^t^t^t Firefox grammar checker for Luxemburgish so that I can troll my local newspapers in style!

Re:Concurrence Is My Fort Which You All Belong To (3, Informative)

therealkevinkretz (1585825) | about 2 years ago | (#40590407)

You're confusing subjective preferences for style with objective rules for grammar.

Poor grammar and spelling certainly detract from a a poorly-communicated opinion. Are some people using technology to 'fix' what would otherwise be evidence for educational or literacy shortcomings? Sure. That doesn't make those who aren't using them any more educated or literate.

I think that people with a poor grasp of grammar and language rules don't recognize or assign as much weight to their absence. Including, judging from your words, you.

Re:Concurrence Is My Fort Which You All Belong To (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590459)

"Why Jack Kerouac's On-the-Road is stream of conscious flowing but my posts, the ones that have the similar validity of writing or of grammar, are the same quality for some reason make you mad while his wins awards? Society has the double standards if we're going to talk about any of."

If this is an example of your grammatical prowess, I rest my case.

Re:Concurrence Is My Fort Which You All Belong To (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590571)

Woosh? Please, please, for the love of God, woosh?

If not, Eldavojohn is not the Droid I was looking for.

Re:Concurrence Is My Fort Which You All Belong To (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#40590601)

Proper Spelling and Grammar does have its place. Usually when communicating with a larger group of people, who use proper Spelling and Grammar as a common ground for understanding.

However I usually get quite annoyed at people who think that Spelling and Grammar effect the quality or correctness of your message.

But Grammar isn't perfect as well, and it needs to be broken, sometimes. I remember a Hell class with a teacher who was a Grammar Nazi, She had one sentence for a question for a 10 page paper. I read that question over and over for 20 minutes trying to comprehend it, it was grammatically correct, however it was vague, if the teacher was willing to break grammar for that one sentence, the question would be completely clear. I had to redo the paper because I got the question wrong, the teacher scolded me "I spent 45 minutes to make sure that question was grammatically correct, why did you read it that way!" Because while grammatically correct it was vague. Because the question was based on the my views on the characters views, which were.

Yes. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590289)

Yes, it does.

Re:Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590593)

No it dont

Grammar, (5, Insightful)

benito27uk (646600) | about 2 years ago | (#40590291)

The difference between knowing your shit, and knowing you're shit.

Re:Grammar, (3, Insightful)

Krau Ming (1620473) | about 2 years ago | (#40590355)

Unfortunately, only those who have a reasonable grasp on grammar seem to care.

Re:Grammar, (5, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 2 years ago | (#40590415)

Indeed, they could care less.

Re:Grammar, (5, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#40590441)

I hate you.

Re:Grammar, (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590371)

The difference between “helping your Uncle Jack, off his horse.” and “helping your uncle jack off his horse”

Re:Grammar, (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590419)

True, although I always sort of like the oldy-but-goody of:

Yesterday I helped my uncle jack off a horse.

Yesterday I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse.


See the difference some commas and correct capitalization make? Grammar matters. Spelling matters. I guess this was a long winded way of answering "yes" to the question in the post. At least it matters if you don't want people to think you are a dilhole.

Grammar is Extremely Important! (5, Insightful)

El Fantasmo (1057616) | about 2 years ago | (#40590293)

Let's eat Grandma!

or

Let's eat, Grandma!

Yes, grammar is still very important.

Re:Grammar is Extremely Important! (1)

majid_aldo (812530) | about 2 years ago | (#40590425)

that looks like punctuation. how would you express that difference in speech?

Re:Grammar is Extremely Important! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590485)

With a pause, moran.

Re:Grammar is Extremely Important! (1)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | about 2 years ago | (#40590613)

It's "morOn", you tweet.

Re:Grammar is Extremely Important! (1)

Nimey (114278) | about 2 years ago | (#40590663)

Whoosh!

Re:Grammar is Extremely Important! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590651)

How did you know his name was Moran, moron?

Re:Grammar is Extremely Important! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590617)

get a brain moran

Re:Grammar is Extremely Important! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590623)

True, how very true.

One has to wonder if you want an oral sex gang bang with Grandma or you're inviting her out to dinner.

Yes (1)

werewolf1031 (869837) | about 2 years ago | (#40590297)

It does.

Re:Yes (1)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about 2 years ago | (#40590393)

Who does it matter for?

Re:Yes (1)

El Fantasmo (1057616) | about 2 years ago | (#40590657)

I think you meant, "For what does it matter?" You shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition.

Of course it matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590309)

Why advertise sloppiness?

Middle POST! (3, Funny)

ae1294 (1547521) | about 2 years ago | (#40590313)

Grammer is meaning less. All your bases are belonging to US now...

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590315)

... by which I mean "Yes" for all of you unfortunate enough not able to read my mind.

Re:No (5, Funny)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | about 2 years ago | (#40590413)

[title: No] ... by which I mean "Yes" for all of you unfortunate enough not able to read my mind.

Oh, look, there's a girl on Slashdot.

yes (2)

LordKaT (619540) | about 2 years ago | (#40590323)

Yes it don't matter to anyone not looking to never make any conversation.

Re:yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590573)

It aint no double negative not to.

First things first... (2, Interesting)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#40590331)

Muphry's Law [wikipedia.org]

Personally I believe proper grammar to be very important, as it's the only way to be absolutely clear as to what the original person intended to say. For instance, this humorous example of why capitalisation is important:

I went to the family farm, and while there helped my uncle Jack off a horse.

Now drop the capital "J".

Re:First things first... (4, Funny)

CanadianRealist (1258974) | about 2 years ago | (#40590523)

Now drop the capital "J".

I went to the family farm, and while there helped my uncle ack off a horse.

Yes, grammar does matter. So does saying what you actually mean to say. Like change the "J" to lower case.

Does grammar matter? (1)

geek (5680) | about 2 years ago | (#40590349)

You tell me:

I helped jack off his donkey.

vs.

I helped Jack, off his donkey.

Re:Does grammar matter? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590423)

So your example to show us that grammar matters is to construct a grammatically incorrect sentence? A comma splice is usually frowned upon in many writing styles, but even if you ignore that the use of a comma splice is only valid for conjoining independent clauses. "off his donkey" is a sentence fragment and not an independent clause.

Re:Does grammar matter? (1)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | about 2 years ago | (#40590659)

Correct, which is why both sentances mean assisting his uncle Jack to dismount a donkey. What should really be happening is that jack off should be joined with a hyphen or merged to create a new verb, i.e. to jackoff

Re:Does grammar matter? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590463)

I helped jack off his donkey.

vs.

I helped Jack, off his donkey.

The version with the comma makes no sense - a comma almost always separates clauses or sub-clauses which each have a subject (a major exception being as a delimiter in lists). "off his donkey" contains no subject, and hence is syntactically invalid. The actual difference in this example ("I helped Jack off his donkey") is the capitalisation of Jack.

Re:Does grammar matter? (3, Informative)

supercrisp (936036) | about 2 years ago | (#40590479)

What's with the comma in the second example?

Re:Does grammar matter? (4, Informative)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | about 2 years ago | (#40590503)

It's either trollbait for grammar Nazis or he's a grammar Nazi that fails at grammar. A comma splice, within the English language, is not a universally accepted construct. Some consider it to constitute a run-on sentence and many style guides disallow its usage.

Re:Does grammar matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590539)

Author implies that he helped someone named Jack and now he must [take?] off his donkey. Simple, isn't it?

Re:Does grammar matter? (1)

Walterk (124748) | about 2 years ago | (#40590543)

Isn't it:

I helped my uncle jack off a donkey.

vs

I helped my uncle, Jack, off a donkey.

Re:Does grammar matter? (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | about 2 years ago | (#40590661)

The apposition 'Jack' is valid with or without the comma.

It does - within limits (1)

1s44c (552956) | about 2 years ago | (#40590359)

Grammar matters to the extent that it makes a message clear. However Grammar Nazi's care far too much about this stuff. If I start a sentence with 'and' or split an infinitive it doesn't matter at all unless in so doing I make my message unclear.

Same with UK/US spellings, people care far too much about a few letters difference that doesn't affect meaning.

Re:It does - within limits (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590435)

Umm . . . that's "Grammar Nazis," oh Candidate for Apostrophe Abuse.

Re:It does - within limits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590561)

if anyone ever pulls you up for splitting an infinitive ask them why a rule for latin grammar would apply to English (correct answer is it doesn't - there's not grammatical rule in English about splitting infinitives! Chaucer did it, Shakespeare did it, do a little research into what George Bernard Shaw thought on that matter).

Re US/UK spellings, I keep being told this crap that Z is US spelling and S is UK... I learned spelling from the OED (a UK book, obviously) which uses Z is in the -ize/ise ending if the word is of Greek origin and S if it is Latin... seems like a sensible rule to me - which is why I (a Brit) use so called "US spellings" for some things.

My biggest bugbear, which is common in the west of Scotland where I live, is the apparent inability to know when "is" should be "are" - I really can't see why people don't get this. The most annoying "Americanism" are "lighted" instead of lit (I've seen English authors publish books with "lighted") and the distinction between bring/take which simply shows ignorance in my opinion.

The worst of the worst is the southern English expression "init" to me this is just laziness.

Re:It does - within limits (2)

u38cg (607297) | about 2 years ago | (#40590599)

I think those of us who care often make the mistake of banging on about grammer instead of clarity. Grammer is stupid rules about infinitives and prepositions. Clarity is something we can all agree is good. Bad grammer usually lacks clarity, either by being meaningless or by being a roadblock to the reader.

It does make a difference.... (1)

BarneyRabble (866644) | about 2 years ago | (#40590361)

If you wrote a message that no one could understand due to your lack of cpmmunications skills, which includes the poor grammar and spelling you would not make it in this world. People rely on well-written, clear sentences that actually make a point, not gibberish.

Re:It does make a difference.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590603)

... cpmmunications skills, ...

I see what you did there!

Meta-irony? (2)

Ygorl (688307) | about 2 years ago | (#40590365)

Reading comments by internet posters about a story discussing bad grammar on the internet is truly delightful, from a certain point of view!

Re:Meta-irony? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590541)

... truly delightful, from a certain point of view!

Masochism?

Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590367)

My dear, grammar always matters.

Yes, it does matter. (5, Interesting)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 2 years ago | (#40590375)

Just like size matters, it depends on the context.
Some good examples:
"Highlights of his global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an 800-year-old demigod and a dildo collector."
"My interests include: cooking dogs, reading, poetry, fishing and music."
"Goats cheese salad ingredients: lettuce, tomato, goats, cheese"
"Butcher's sign: Try our sausages. None like them."
Of course there is always engrish [slashdot.org] .

Does making any effort with anything matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590383)

n/t

Of course it does (2)

FunkyLich (2533348) | about 2 years ago | (#40590437)

Grammar does matter.

It shows quite a lot in general about the writer of any message. Good grammar put into something written shows also the clarity of the idea that needs to be conveyed by the written piece. You can possibly understand that "Me now go home it now is very late" really means "I have to go home now as it is very late for me", but if I saw any of the two on a CV for employee selection, I would definitely consider the later one first.

In japan the importance of language education is on yet another higher level. They use 3 different alphabets there, hiragana, katagana and kanji. The exact same pasage can be written by using hiragana and katagana alone, but also by using all three. The more kanji you throw in, the more it is considered that you are well learned and educated, the more everyone will grant you respect-points.

It is not a matter of feeding your written piece to a spell checker or grammar corrector. This is what this process has succumbed to. The importance of grammar is really what you put into written pieces immediately as you think about it. Correcting yourself with those is always a good thing, but relying on those to fix and covers errors which you know you have in your written piece, that's what will keep you going in the short term of course, but sooner or later your inability to articulate will be discovered. That moment is usually not a very comfortable one.

Not it may yes matter (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590439)

Not flying happy grammar discuss message deliver clear structure understand.

(NOte: this is not off topic. It's an example of terribly bad grammar. Does it not matter?)

A grammar nazi rally post? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#40590449)

Article is a trollfeed.

....it does not evolve as fast it should (2)

martiniturbide (1203660) | about 2 years ago | (#40590457)

I really think that grammar is important. But from what I have noticed in my native language (Spanish), there is also a "non-evolution" of it. Sure, new words are included every day, but there is not evolution to try to make the language and written communication easier. I was hoping someday that the "v" will be deprecated and all words starts using only "b" :)

Clarity trumps grammar (2)

Dr. Crash (237179) | about 2 years ago | (#40590469)

Grammar is just an aid to clarity- when the two conflict, geek rule is that clarity trumps grammar.

For example, consider the old format:

    Helen asked "How do you plan to do that"?

versus the newer:

    Helen asked "How do you plan to do that?".

The first form, although "grammatically correct" according to S&W, is ambiguous - did the speaker state that Helen asked a question, or ask if Helen did so? The second form is unabiguous; the speaker states that Helen asked a question.

Re:Clarity trumps grammar (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 2 years ago | (#40590637)

It's not ambiguous if you have any context. Nor is it ambiguous if you unambiguously form your sentences - you have omitted both a reference to the speaker as well as use a pronoun without any identification of the person to whom the pronoun refers. Writing as you speak or think may not always be the most effective way to communicate in writing. Grammar will add clarity in almost all situations. Context will add additional clarity if needed.

I will never claim to hold any special affinity for the finer points of grammar, but I find the complete disdain for grammar in modern communications annoying as it more often reduces rather than enhances clarity.

And, for the record, I believe the correct grammar for the sentence is
    Helen asked "How do you plan to do that?"
where the punctuation occurs within the closing quote mark. As always, there's a reasonable chance I'm wrong - I know more rules than exceptions.

No, really, it doesn't - trust me (4, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | about 2 years ago | (#40590471)

If you believe that it's ok to use tweetspeak and such in emails and electronic communication for business, etc. - then please, be my guest.

I sincerely doubt that any amount of persuasion from me is going to convince the people who already do this to change their habits. On the contrary, I invite people to use WHATEVER language they feel is appropriate in their communications with management, coworkers, and customers.

When I get your email, I'll treat you with the respect and professionalism it appears to deserve, and I look forward to watching your progress in the workplace/marketplace.

so liek.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590473)

In short, yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590487)

When I read a message, email, document, etc. I am unconsciously evaluating the spelling and grammar of the document to determine quality of the message. If the content were important then the author would have paid more attention when composing it. If the author does not feel like it deserves their full attention when writing it, then why should I give it my full attention when reading it.

- anon

The important thing is being understood. (3, Interesting)

wcrowe (94389) | about 2 years ago | (#40590497)

Grammar may not be all that important in informal communication, so long as one's message can be understood. There is an accounting manager where I work who has terrible grammar. He also sprinkles his emails with business buzzwords. Consequently, I can never make heads or tails out of what he is trying to convey in his emails, and always have to schedule a face-to-face meeting with him to figure it out.

On the other hand, there are some people I work with who, though they have poor grammar, are still able to make their needs clear. Their grammar gaffes are forgivable because they can still make themselves understood.

 

Depends (1)

CobaltBlueDW (899284) | about 2 years ago | (#40590507)

We were told at a young age that grammar is quite important and grammar lessons were drilled into us, which is why we feel the urge to correct other's grammar when we see mistakes. However, grammar is a tool of language, which has the ultimate goal of conveying information. Thus, I'd say grammar is only important so far as it helps convey information. If you can under-stand what I'm saying hear, than grammar is nothing more then a miled annoyance.

In the post-PC era... (1)

KingofGnG (1319253) | about 2 years ago | (#40590525)

....Grammar does not matter anymore. Who the heck needs a good spelling knowledge when you own the best smartphone/tablet/mobile shit in the world? C'mon....

Not Really (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about 2 years ago | (#40590529)

This is a good post because last week I pointed out how grammar doesn't really matter any more. Now don't get me wrong, there is a time and a place for proper writing style but in most of the day to day activity we deal with it just doesn't matter.

For instance if I make some spelling mistakes, use the wrong form of there or to and don't use comma's you'll still understand what I wrote. If what I just mentioned would throw you for such a loop it would make my writing unreadable then the issue isn't the author is the literacy of the reader. Grammar exists to help give hints or clues on how the author intends for his works to be understood, even with out good grammar in 99.999% of all cases you get along just fine as long as they use the common period.

So this leads to an interesting point, most of communication today is quick one off remarks and tweets and one liners and etc.... Nothing that requires full blown public technical document level standards. To this regard grammar is dead, when it comes into play is when the written work has to matter, such as a big public technical document, until then just write and leave it.

incorrect use of "anymore" (0)

ClintJCL (264898) | about 2 years ago | (#40590549)

Anymore and nowadays. Special thanks to Philadelphia (origin of "This car needs cleaned") for slowly spreading the virus of using "anymore" when "nowadays" should be used. It's taking over the country. Ten yrs, you'd never hear a headline like this. It should be "Does grammar even matter nowadays?"

All of your bases now belong to us, good sirs! (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#40590577)

"I's in ur tweets, correctins ur grammers, I mean, I'm in your tweets, correcting your grammar."

It is real simple... (1)

sudden.zero (981475) | about 2 years ago | (#40590631)

If it is a blog article, news-paper column, term paper, or anything of semi-importance then yes otherwise it doesn't matter. Come one people let's use some common sense here. Tweets are supposed to be peoples thoughts that they share with everyone via the twitter website. So, do you think in grammatically correct sentences? If not then leave the guy the hell alone! :P

oh bugger (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590645)

I'm going to have to go through every comment and correct everyone's grammar now?

Yes (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | about 2 years ago | (#40590649)

Yes it does. We should strive to have proper grammar no matter how unimportant our written work may be. We don't need a slippery slope into a degradation of our grammar. Okay, so maybe I'm a bit of a grammar snob. And I am far from perfect in terms of my grammar. But if you have time to think about what you're going to write, as opposed to having a live conversation, what's the harm in taking a few minutes to make sure it's better than "okay"? Oh, there's also a need to read what you type before hitting submit. It's easier to catch typos that way.

Word doesn't solve the problem (1)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | about 2 years ago | (#40590653)

I typed the offending sentence into Word, which pointed out that there was a problem with the word "be." I right-clicked the offending word and it suggested "are". So, according to MS Word, the correct sentence should have read: "There also we are some other great keynotes beginning at 10am on the same page."

huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40590667)

The fact that this question is asked on Slashdot - home of the edited but yet unedited website we all used to love - is funny.

Grammar yes, however... (3, Insightful)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 2 years ago | (#40590677)

Grammar checkers can die a miserable death.

I turned off MS Word's after too many false positives such as eliminating the passive voice - I don't need some bullshit rule telling me my thoughts are invalid.

Albeit an rather (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#40590691)

Albeit an rather

Oh Lordy.

The problem even extends to "journalism". (3, Interesting)

Norwell Bob (982405) | about 2 years ago | (#40590695)

As of late I've been noticing and commenting to friends about a growing disregard for spelling, grammar, and proper English as a whole. In school I was taught to never use contractions when writing a "professional" piece; I see that constantly now. I was also taught to avoid "familiar" language and colloquialisms, to spell out any number ten or lower, and things like this. It seems to me that "Tweetspeak" and shorthand common to texting and Facebook messaging are now considered acceptable to journalism editors, particularly online.

Has this caught anybody else's attention?
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