Thursday, December 01, 2005

English and Bloggers

Time and again, mostly by professional writers who blog, have pointed out how awfully most of the bloggers write. Bloggers don't care about grammatical mistakes, typing mistakes, punctuations, have-has-had, Plural-singular, 's . Which is quite true, I would say. Many bloggers, I believe, started writing only after they started to blog. I don't remember writing anything since my Class-X English paper, but for the tons of emails that have done more harm to our writing skills than 4 years of engineering could have done. We started neglecting even capital letters to start a sentence, writing i in capital, an interrogation mark, what!!!

I ran a "ctr+f" for the word wierd (not weird) and yes I got two of those on my blog. More often this are typing mistakes, not having learnt typing via the lazy fox route, we often type O for I or P, I have written "fpr" in place of for many a times. Grammar! well, many of us are indeed poor in grammar. Problem could be, not enough of grammar in the curriculum or the habit of reading just the story in a book not the language. I would have mastered the intricacies of English Grammar, I was indeed privately tutored by a great teacher, famous for his peculiar way of teaching, but he died after the second lesson. May his soul rest in peace. This teacher, who used to stay a few houses away from mine, had quit a teaching job to coach anyone and everyone and "make them better than MAs in English grammar", he used to say. He used to give his own degree sans the certificates, and introduced me to other students who will complete his MA or BA. Mind you one had to begin at scrath. But he was already old when I was old enough to attend his class, and he expired as we started the basics. I didn't take a private lesson after that, and resorted to gorging on Sidney Sheldon, Harrold Robbins and Louis L Amour for the story of course. I was such a sucker for a good story, and by the age of 13-14 there was no "Novel" in any best seller list I haven't read, from Ken Follet, Archer, Grisham just name it. For the story, of course. And, I never learnt Grammar.

And of course there is someone else to blame for my grammar. Remember, Raj Bapna. The Indian mail order guru of How to read faster. Well, I had subscribed to his read fast technique, and eversince I read his course on "how to read fast", my formative years were spent counting how many words I read in the last minute. I still do it, his technique of reading sentences in glance, reading 4-5 words at a glance. That way one end up reading just the story, and that have trickled down to writing as well. You must have seen that many times I miss out very crucial words froma sentence. "How did I ____ it"? I sometimes write with a missing miss.

And, since we are not used to copywriting or editing, we just press the publish button and forget about it. I have corrected my posts many a times. In fact I have had to edit some posts 4 or 5 times. We, the non-writers, always happen to miss or ignore those small mistakes, but imagine a Copy writer or an editor or a proof readers who earns a living by doing just that. To their trained eye, a "wierd" stands out like a puss filled sore thumb. We non-writers of course don't even notice where it is wrong. And I bet some people are still wondering...

Not your fault friend, it is the human brain.


I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod actulaly uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer inwaht oredr the ltteersin a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos notraed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt!


We just know how to read. If all of us start to write and edit as well as the professional writers, their jobs will be in danger. So we blog some, we work some. BTW, I still haven't editted my post today though I was a little more careful as I wrote it.(or is it carefull)

Also read these definately...
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Update:
But seduction, to me, isn’t making someone do what they don’t want to do. Seduction is enticing someone into doing what they secretly want to do already. More here

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31 Comments:

Blogger Casablanca said...

Hey, blogging allows us all to be writers without the pretences... and I love that :)

Great post! The human brain, and languages, both continue to amaze me...

1/12/05 11:59 AM  
Blogger Rita said...

Hmmm...I think that an occasional spelling mistake is pardonable. But I do not support writing paragraph after paragraph in atrocious, SMS English. Come one, typing out a post is easier that keying in an SMS.
Maybe my hatered for SMS English comes from being an English literature major.

1/12/05 3:00 PM  
Blogger Soumyadip said...

The job that I do requires me to find faults in the work that others dish out. I too had avoided writing for a year and a half into my present job - then happened to start a blog of my own. But in every third or fourth post some anonymous reader does point out an error or the other without fail.

1/12/05 5:31 PM  
Blogger The Comic Project said...

The grammar adds another layer to communication, and in some cases, makes things interesting. What is grammatically correct does not necessarily sound good. I try to write without grammar checks - just based on what I "feel" sounds right. It makes the writing more informal, which is what blogging should remain rather than becoming serious business. Blogging is like writing by the man on the street, who just expresses his thoughts without much concern about relevance. Do remember that the moment a blog becomes formal, it is no more than a newspaper - opening itself up to some or the other censorship. The grammar, or the lack of it, actually makes a great decoy for a wannabe journalist who wants to escape the trappings of censorship. Phew!! Long para.

1/12/05 5:43 PM  
Blogger Wacky Vin said...

Thank god you brought up this point, forget about writing a blog, I would not have been got married if my wife could know about my spelling and grammar. So what? Blog is about thoughts. Should I stop thinking because my thoughts have spelling mistakes?

1/12/05 6:23 PM  
Blogger visithra said...

writers have editors and rewrites - we don't even self edit. so thats a lot of difference ;)

love the quote you've added ;)

2/12/05 7:18 AM  
Blogger Sinfully Pinstripe said...

That's an excellent post. Says it exactly the way it is.

For most readers though, it is a bit of a mindset issue. So if a blog has very innovative and original viewpoints, but atrocious grammar... the mind immediately focusses on the bad-grammar bit, and the viewpoint just tends to pass the reader by.

2/12/05 11:36 AM  
Blogger anthony said...

@ Casablanca: Oh yeah and if we start proofreading, the proofreaders would be out of jobs eh.. and moreover it is suppose a personal space..

2/12/05 5:38 PM  
Blogger anthony said...

@ Rita: Oh, so you are an english major.. our grammar shamar must be like a sore thumb to you eh.. but yeah, the smsing has taken its toll, Nowadays I try to be more conscious as I write

2/12/05 5:39 PM  
Blogger anthony said...

@ Soumyadip, or maybe we are too used to MS word's auto correction lol..

@ TCP: so true, like,"Winston tastes good like a ccigarette should"
Ain't no fun writing with grammar huh!! and yeah, so true the imformal touch gives us the uniqueness.. the last line was so true.

@Vin... lol, so you think with spelling mistakes. thats funny, and i am glad your wife did marry you..
@ Yes Visithra, I don't even write on MS word. i use editplus or notepad. And the the quote is is link from waiterrant, if you followed the link. a very interesting site.

@ SP: But non pro-writers hardly notices them I believe. or maye some does. I have seen people vanishing from my blog after they my awful gramar and spellings..

2/12/05 5:46 PM  
Anonymous Sue said...

Excellent post and great topic!

A well-edited post, with perfect grammar and no typos, is a joy in itself. But then how many of us can afford the luxury of spending so much time on a blog entry? I used to be a stickler for grammar and spellings, until I started blogging. But I totally admire bloggers who find the time and discipline to edit well.

3/12/05 1:00 AM  
Blogger anks said...

What I like about blogging is that I can write without the pressure of being a writer.... i can ramble and rant without making a point!

3/12/05 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Gemini Girl said...

:) i started bloggin b4 like 2-3 yrs :P and its been fun. i only read sidney sheldon till now..

3/12/05 12:45 PM  
Blogger Alien said...

Nice place I stumbled upon.. N I think I will be back again..

Feel free to drop in at my place too..

3/12/05 4:04 PM  
Anonymous runa said...

Hi.. I always wanted to visit the blog with the TinTin picture in it but then forgot :( Thanks for visiting my blog. And I guess even I am guilty of using bloggy and sms-ey grammer while writing english. do drop by again.

3/12/05 7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as basic grammar is correct, I think its ok for bloggers to be the way they are..that's what blogging is all about. I think the others are making too much out of their own English language knowledge! Arrogance without substance!

- DJ

4/12/05 8:11 PM  
Blogger silverine said...

I was a Copywriter during college days. I know the tension of missing a spelling mistake and or grammatical mistake. So my blogs is a free-for-all-zone. I care a damn about spellings or grammar :))

4/12/05 9:41 PM  
Blogger Alien said...

Do u mind if I link your page from mine???

4/12/05 11:28 PM  
Blogger anthony said...

@ Sue: Oh yes sue, a well written postis always a joy to read.. Which is one reason why some people keep going back to the blog.

@ Anks: With complete abandom eh.. thats so true.

@ GG: I can recite all of siddney like some people do shakespeare lol..

@ Alien thx for dropping by Alien. I been to ur place. Will read up ur achives...

@ Runa: SO here you are at last. LOL. thankx for visiting..

5/12/05 9:36 AM  
Blogger anthony said...

@ DJ: DJ Sahaab, yaar I still think we can make a movie without financing from DUBAI. I [lan to use paypal donate.. But of course you write so well. Always a pleasure to read your posts.

5/12/05 9:39 AM  
Blogger anthony said...

@ Silverine: Ah! so thats the secret of your work. I often wonder how you write so well. A copy writer indeed. Free-for-all.. huh! I find ur posts to be quite flawless and Funny, very humorous

5/12/05 9:41 AM  
Blogger anthony said...

@ Alien: It will be my pleasure. be my guest

5/12/05 9:42 AM  
Blogger Accidental Fame Junkie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5/12/05 2:41 PM  
Blogger Accidental Fame Junkie said...

I have always thought that any post should not have spelling or grammar errors but yes, there have been times when I slipped. But by and large, since there is so much freedom in publishing a post, that we bloggers need to take the responsibility to make sure there are no errors. You could say I'm on the editor/copyeditor side of this arguement.

PS: Sorry for deleting the comment but I can't stand spelling errors staring back at me!

5/12/05 2:43 PM  
Blogger anthony said...

@ AFJ: Oh, yeah I do understand. To a trained eye, a bad spelling or grammar will be stand out quite prominantly.. But when one is typing, it just happens and one hardly has the time to edit... one more blog to hop than to edit!

5/12/05 3:54 PM  
Blogger Arz000n said...

I neva write directly in the COMPOSE section of the blog. GOD has given me nice looking OFFICE 2003, which comes with in-built grammar and spelling check engine. I make full use of it....

And yes...same here..I neva wrote antyhing (wrote mails thuogh...but they were for ma close friends), to be put online...blog is the first time I realised that I can write something atleast.

I used to hate Essay writing while in school :)

5/12/05 5:22 PM  
Blogger anthony said...

-
@ Arz000n: I didn't hate it, but I nwever got the chance after school and was too lazy to write..

6/12/05 9:44 AM  
Blogger Aishwarya Rai said...

I have come 1st in dictation in my class. If there was grammer test then also I think I would have come first only.

7/12/05 4:33 AM  
Blogger WA said...

I know I make too many mistakes in my posts, but just can't be asked to read everything again. Not good not good at all. Shall make more of an effort in 06 :D

8/12/05 7:14 PM  
Blogger anthony said...

@ Ash: I know Ash.. you are the most perfect woman in the world afterall.. I am such a fan of urs...

WA: Nice new yr resolution

9/12/05 9:38 AM  
Blogger anthony said...

grammar - i dont use it. in my blog that is.
Bem | Homepage | 12.01.05 - 10:36 am | #

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am glad i have company..i see that u write everythin in small caps
tony | Homepage | 12.01.05 - 12:06 pm | #

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grammer shammer I say and spelling welling too! the only ones who crib about that crap are the pathetic aspiring writers - I yam an unpretentious blogger, I blog at the end of a hard days work and to hell with niceties and spell check function , kya?

Oh liked the wait person blog link
Gypsy nan | Homepage | 12.01.05 - 5:50 pm | #

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well, it's a thought provoking blog. but the spelling and grammatical mistakes increase because of the computer medium. and it's always easy to blame one's keyboard for his fault.....
dwaipayan | Homepage | 12.02.05 - 1:28 pm | #

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very interesting analysis... ! but dont worry, every one is getting used to this type of grammar. one fine day...it will be grammar.!
hul | Homepage | 12.02.05 - 6:02 pm | #

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I try to be as Perfect as i can in Grammer, but cant override the speed at which i can have typos in my post! :P

Ektz.

ps. Please update ur links, i have moved to a personal server. Http://ektapaneri.com.

ps2. Checked ur links to see if u have changed it already or not. and came to see that my name link doesnt show any URL!!! wow!!
Ektz | Homepage | 12.04.05 - 6:48 pm | #

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@ gypsynan: And just imagine having to blog with a constant alert that the boss might might be looking over the shoulder. LOL, or to blog a few minutes beofe I catch the company bus...

And waiterrant is my fav blog

@ Dwaipayan: I blame MS word for that. I have now stopped writing on MS word.. And i sue dictionary.com for checking if i have a doubt. MS
word is oh so habit forming.. Thx for droppin by

@ HUL: That will be the day huh...

@ Ektz: At your service mme. Have updated the same.. an of course you write so well, even at ur speed.. :-D
tony | Homepage | 12.04.05 - 11:27 pm | #

4/1/06 11:14 AM  

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