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english grammar and spelling

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dcd

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Does English grammar and spelling matter?

I have just seen this on the National Rail Journey Planner

"It is not yet know how Great Western Railway servises will be affected by
engineering work from Monday 11 to Friday 15 July."

it should be

"It is not yet known how Great Western Railway services will be affected by
engineering work from Monday 11 to Friday 15 July."
 
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DaleCooper

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It's no worse than examples which I have seen on this forum. Two that I always find extremely annoying are the use of "loose" when what is meant is "lose" and "of" instead of "have".

(I hope I haven't made any mistakes in this post)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Shouldn't English have a capital letter?

Indeed it should.
 

Harbornite

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It's no worse than examples which I have seen on this forum. Two that I always find extremely annoying are the use of "loose" when what is meant is "lose" and "of" instead of "have".

(I hope I haven't made any mistakes in this post)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


Indeed it should.


I can't see any mistakes there. On another note, the incorrect usage of there/their/they're and your/you're is pretty bad.
 

dcd

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Shouldn't English have a capital letter?

Changed in the body. Debated with myself over whether it should have a capital. As a noun it would definitely be England but I was not sure about English or english as an adjective.

I entered the original on a laptop, updating with the iPhone it autocorrects to English.
 

backontrack

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With my reputation for accuracy in all forms of grammar known to many on this website, I shall just monitor matters on this thread.

A reputation for accuracy, I agree, but perhaps not one for modesty. :lol:

TBH, I've always been surprised that it is written 'English' but pronounced 'Inglish' - as much as I'm aware that it is derived from the word 'Angle', it is nevertheless interesting that there have been, not one, but two corruptions along the line.
 

Railsigns

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I entered the original on a laptop, updating with the iPhone it autocorrects to English.

This is an example of a comma splice (using a comma to join two independent clauses), which is bad grammar. Instead of a comma, there should be either a full stop or a semicolon.
 

WestCoast

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I find the grammar and spelling on this forum to be of a high standard. Some of the Facebook groups on the other hand are very poor. I only really have an issue when the meaning is unclear; errors in the use of there/their/they're can be particuarly disruptive to a sentence. I interact with a lot of people with English as their second or third language and I rarely see them making the same mistakes that native speakers make. I suspect a lot of it is caused by a lack of attention to detail rather than being unaware of the conventions.
 
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DaleCooper

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This is an example of a comma splice (using a comma to join two independent clauses), which is bad grammar. Instead of a comma, there should be either a full stop or a semicolon.

I confess that your analysis goes way beyond my knowledge of the darker corners of grammar so I have learned something this evening, which just goes to show you are never too old. In dcd's defence the meaning was clear despite the grammatical misdemeanour.

By the way I wasn't sure whether to put a comma or semicolon between "evening" and "which" so I tried to put a semicolon in brackets after the comma but it came out as ";))". Most annoying as I deprecate the use of emojis.

Apologies in advance for any errors in this post.
 

Bayum

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I find the grammar and spelling on this forum to be of a high standard. Some of the Facebook groups on the other hand are very poor. I only really have an issue when the meaning is unclear; errors in the use of there/their/they're can be particuarly disruptive to a sentence. I interact with a lot of people with English as their second or third language and I rarely see them making the same mistakes that native speakers make. I suspect a lot of it is caused by a lack of attention to detail rather than being unaware of the conventions.

Really?

I was berated for using the term 'gotten', followed by someone who used an incorrect superlative!

Unfortunately I only expect the spelling, punctuation and grammar side of things to get worse as this current primary generation grows older. Sure, they'll be able to tell you what a subordinate clause is and where the tense is present perfect, but they'll know little about spelling outside of what the Narional Curriculum says.
 

Phil.

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I find the grammar and spelling on this forum to be of a high standard. Some of the Facebook groups on the other hand are very poor. I only really have an issue when the meaning is unclear; errors in the use of there/their/they're can be particuarly disruptive to a sentence. I interact with a lot of people with English as their second or third language and I rarely see them making the same mistakes that native speakers make. I suspect a lot of it is caused by a lack of attention to detail rather than being unaware of the conventions.

You're being ironic - aren't you?
 

TheNewNo2

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One thing I've learn since I joind the workforce is that professionals are still people, and they make mistakes just like anyone else. The original poster is correct, but this is probably just a typo rather than intentional.

Please excuse any misspellings in my own post, I'm on aew laptop and am not yet used to the keyboard.
 

Busaholic

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I always check that my manservant has entered grammatical English after I have dictated my thoughts to him for the general delectation of others.
 

Bertie the bus

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One thing I've learn since I joind the workforce is that professionals are still people, and they make mistakes just like anyone else. The original poster is correct, but this is probably just a typo rather than intentional.

It is true that anybody can make mistakes and I find people whinging about grammar and spelling (they call themselves pedants but I have other words for them) on informal platforms like forums or social media incredibly tedious. However, external company communications should be proof read. It’s sloppy and unprofessional to produce literature for customers, as we passengers are now called, with obvious mistakes. I’ve noticed many posters at stations with spelling mistakes. It doesn't bother me unduly but it doesn't present a good company image.
 

DaleCooper

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but this is probably just a typo rather than intentional.

No doubt that's true, I make a lot of mistakes in the first draft but always check by using the "Preview Post" button on this forum or if I'm sending an email or similar I read it through a couple of times before sending.
 

TheNewNo2

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No doubt that's true, I make a lot of mistakes in the first draft but always check by using the "Preview Post" button on this forum or if I'm sending an email or similar I read it through a couple of times before sending.

It's very easy to miss things beuacse the huamn biarn is vrey good at uncrsabmlnig tginhs.
 

edwin_m

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I entered the original on a laptop, updating with the iPhone it autocorrects to English.

This is an example of a comma splice (using a comma to join two independent clauses), which is bad grammar. Instead of a comma, there should be either a full stop or a semicolon.

If my recollection and Wikipedia are correct, an independent clause is a piece of text that could be a sentence on its own. The second part of the quote isn't an independent clause, so the quote as a whole isn't a comma splice. The comma splice equivalent would be something like:

I entered the original on a laptop, I updated it with the iPhone and it autocorrects to English.

As far as I can see the original quote is fine except that "English" should probably be in quotes.
 
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Railsigns

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If my recollection and Wikipedia are correct, an independent clause is a piece of text that could be a sentence on its own. The second part of the quote isn't an independent clause, so the quote as a whole isn't a comma splice.

Updating with the iPhone it autocorrects to English.

This seems to make sense to me as an independent clause, although it would be clearer with a comma after "iPhone".
 

DynamicSpirit

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Changed in the body. Debated with myself over whether it should have a capital. As a noun it would definitely be England but I was not sure about English or english as an adjective.

It should have a capital because it's a word in a title! Even if you adopt the convention, which many people seem to use, of treating titles of threads as ordinary sentences, then it should still have a capital because it's the first word in the sentence. Even outside those requirements, seeing 'english language' without a capital E looks odd to me, and this seems to be confirmed by some Googling around - which suggests that English as an adjective retains its capital letter because that is general practice for adjectives derived from proper nouns (see eg. here)

So you have three separate reasons why the word 'English' in the thread title should start with a capital 'E'!
 

Barn

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Can we agree that the following things are not errors?

- split infinitives

- starting a sentence with 'and' or 'but'

- ending a sentence with a preposition

Far worse than people who make grammatical errors are people who try to hypercorrect sentences with no grammatical justification.
 

DynamicSpirit

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Does English grammar and spelling matter?

I'm not sure if the question was intended to be rhetorical, but on the assumption that you were asking that as a genuine question, I would say that it matters for several reasons:

Firstly, because, as others here have observed, not following correct grammar and spelling can introduce ambiguities in the meaning. Even when it doesn't introduce ambiguities, incorrect spelling and grammar will look unfamiliar to most people - and that will cause people to have to do a bit more mental processing when reading - so that's likely to harm communication.

Secondly, I'd say it matters because incorrect spelling and grammar is irritating and unpleasant to read for many people. To that extent, not making the effort to use correct English is likely to be inconsiderate to your intended audience (This reason is obviously most relevant if you are writing something for public consumption; it may not matter if for example you're writing a text, intended to be read by just one close friend). There is however a balance here - there is a point where being too pedantic about minor points of grammar can itself cause irritation.

Thirdly, it matters because correct spelling and grammar represents our way of keeping the language consistent, and therefore mutually intelligible to everyone. Consider for example, that we can usually read books and articles that were written 100 years ago without any real difficulty. That's because, although English has changed a little over the last 100 years, that change is relatively small - not enough to seriously hinder understanding. I would suggest that it's largely the fact that we as a society insist on following established rules - including spelling and grammar - that keeps that rate of change of evolution of the language down to a reasonable level. If no one cared about following spelling and grammar rules, then the result would be almost certainly be that how we speak and write would change much more quickly - with the result that things written or recorded 100 years ago or even more recently may well become unintelligible to many people. I think it's obvious that the economic consequences of that would not be good!

In that context, I would say that the example you quote from the National Rail Journey Planner is very regrettable. Someone needs to be told to proof-read what gets put on their website more diligently!
 
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DaleCooper

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Can we agree that the following things are not errors?

- split infinitives

- starting a sentence with 'and' or 'but'

- ending a sentence with a preposition

Far worse than people who make grammatical errors are people who try to hypercorrect sentences with no grammatical justification.

Split infinitives - I find that a sentence usually flows better and sounds more natural with a split infinitive.

Starting a sentence with 'and' or 'but' - I'm not sure about this, what I usually do if I want to start this way is to write "...and", I don't know if that's correct but it feels right.

Ending a sentence with a preposition - This is another example where I go by the sound of the sentence. I will sometimes read it out loud to to see(?) which sounds better.

Although I am a bit of stickler I am always aware that grammar and spelling are not laws of the physical universe; they are merely conventions which can, and do, change with time.
 

Groningen

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With Twitter i have a dutch grammar checker. So why is there no english on this forum.
 

Phil.

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When I was at school we were always taught to, "read through what you have written".
 

Calthrop

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TBH, I've always been surprised that it is written 'English' but pronounced 'Inglish' - as much as I'm aware that it is derived from the word 'Angle', it is nevertheless interesting that there have been, not one, but two corruptions along the line.

English pronunciation vis-a-vis spelling is indeed extremely un-phonetic -- one gathers, thanks to many changes over many hundreds of years. I recall a former work colleague who expressed puzzlement over the fact that despite the way in which "one" and "once" are spelt; they are pronounced "wun" and "wunce".

I have a friend who -- while mostly a good chap -- is an irritating, obsessive, angry / militant pedant about all aspects of English use. He also harbours some strange ideas on the subject. He tells of having attended a grammar school in England where things were very strict, hard-line and dogmatic even by the standards of the times (1950s / 60s). It would seem that some of the stuff which his teachers there metaphorically beat into him, was borderline crazy. This includes his strongly-held view that English pronunciation vis-a-vis spelling is phonetic: a view which is utterly contrary to reality.

(This same friend is able to rant heatedly for minutes on end about how in the spoken media, Northern-English pronunciations -- incorrect in his opinion -- have become de rigeur. The word "one" crops up again re this issue: he rages about how everyone on radio / television now mispronounces it Northern-wise, as "won" [like the Korean unit of currency]. If this is indeed so -- I have literally never noticed it; I tend to see it as an indication that the bloke has too much time on his hands.)
 
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