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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Short Grammar Rant (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Scott O.
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I know that I don't always have perfect grammar, but...there are a few common mistakes that just annoy me every time I see them.

For example:

'Your' instead of 'you are' or you're. (Your a great magician) It should read (You're a great magician).

'Then' and 'Than' mix ups. (He’s better then Jim is.) should be (He’s better than Jim is.).

These are just a couple mistakes, but I see them in so many postings. What is worse, however, is when it is done on a website designed to promote one's-self to the public.

Bad grammar, and bad spelling should never occur on your website. Take the time to spell-check and proof-read the copy prior to posting out on the web for the world to evaluate you by.

If you can't proof-read copy very well, have another set of eyes do it. (That's a good idea anyway.)

OK, rant over. I feel better now.

Scott Smile.
Do not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest, if you do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Daniel Santos
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Their, They're, and There Smile .
If it is to be, it is up to me.
John Clarkson
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Scott:

Point taken, but please note:
    proofread
    mix-ups
    oneself
    couple of mistakes
    grammar and bad spelling (i.e., no comma before the word "and")

Here are some common errors that put me off:
  • Use of "it's" as a possessive pronoun
  • Use of "to" when the writer means "too"
  • Use of "who's" when the writer means "whose"
  • Use of objective pronouns after "than" as in "Tom is taller than me(!)"
  • The American tendency to use singular verbs with collective nouns when the group is not acting in unison: "The jury has(!) not decided."
  • The British tendency to use a plural verbs with collective nouns when the group is acting in unison: "The jury have(!) decided."
  • Use of pronouns in subjective case when used as part of a compound object of a preposition: "He went to the movies with Tom and I(!)."
  • Use of "there is" with a plural subject: "You may have noticed that there's(!) more than three items in your cart."
  • Use of "less" with countable nouns: "Less fat and less(!) calories," or, "This line for (customers with) less than 10 items."
  • Use of "who" instead of "whom" as the object of a verb or preposition: "Who(!) do you want to win the election?"
  • Use of "whom" instead of "who" as the subject of the main verb: "Whom(!) do you believe will win the election?"

Most of all, I find pedantry offensive. Smile

:nose:
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)
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"There is nothing more important to a magician than keeping secrets. Probably because so many of them are Gay."
—Peggy, from King of the Hill (Sleight of Hank)
Scott O.
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John,

Point taken from you as well. As I noted, my grammar is not exemplary. I suppose I should have proofread my text better to remove a couple of mistakes from my own post as well.Smile
Do not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest, if you do not give up. Galatians 6:9
John Clarkson
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Scott,

I was poking fun at both of us. I actually appreciate people who worry about the same trivialities with which I occupy my poor, senseless life... Smile

:nose:
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)
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"There is nothing more important to a magician than keeping secrets. Probably because so many of them are Gay."
—Peggy, from King of the Hill (Sleight of Hank)
hkwiles
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If you want to hear some "good" examples of "bad" grammar then listen to any of our professional footballers when they are being interviewed ! In fact even better, listen to some of them who are actually employed as presenters and commentators.
Then compare that with the number of European footballers being interviewed who have a quite decent command of English, given it is not their native tongue.

Howard.. Its all part of the dumbing down of the "bewildered herd" (Noam Chomsky)
abc
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Just a question, no offense intended.
How many languages are you able to communicate in?
I can speak 2 fluently and 3 not fluently, but the point of the question is this. Why should English speaking people poke fun at grammar if they are the only people in the world that can (usually) only speak one language, but are the first to complain about grammatical conversation?
You should have the Café available in at least Chinese (Mandarin) and Spanish with an on line translation service. Man, that would rock.
Jonathan Townsend
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I r looking at much fun with words not known or cared of.

sew they type and read not well.

is that not enough for u?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
John Clarkson
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Abc,

Interesting perspective. I think the English-speakers in this thread are poking fun at themselves and at the grammatical mistakes of other native English-speakers, not at the mistakes of people who speak English as a second language. At least I'm pretty sure that's what I was doing.

:nose:
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)
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"There is nothing more important to a magician than keeping secrets. Probably because so many of them are Gay."
—Peggy, from King of the Hill (Sleight of Hank)
Dizzy
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Its posts like these that remind me of why I'm a magician and not an intellectual (did I spell it right, 2 pts to Dizzys team!!!!!).
Jonathan Townsend
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There is a free translator for many languages.

http://www.freetranslation.com

have a look.

And I concur about the humor directed at ourselves as sloppy typists and lazy grammarians when writing in our native language. Most of us take care to ask for clarification when there appears to be some language issue where the poster is not fluent in idiomatic American English.

There is a magic café like place in France, and I can tell you that the simple online translators are not all that wonderful... so I post there in English.

I heard a great bit of advice from a Brazilian about how to insult someone. He suggested that the best way to insult your listener in another language is to take what you want to say, and translate it literally. And say that.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
rgranville
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For those of us who rant about such things, there are far too many mistakes made by native speakers of English for us to complain about speakers of English as a second language.

The general cluelessness concerning the objective and subjective cases enrgages me, as does the complete misuse of the reflexive. I shudder to think what would happen if English had declension!

As I am old and cranky and a computational linguist, you'll have to forgive me...

:banana:
abc
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Quote:
On 2004-06-12 21:56, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
There is a free translator for many languages.

http://www.freetranslation.com

Have a look.


Try getting a copy of Systran for translation. It is still direct translation and the grammar sucks but it is the best I have come across. Takes about half a gig of memory and opens with any application. You can basically translate any document or site without changing to another site or having to copy and paste.
I am a native English speaker and I fully understand the humor in this. No offense was taken by me or intended at anyone.
I checked out the French site but French is not one of the languages I can speak except for a few words that would have this post deleted in a flash, if anyone at the Café could understand French. Smile
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Scott O.
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Quote:
On 2004-06-12 17:55, John Clarkson wrote:
Interesting perspective. I think the English-speakers in this thread are poking fun at themselves and at the grammatical mistakes of other native English-speakers, not at the mistakes of people who speak English as a second language. At least I'm pretty sure that's what I was doing.


I was, of course, writing of those persons to whom English is a primary language. I don't get too bent out of shape about it, but some common mistakes are to my eyes what fingernails on a chalkboard are to my ears. Smile.
Do not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest, if you do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Bill Palmer
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The on-line translational services are still rather lame. However, there is at least one member of the forum who communicates with us through one of these. He does fairly well with it, but sometimes it makes mincemeat of his intentions. Because his language is one with which I am familiar, sometimes I can help him with his posts. I do this to help him, not offend him, and he seems to take it as it is intended.

But when I hear of on-line translation services, I think of the (apocryphal) story of the English-Russian/Russian-English computer program that was developed in the 1960's. According to the story, the operators took the phrase "Out of sight, out of mind" and ran it through the computer. Then they took the Russian phrase that was produced, and ran it through. The result was "Invisible, Idiot."
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irossall
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I for one speak American, which is a form of English but not English in it's proper use. Smile
Iven Smile
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balducci
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Have you all read "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves" by Lynne Truss?

http://www.eatsshootsandleaves.com/

Don't miss the excerpt on the site above.
Make America Great Again! - Trump in 2020 ... "We're a capitalistic society. I go into business, I don't make it, I go bankrupt. They're not going to bail me out. I've been on welfare and food stamps. Did anyone help me? No." - Craig T. Nelson, actor.
paulajayne
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Bill
I loved the invisible idiot line.

If we are placing a few pointer to the native English speakers then "KID" is the young of a goat and at present is is still not possible for a male and female homo sapien to produce them. Their offspring are called children.

Kids show - NO I do not perform for goats.

There I do feel better.

Paula
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irossall
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Quote:
On 2004-06-17 21:35, balducci wrote:
Have you all read "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves" by Lynne Truss?

http://www.eatsshootsandleaves.com/

Don't miss the excerpt on the site above.



Thank you Balducci for the link. I printed out the excerpt and I am going to purchase the book.
I read a small part of this last year but forgot all about it. Thanks again for reminding me of this wonderful work.
Iven Smile
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