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Last Guardian
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Re: Are our grammar skills declining?

Apr 8, 2014

renatabls wrote:

I'm actually better at writing in english than in my own language. Smiley Indifferent

 

As for speaking, portuguese wins. I don't talk in english that much so i can't practice it.


We spend a lot of time studying grammar ( sometimes even faulty grammar such as the SPOMPT = Subject Predicate Object Manner Place Time ) at school and not enough time to improve our oral communication skills. That's the case at least here in Finland. 

 

Because my own language's grammar is so difficult, I'd say I make even less grammatical mistakes in English than in Finnish. But speaking English fluently is tough, since you have absolutely no time to think about all the rules you've been taught at school while you're uttering words at +100 wpm.

 

As far as the original question goes as to whether our grammar skills are declining, I'd say that's an intriguing question! I'm the kind of guy who likes to look at statistics ( not all statistics are made up on the spot ). Without looking at any real research data, all I can really say is "Yeah, probably. It does seem like technology has unfortunate side effects on the youth". 

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  "How do you prove that you exist...? Maybe we don't exist..."

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Re: Are our grammar skills declining?

Apr 8, 2014
My friend once told me his friend told him saying Lol was a sin, iv tried to never say it since
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Re: Are our grammar skills declining?

Apr 8, 2014

bob-maul wrote:

LiLBlueEyes wrote:

Publishers have heaping slush piles of manuscripts with proper spelling and grammar, but  if you’re boring and pretentious all the grammar and spelling in the world isn’t going to matter,,, some of the best words I have ever read are from cats and dogs...

 

 

 

On a more serious note,,, judging people by their grammar or speech such as 'Ghetto People' is ridiculous for the simple fact that maybe its a matter of survival and fitting in... I would imagine a 'Ghetto Person'  would get knocked out daily if he or she spoke like the King or Queen of England.

 

I find it's easier to adapt to people,,, I try to help some with their spelling and grammar and if they don't want the help then so be it, it doesn't make them any less of a person, just different.

 


That is just silly. Someone speaking decent English in ghetto areas will not get them beaten up. That is not survival. That is a dialect that is prominent in ghetto areas. It is much more likely that they are surrounded by poor grammar and adopt it. Similar to any other sort of accent or dialect. 

 

And nobody is saying they are not people.


LOL so now you're an expert of the HOOD?

I'm not surprised the joke about the queens dielect was over your head, or maybe in your case below your feet.. Smiley Very Happy

 

That last comment doesn't even deserve a response. Smiley Sad

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Re: Are our grammar skills declining?

Apr 8, 2014

Blockhead_Brown wrote:
@LiLBlueEyes

I see no noteworthy correlation between "boring and pretentious" and proper spelling and grammar. While true that proper spelling and grammar can still be boring and pretentious, it's equally true that horrible spelling and grammar can be boring and pretentious.

If I could only be skilled at one thing I'd rather it be content than the ability to convey said content, but I see no reason why one wouldn't want to be skilled at both.

Well good luck with that, unfortunatly people don't have the time or in some cases the attention span to read boring, just to much out there to filter through daily, like your comment for instance I only read the first line and got the gist of your whole speech, so you basically wasted 40 extra words where you could've condensed what you wanted to say, instead of this drawn out boast.

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Re: Are our grammar skills declining?

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Apr 8, 2014

DrGadget wrote:

S0UTHERN_C0MF0RT wrote:
Is our society's grammar and knowledge of properly writing declining? Before the year 2000, a general consensus might have been established that our society's grammar and knowledge of proper writing mechanics was not declining; 

I don't see any particular reason why people before 2000 would come to a consensus that grammar skills are not declining.  What was so special about 2000?   I don't understand why you would pick that year out of the blue.

 

Peoples' grammar skills are definitely declining.  And yes, you could atribute a lot of that to texting.  But really when you take a step back and look at the larger picture, is that what's really going on?

 

Texting is like poetry.  Poetry in its purest form is the art of putting the most meaning into the fewest words.  Most of you have seen me ramble on with a wall-o-text to illustrate a point.  That's not poetry.  It's applying a systematic and detailed description of whatever I was trying to describe or convey.  Poetry uses a few well-chosen words that convey a greater meaning than the sum of the words alone.  Why type out the word "you" when "U" conveys the same meaning?  When texting, you have very real constraints upon the length of your message.  You're forced to use a form of shorthand to make it fit.  But these are not random strings of gibberish.  The person receiving the text must understand what lol, h8r, and w/e mean for the message to be conveyed.

 

("Poetry"? That is the most RIDICULOUS thing I've ever read. I doubt that Walt Whitman ever said "I wonder if I can express this in a hundred forty characters?". Texting sprung out of the desire to shorten words in order to fit them into as few characters as possible, because texting plans at one time were charging you BY THE LETTER. There's nothing "poetic" about it. You can still convey a complete thought in a hundred forty characters, the problem is that now most people are far too intellectually LAZY to even make the attempt. Now we see it bleeding into more facets of our everyday life, and there are those who've simply given up on trying to correct the habit, which is why some California school districts accept test answers written in "text speak".)

 

Texting does follow a set of rules.  These are not the same rules used for writing a college essay, but they are rules.  If there were no rules, then all meaning would be lost, all texts would be pointless, and texting would cease altogether.  Court stenographers use a set of rules when they record the statements spoken in a courtroom.  The rules are unique to stenographers, and indeed their output looks like so much gibberish to the untrained eye.  The same goes for shorthand, if anyone still uses that.

 

(It doesn't have any set rules. Which is why you see various ways to spell words like "What", which vary from "wot", "wat", and "wut", or even "wt". Stenographers have a set of rules because those are LEGAL DOCUMENTS, and they have to put on record and eventually be read for other legal procedings such as if the case goes to an appeal). 

 

So long as texting language remains within texts, everything shousd be fine.  People whould know how to text AND know how to use proper grammar.  I wouldn't expect shorthand or stenography to appear in a college essay, but they would be just as confusing in a text message.  Keep the format where it applies.

 

(The problem is it's not "remaining within texts". You see it everywhere now, which is why a lot of teachers accept it now under the false premise that "language evolves". This isn't an evolution, it's a DEVOLUTION. Text speak, emoticons, using symbols, etc. We're going back to hierogliphics it seems. The problem with that was eventually so few people used it, eventually the ones who had written those had no idea what they were talking about)

 

There are two powerful drivers here making it difficult to preserve "proper grammar".

 

1. Technological change.  20 years ago, nobody texted.  Now just about everyone does.  Normal grammar rules don't apply.  I certainly wouldn't be able to convey all of this post into a readable text message.  In the last 10 years, MySpace has already gone from the Next Big Thing to Yesterday's News.  This pace is rapid and unrelenting.  It's not likely to slow down any time soon.

 

(Technology also changed previously in history, however nobody shortened words in order for them to fit on a single page because they felt the printing press was too "limiting".)

 

2. Language change.  Not only are the media used to transmit information changing, but also the content of the messages.  Every year, thousands of new words are added to the dictionary.  A year ago, I never heard of a "Vine".  Webster has recently added "Do'oh!" into the dictionary, after the common Homer Simpson outburst.  Imagine someone 20 years ago saying, "I emailed you a link to a Twitter feed I googled after watching someone's YouTube favorites."  That sentence would have made no sense at all.

 

(We've developed so many ways not to talk to each other, so it's not surprising. Language does change, however this is the language breaking down to a more primitive state were man used symbols and not words)

 

People are doing what people do.  They're adapting to a rapidly-changing language using rapidly-changing technology.  Standards of speech aren't set by some old people in a university somewhere.  They're created and discarded on the fly, based on trending events, someone famous saying something quotable ("I'm Winning" - Charlie Sheen) or through sheer force of will.

 

(I contend that it's not a result of a "rapidly changing language", and actually intellectual LAZINESS. One in five people now believe that the Earth is the center of the solar system, and 37% can't find the United States on a map. Twenty eight percent of Americans have not read a book in the last year. And actually the "standards of speech" are set by some old people in a university somewhere. It's called the Oxford English Dictionary, which has been used as the accepted STANDARD for the English language for well over a century and a half. What you're talking about is what George Orwell described in the novel 1984 as "Newspeak". Don't like a word? Just change the meaning to suit your own needs, or invent your own. We see it all the time here. And "I'm winning" isn't something that Charlie Sheen created. I contend that only in America that we can view proper English with such disdain, because it's a form of pride, because they feel they're sticking it to intellectualism by doing so. I can say this because I've been to non-English speaking countries, and they ALL spoke English better as a second language, than most Americans speak it as their ONLY language.)

 

Some terms catch on like ROFL.  Some never do, like GOL (Giggling Out Loud).  Overused sayings in the new media often become "memes", which are parodies of themselves.  It's a very complex process, with its own set of rules for establishing, using, lampooning, and discarding words.  It works, because it's so dynamic and flexible.

 

(It's not a "complex process), it comes down to repetition. If enough people repeat something it becomes a meme, which is derived from the Latin word for "mimic".

 

One thing I abhor is this idea that for some this is a source of pride and part of their identity. That somehow not knowing how to spell is what identifies you and your generation, and if you're challenged you respond by saying "dis izn scholl". Language is what seperates us from lower life forms. Language is how we convey ideas, and it's how we express ourselves to others. Words carry weight, and it's those words that have a lasting effect. By using the English language properly you impress upon people a part of yourself, and they will say "wow, hey this is a really smart guy, he's got it together". Speaking in text speak just tells me that you don't put any thought  into what you're saying, and just don't care.  After all "dis izn scholl". Which to me it's as if they're saying "how dare you believe you're smarter than I am".

If someone a thousand years from now saw examples of text speak they wouldn't believe our civilization had accomplished feats like breaking the sound barrier or sending probes into the deepest reaches of space. They probably would think we barely had a handle on walking upright).   


 

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Re: Are our grammar skills declining?

Apr 8, 2014

LiLBlueEyes wrote:

bob-maul wrote:

LiLBlueEyes wrote:

Publishers have heaping slush piles of manuscripts with proper spelling and grammar, but  if you’re boring and pretentious all the grammar and spelling in the world isn’t going to matter,,, some of the best words I have ever read are from cats and dogs...

 

 

 

On a more serious note,,, judging people by their grammar or speech such as 'Ghetto People' is ridiculous for the simple fact that maybe its a matter of survival and fitting in... I would imagine a 'Ghetto Person'  would get knocked out daily if he or she spoke like the King or Queen of England.

 

I find it's easier to adapt to people,,, I try to help some with their spelling and grammar and if they don't want the help then so be it, it doesn't make them any less of a person, just different.

 


That is just silly. Someone speaking decent English in ghetto areas will not get them beaten up. That is not survival. That is a dialect that is prominent in ghetto areas. It is much more likely that they are surrounded by poor grammar and adopt it. Similar to any other sort of accent or dialect. 

 

And nobody is saying they are not people.


LOL so now you're an expert of the HOOD?

I'm not surprised the joke about the queens dielect was over your head, or maybe in your case below your feet.. Smiley Very Happy

 

That last comment doesn't even deserve a response. Smiley Sad


It does not take an expert of "the hood" to know that speaking decent English will not get you beaten up daily. I did not even mention the Queen's Enlgish. I went after your pretty ignorant statement that speaking Ebonics is based on survival. If it was a joke, consider the possibility that you are not funny. 

 

The last comment? You made it sound like judging someone's poor English means you are dehumanizing them. You should be happy I even responded to it.


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Re: Are our grammar skills declining?

Apr 8, 2014

LiLBlueEyes wrote:

Blockhead_Brown wrote:
@LiLBlueEyes

I see no noteworthy correlation between "boring and pretentious" and proper spelling and grammar. While true that proper spelling and grammar can still be boring and pretentious, it's equally true that horrible spelling and grammar can be boring and pretentious.

If I could only be skilled at one thing I'd rather it be content than the ability to convey said content, but I see no reason why one wouldn't want to be skilled at both.

Well good luck with that, unfortunatly people don't have the time or in some cases the attention span to read boring, just to much out there to filter through daily, like your comment for instance I only read the first line and got the gist of your whole speech, so you basically wasted 40 extra words where you could've condensed what you wanted to say, instead of this drawn out boast.


Sounds like a personal problem.


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Re: Are our grammar skills declining?

Apr 8, 2014

\|/3$ 7#3\|/ @R3 

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Re: Are our grammar skills declining?

Apr 8, 2014

If you look at us on a range from beginning of human history to now, I'd say we are still going upwards.

 

It was only 40 years ago that we realized all language was arbitrary.

 

There is NO correct grammar. Only what you cling to, to help you make sense of unorganized speech processes.

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Re: Are our grammar skills declining?

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Apr 8, 2014

GuitarGuru2012 wrote:

If you look at us on a range from beginning of human history to now, I'd say we are still going upwards.

 

It was only 40 years ago that we realized all language was arbitrary.

 

There is NO correct grammar. Only what you cling to, to help you make sense of unorganized speech processes.


Language is not "arbitrary", it's an approximation of meaning. You can not change words on a whim because you don't like the meaning, and want them to suit your own needs.

 

What you describe is Orwellian Newspeak, which leads us to words like "double ungood", "gooder", and "doubleplus good", and makes it impossible to express any sort of coherent concepts and ideas, and leads to complacency and intellectual laziness. Declaring language arbitrary smacks of anti-intellectualizm, and opens the door to the line of thinking of "why bother to learn English when I can invent my own words, and I will still be right because nobody can challenge them". 

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