1414: "Writing Skills"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

alanbbent
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 5:46 pm UTC

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby alanbbent » Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:54 pm UTC

Fine, set up a straw man so that you can turn a thought into a discussion, and thus a comic strip. But phrases like "Why on earth is that a surprise?" turn Randall into the people are stupid guy. For crying out loud, don't treat people like idiots. As has been said above, if you say that to anyone, the last thing they will do is roll over and accept whatever you say next.

Also, I think cursive is awful and is NOT faster than swype-style phone keyboards. If my kids learn about cursive in school, I'll possibly encourage them to practice their regular penmanship instead, and I will reward bad marks on cursive assignments. Writing quickly such that nobody can read it is useless, right? So cursive is useless unless hours and hours of practice is put into it. Why learn to write two ways? Especially if it results in BOTH ways being illegible.

User avatar
Whizbang
The Best Reporter
Posts: 2238
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:50 pm UTC
Location: New Hampshire, USA

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby Whizbang » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:09 pm UTC

If people(kids these days) communicated only in text speak then maybe there would be a concern, but they don't. Maybe among their peers text speak is the default, but that is not their only source of communication. For instance, are there any websites completely in text speak? No (well, probably, but I am sure they are few). So, even if the majority of their outgoing communication was txt, they are still reading vast amounts of regular text, more so than ever before. And reading all that text will definitely influence the txt. They read English, they speak English, they write a mix of English and English-txt. Even if it becomes second nature, there will still be a translation function that must occur whenever they write or read txt. Therefore, even if they write mostly in txt, they are still composing the thought in regular English, and they are still translating the txt in their minds into regular English. Txt is just shorthand. There was never a worry that secretaries that take all their notes in shorthand would somehow become unable to write proper sentences. So why the concern that txt shorthand will somehow retard the ability to write regularly?

FYI proper grammar and spelling is a fairly recent notion, in the world of writing and language. Up until dictionaries and language textbooks, the spelling of a word was however you thought it should be spelled, and everyone spelled it differently depending on how they pronounced it. Grammar was just as localized and unstructured. In this day and age it is important that these things be somewhat regulated, to facilitate communication around the globe, but there is no reason a person can't speak/type one way with their friends and peers and another way professionally or formally. If a person can learn multiple languages, a person can certainly learn multiple slangs/dialects/shorthands of a single language.

And so I agree completely with this comic. Quantity doesn't automatically mean quality, but it does increase the likelihood of quality. If everyone spends their entire day reading and writing, even if in shorthand or slang, then they are training their brain to compose words to convey meaning, and so will be better equipped to tackle the problem of literature than someone who writes only occasionally, but in more proper grammar and spelling.

Not to mention that txt is often similar to poetry in the need to convey as much meaning and emotion in as few characters and words as possible. Txt can be very dense and clever and require a lot of brain power to compose and decode, which definitely translates well to writing rich literature.

And cursive is stupid, end of discussion. Holding onto it as a subject in school means taking time away from more useful skills or ideas. You want your kid to learn cursive? Fine, teach it to them yourself, but don't force my kids to learn it as well. They've got enough on their plate as it is.

Mirinth
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:13 pm UTC

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby Mirinth » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:12 pm UTC

CharlieP wrote:Interesting. So what is responsible for young people's poor grammar and spelling?


I think if you could go back in time and study everyone's writing throughout history, you'd find a general trend toward better writing. You'd also notice a sudden, sharp trend toward horrible writing in the recent past that we're only just recovering from (read: we're slowing it down).

In the past, most writers would come from wealthy backgrounds that could afford extensive, personalized training and tutoring to fix up any problems. There was heavy bias toward well-educated writers because the poor people couldn't afford the education and didn't need it anyway. They were busy doing manual labor for the wealthy.

Then all of a sudden, the cost of education dropped when first-world countries started subsidizing it. Now anyone can afford education (if they're in one of those first-world countries), even if they're so mentally handicapped they can't get out of bed without help.

The average person is getting smarter, and the average writer is getting more average. And that looks like they're getting dumber, because they used to look unusually smart.

User avatar
Xenomortis
Not actually a special flower.
Posts: 1397
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:47 am UTC

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby Xenomortis » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:13 pm UTC

alanbbent wrote: If my kids learn about cursive in school, I'll possibly encourage them to practice their regular penmanship instead, and I will reward bad marks on cursive assignments. Writing quickly such that nobody can read it is useless, right? So cursive is useless unless hours and hours of practice is put into it. Why learn to write two ways? Especially if it results in BOTH ways being illegible.

Interestingly, I only ever really learnt to write cursive - I was never taught to print as a form of writing.
I only learnt to write one way.

The main effect of this is that my print is possibly worse than my cursive.
And when I first tried printing, the letters all had little flicks where they would normally join.
Image

senor_cardgage
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:28 pm UTC

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby senor_cardgage » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:15 pm UTC

Khaz wrote:If that's true someone explain to me why I see "you're/your" used wrong EVERY DAY. That's not an abbreviation, it's a chronic mistake.

Sure, I'll accept that we're on average better than we used to be... but that just makes me sick over just HOW ILLITERATE people used to be on average.


Alsadius wrote:
CharlieP wrote:Interesting. So what is responsible for young people's poor grammar and spelling?


The fact that the average person's writing is pretty bad, but we don't generally see Grandma's nearly as often as little Timmy's.


This. Before I got online in the late 1990s, I never had any idea how bad people were at writing/grammar. My only exposure to non-professional/published writing was in school, where we were graded on proper grammar and spelling. Then I went online, and read adults that couldn't write a single sentence without spelling mistakes (not simple typos in the days before instant spellcheck and autocorrect, but actual, atrocious spelling).

Things that I assumed had been drilled into everyone's head (the difference between to, too and two, for example, or there vs. their vs. they're) were being written incorrectly everywhere. I had no idea that people confused then and than until I started reading stuff on the internet (or that someone could write "should of" instead of "should have"). These weren't people that grew up with texting (it would be a few years before I would even hear of the concept of sending a text message using a telephone, and one of the only mobile phones I had ever seen in person was the car phone that my wealthy aunt had). One guy I knew who always wrote "then" instead of "than" was in his 60s and retired, so you can't blame texting on that.

I figure this is similar to the myth that our world is getting more dangerous because we now have instant access to information about every bad thing that happens anywhere in the world, whereas a few decades ago, you either read the local newspaper, which gave you yesterday's (or last week's) news, or got whatever news they could fit into a 30-minute broadcast. Now that you suddenly see how bad reality is, you think it's worse because you don't remember it being like this before (in reality, it was that bad, you just didn't know about it).
Last edited by senor_cardgage on Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:11 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

senor_cardgage
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:28 pm UTC

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby senor_cardgage » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:19 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:And so I agree completely with this comic. Quantity doesn't automatically mean quality, but it does increase the likelihood of quality.


I disagree with this point. See example: news reporting.

Quantity may increase the likelihood that quality exists somewhere, but if not done properly, it actually decreases the likelihood that you'll find quality in any given output.

Western Rover
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:23 pm UTC

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby Western Rover » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:30 pm UTC

MadH wrote:http://www.researchgate.net/publication/240538622_The_Relationship_Between_Handwriting_Style_and_Speed_and_Legibility

Yeah, tell me again how cursive is faster than print. I don't see why a study like this would change over the years.

I absolutely write faster in a mixed style than either exclusively. Back when the teachers said every single thing I wrote had to be in cursive, it was absolute torture. Even though I was practicing cursive every day in my written papers, I could write faster and more legibly in semi-print so that is how I took notes.


I've got to admit, I'm surprised by the results of that study, but I can't refute it. You've given me something to think about. Certainly I personally find cursive faster (and I'm talking about hasty scribbling that is a far cry from a hand-calligraphed invitation), but that may simply be because of practice. On the other hand, I was under the impression that cursive was developed for the purpose of being faster, since the pen doesn't have to be lifted as often. But maybe the goal isn't aligned with the outcome.

Maybe with practice I will be able to use a Swype keyboard faster. I just wish Swype wouldn't use so much battery when I enable it.

User avatar
BlitzGirl
Posts: 8975
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:48 am UTC
Location: Both Present and Past...... Schizoblitz: 115/2601 NP
Contact:

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby BlitzGirl » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:31 pm UTC

bachaddict wrote:
Spoiler:
This just cries out for OTTifying! I'd do it myself if I had a better grasp of OTTish. Mine will sound like Automome compared to what a true OTTer could do.

"Weird-
Another poll found that molpies who use OTTish actually score higher on manip and filking tests."

"Why the ch*rp is that a surprise?"

"Imagine molpies suddenly start playing hotdogs literally all the Time. Everywhere they go, they throw Ongs back and forth, toss them in the air, and hurl them at baobabs and castles- nearly every waking nopix of their lives."

"Do you think their Forty will suck at Q04B because they learned goatish skills?"

"So you think a molpy will become a wowterful mome while dunejumping?"

"Have you even blitzed Blitzgirl's peoms? The phrases "Ni ni ni chupacabra ping pong ball" and "Ch*rping m*stard" appear.
If we want to write the Book of Time, our Forty may not be dunejumping enough."

"Steambottle."

Neat!

senor_cardgage wrote: Then I went online, and read adults that couldn't write a single sentense without spelling mistakes

Very meta.
Knight Temporal of the One True Comic
BlitzGirl the Pink, Mopey Molpy Mome
Spoiler:
Image
Image
Image<-Blog
~.Image~.FAQ->Image

User avatar
Introbulus
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:09 am UTC
Location: New York
Contact:

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby Introbulus » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:32 pm UTC

I feel as though a musical explanation may be in order.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aeQ3DmKU7A
If you can read this, you are wasting your time.

User avatar
Whizbang
The Best Reporter
Posts: 2238
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:50 pm UTC
Location: New Hampshire, USA

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby Whizbang » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:32 pm UTC

I always thought cursive was the result of the quill. You don't want to pick up the pen, because it will drip and make a mess.

Burton
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:39 pm UTC

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby Burton » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:47 pm UTC

alanbbent wrote:Also, I think cursive is awful and is NOT faster than swype-style phone keyboards.


This is true. I actually bought a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (the one with the stylus and hand writing recognition) because I planned on writing a lot on the subway but onscreen keyboard was too slow. Well, it didn't take long for me to figure out that my cursive hand writing on the thing is much slower than using the swype-style keyboard with the stylus. So, now I use that and I don't use the hand writing stuff at all.

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 25789
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:48 pm UTC

Western Rover wrote:Of course cursive serves a practical purpose. It's faster than printing letters by hand
This is not generally true with modern writing implements. It was better for both speed and legibility with quills and fountain pens, but I doubt that's the case with pencils and ballpoints. (I see this point was improved upon by someone above actually describing a study.)

Khaz wrote:If that's true someone explain to me why I see "you're/your" used wrong EVERY DAY. That's not an abbreviation, it's a chronic mistake.

Sure, I'll accept that we're on average better than we used to be... but that just makes me sick over just HOW ILLITERATE people used to be on average.
People write more than they used to, so of course you should expect to see more mistakes now than previously, even if the mistakes-per-word rate has decreased or remained the same.

But also yes, people in the past were more likely to be illiterate than they are today, in general.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

User avatar
orthogon
Posts: 2694
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 7:52 am UTC
Location: The Airy 1830 ellipsoid

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby orthogon » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:48 pm UTC

Mirinth wrote:
CharlieP wrote:Interesting. So what is responsible for young people's poor grammar and spelling?


I think if you could go back in time and study everyone's writing throughout history, you'd find a general trend toward better writing. You'd also notice a sudden, sharp trend toward horrible writing in the recent past that we're only just recovering from (read: we're slowing it down).

In the past, most writers would come from wealthy backgrounds that could afford extensive, personalized training and tutoring to fix up any problems. There was heavy bias toward well-educated writers because the poor people couldn't afford the education and didn't need it anyway. They were busy doing manual labor for the wealthy.

Then all of a sudden, the cost of education dropped when first-world countries started subsidizing it. Now anyone can afford education (if they're in one of those first-world countries), even if they're so mentally handicapped they can't get out of bed without help.

The average person is getting smarter, and the average writer is getting more average. And that looks like they're getting dumber, because they used to look unusually smart.

Also, continuing this trend, the drift in the West away from manufacturing towards the service sector (in terms of how many people are employed) means that a much greater proportion of people have to read and write as a significant part of their job than was the case even a decade or two ago. And even those who are still doing a basically manual job don't escape. In the past you probably only spoke on the phone or in person to your builder; now you'll almost certainly be exchanging texts and e-mails, so you get to see how good/bad their written English is. Similarly, the universal access to IT and printing means that more stuff is probably written down than used to be the case. People in catering seem to be particularly bad at writing and spelling, but in the past there simply wouldn't have been a laser-printed mistake-ridden menu in the canteen: there would have been some vats of food for me to choose from.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

User avatar
Whizbang
The Best Reporter
Posts: 2238
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:50 pm UTC
Location: New Hampshire, USA

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby Whizbang » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:48 pm UTC

Isn't a swipe keyboard just the cursive of texting, though?

User avatar
mathmannix
Posts: 1401
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:12 pm UTC
Location: Washington, DC

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby mathmannix » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:49 pm UTC

Mirinth wrote:
CharlieP wrote:Interesting. So what is responsible for young people's poor grammar and spelling?

The average person is getting smarter, and the average writer is getting more average. And that looks like they're getting dumber, because they used to look unusually smart.

This, and the fact that only good writing is generally preserved for posterity. Yes, there remains graffiti from ancient Rome that was discovered at Pompeii, but generally the only classical Latin works available to us are, well, by famous writers like Cicero and Virgil, who were known as great authors, and happened to be both well-educated and something like "upper middle-class" or higher in status. Okay, that's from 2000 years ago, but how many poor-quality English-language (or whatever language) written works are left from 200 years ago?

Now, it may be that the internet will be around forever, and thus a thousand years from now people will still be able to read all about "how is babby formed" and how "I accidentally the whole thing." But I somehow doubt it.
I hear velociraptor tastes like chicken.

User avatar
orthogon
Posts: 2694
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 7:52 am UTC
Location: The Airy 1830 ellipsoid

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby orthogon » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:51 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:Now, it may be that the internet will be around forever, and thus a thousand years from now people will still be able to read all about "how is babby formed" and how "I accidentally the whole thing." But I somehow doubt it.

By that time, we'll have completely verbs from the language, so it will seem completely normal.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

User avatar
Whizbang
The Best Reporter
Posts: 2238
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:50 pm UTC
Location: New Hampshire, USA

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby Whizbang » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:53 pm UTC

I accidentally the whole language. Is this bad?

rmsgrey
Posts: 3079
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Aug 29, 2014 5:02 pm UTC

When it comes to cursive v mostly-cursive, I'm not surprised - non-cursive require you to pick up and drop the writing implement between every consecutive pair of letters; cursive allows you to simply guide the implement's tip around the page for a whole word at a time, so rapid non-cursive writing will often have either flicks where the pen didn't leave the paper soon enough, or gaps in letters where the pen left too soon. On the other hand, while most cursive transitions are smoother than the equivalent non-cursive ones, there are some where it's easier to pick up the pen and drop it again rather than produce a smooth line.

User avatar
ShuRugal
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:19 am UTC

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby ShuRugal » Fri Aug 29, 2014 5:26 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:Isn't a swipe keyboard just the cursive of texting, though?


Hell no. The biggest difference is that as long as your swipe trail goes over enough of the letters in the word you want typed (and does so in the right order), the output is exactly the same. A sloppy pen makes for illegible cursive. A sloppy swype still spits out a legible word. A really sloppy swipe might spit out the wrong word, but it will be perfectly clear and legible (and deletable).

User avatar
Klear
Posts: 1965
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:43 am UTC
Location: Prague

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby Klear » Fri Aug 29, 2014 5:57 pm UTC

Plutarch wrote:
speising wrote:even if it's true, grammar and spelling do not make a good writer. rather a good copy editor.

the fact that someone scores well on grammar and spelling tests doesn't necessarily mean they will be any good at writing. All it means is they'd be good at copy-editing. Or pedantically pointing out grammar and spelling mistakes on the internet.


I'm convinced that my poor grasp of grammar back when I went to school is one of the things that made me a good writer - I learnt to write things in many different ways in order to avoid certain words I had problems typing correctly. Luckily my grammar improved somehow after I left school. I even worked as an editor shortly.

User avatar
Introbulus
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:09 am UTC
Location: New York
Contact:

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby Introbulus » Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:01 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
Plutarch wrote:
speising wrote:even if it's true, grammar and spelling do not make a good writer. rather a good copy editor.

the fact that someone scores well on grammar and spelling tests doesn't necessarily mean they will be any good at writing. All it means is they'd be good at copy-editing. Or pedantically pointing out grammar and spelling mistakes on the internet.


I'm convinced that my poor grasp of grammar back when I went to school is one of the things that made me a good writer - I learnt to write things in many different ways in order to avoid certain words I had problems typing correctly. Luckily my grammar improved somehow after I left school. I even worked as an editor shortly.

Recognition of a problem, while not a solution in itself, goes a long way to finding a solution.

Regular writing also probalby helped, and the fact that most english courses focus, excessively in my opinion, on grammar.

Writing exercises that avoid words or place self-imposed restrictions on you can also lead to very beautiful things.
If you can read this, you are wasting your time.

User avatar
Klear
Posts: 1965
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:43 am UTC
Location: Prague

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby Klear » Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:03 pm UTC

Introbulus wrote:Regular writing also probalby helped, and the fact that most english courses focus, excessively in my opinion, on grammar.


Oh, I never had too much trouble with English. Czech on the other hand...

xtifr
Posts: 296
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:38 pm UTC

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby xtifr » Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:49 pm UTC

Minstrel wrote:This one raised a big "correlation...causation" red flag for me.

If indeed grammar and spelling scores are higher now (and I'll assume that's true because Randall usually does his research well), maybe it's because:

* We're teaching kids better?
* The tests are different or graded differently?
* The population has shifted?


You're missing the point. The argument is not that texting improves grammar; the argument is that texting does not (contrary to some popular opinions) ruin grammar. The causation is irrelevant. Correlation may not imply causation, but a lack of correlation can often rule out any causation. And what we see here is a lack of correlation between texting and bad grammar.

Anyway, as one wit once commented: "Correlation doesn't imply causation, but it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing ‘look over there’." :)
"[T]he author has followed the usual practice of contemporary books on graph theory, namely to use words that are similar but not identical to the terms used in other books on graph theory."
-- Donald Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming, Vol I, 3rd ed.

Mirinth
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:13 pm UTC

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby Mirinth » Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:11 pm UTC

I thought of another reason for the eternal "kids these days are bad at what my age used to be good at" thing.

Parents normally want their kids to be successful, so they'll encourage their kids to imitate successful people. If the parent was successful, they'll want the kid to imitate them. If the parent believes their writing skill was part of what made them successful, they'll be after the kids to be good writers too.

Plenty of kids don't want to be exactly like their parents, though. It wouldn't be too surprising at all if those "writing made me successful" people found out their kids were way more interested in, for example, drawing than writing. Cue the complaints about how "kids these days are awful writers" and ignoring of the fact that the kid's a way better artist than the parent ever was.

Not to mention the fact that the world varies a lot. Maybe being a brilliant writer isn't as important today as it was when the parent was young. Maybe it's less important for the kid's goals than the parent's. Or the parent could have just been unusually highly motivated, exposed to heavy selection bias and suffering from an idealized past.

Mirkwood
Posts: 70
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:10 am UTC

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby Mirkwood » Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:02 am UTC

I think criticism of "texting" language, and slang for that matter, tends to miss the bigger picture. Writing and speaking skills are all about adapting to your audience in a way you find desirable. If you're a politician having a talk at an inner city school, it might be very useful to adopt some of the local vernacular, even if it would get you a bad grade on a formal essay. At the same time, if you're a politician, you should be able to communicate in the highly formalized language of law. What English teachers (at least in my experience) miss is that something is not right or wrong per se, but right or wrong in a particular context--and the context of an English class assignment is not the same context as interpersonal communication by students generally.

User avatar
Plasma Mongoose
Posts: 202
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:09 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby Plasma Mongoose » Sat Aug 30, 2014 3:51 am UTC

If I don't rush it, my cursive writing is still quite legible but the only times I do write with a pen is when I fill out forms and forms tend to want you to print your words instead of using running writing.

I suspect the main way cursive writing will survive in the future is by calligraphy becoming a popular enough hobby.
A virus walks into a bar, the bartender says "We don't serve viruses in here".
The virus replaces the bartender and says "Now we do!"

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 3910
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby Pfhorrest » Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:42 am UTC

When I was actually made to write in cursive in school, I thought the point of it was to have pretty, artistic writing, so I spent as much time was necessary to make it look really nice, cause why the fuck else are we learning this weird other way of writing? The result was I never finished any cursive projects in time, but was constantly complimented on the gorgeous quality of my writing.

Nowadays the only times I use cursive are my signature, and writing on greeting cards. For my signature, I just write a completely effortless scribble that doesn't even try to look like letters (I'm literally just scribbling like I'm testing if the pen works), except for the first and last letter of each name, with the very first one being my own distinctive variant on the cursive "F" that I also use (much more painstakingly constructed) as my personal logo. For greeting cards, I write elaborate painstakingly crafted cursive with every flourish I can think of. I would never ever even bother with cursive for actually writing down any information.

When I type, the quality of my spelling, grammar, capitalization, etc intentionally reflects my state of mind. On the computer with a real full keyboard, writing at my leisure in a calm mood... I write like you're reading now. If I'm rushed, angry, etc, i on't even bother with capitalization an fuck it if i make a mistake i don't fucking care anymore nevermind punctuation what the fuck is that and why should i care unless it's just relfexive like the apostrophe in dont back there and even then sometims who cares. and on a phone with their shitty kbs i dont bother with caps or punct and omit or shorten words when i can cuz fuck that shit.

And I interpret other people's text in the same way. If you can't write with proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and so on, I'm going to assume you are not right in the head somehow, either because you're emotionally distraught or just dumb; or else, if I have reason to think so, that you're crippled by a terrible mobile interface, in which case, like a voice call with too much interference to make out the other person, maybe we should just talk later when there's a clearer connection.
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 25789
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:17 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:If you can't write with proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and so on, I'm going to assume you are not right in the head somehow, either because you're emotionally distraught or just dumb
You're begging the question with that "can't", assuming someone isn't choosing to write that way for any of the myriad reasons we choose to use different registers in any form of communication. There are plenty of reasons not to adhere to (your personal preferred) standard English which don't amount to "can't".

For example, if you read the following and think it's because she's incoherently angry or just dumb...
bad-dominicana (on tumblr) wrote:what they are cheered on for is simply poverty tourism (coz for their types, visiting poor urban areas is what gives them cred, as if we dont fucking live there all the time), straight out plagiarism of artists of colors revolutionary images in addition to the appropriation of street art (in Obeys case and mind you he bit F.U.K.T.s line entirely too back when he first started. i cant even find links to it but if you dig you will find it) and urban cultural appropriation. shepards retort was he donates to african children and collabs w black people so he can steal as much as he wants from POC (including native american and other *tribal* prints to profit off w his clothing line).
...then I'm pretty sure it's just you who's being stupid.

Or, y'know, racist. Which is often what language-peeving amounts to, when it isn't (and often when it is) ableist, ageist, classist, or sexist.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 3910
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby Pfhorrest » Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:17 am UTC

Back to the same old "if enough people do it it stops being a mistake" bullshit. I don't want to have this argument again, especially if you're going to stoop to suggesting anyone who disagrees with you must be some kind of bigot or other.
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

sotanaht
Posts: 176
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 2:14 am UTC

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby sotanaht » Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:00 am UTC

Khaz wrote:If that's true someone explain to me why I see "you're/your" used wrong EVERY DAY. That's not an abbreviation, it's a chronic mistake.

Sure, I'll accept that we're on average better than we used to be... but that just makes me sick over just HOW ILLITERATE people used to be on average.


We may practice writing, but PROOFREADING has gone out the window.

Mental Mouse
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 1:31 pm UTC

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby Mental Mouse » Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:45 am UTC

And why would we want to write Ulysses, again? ;-) But yeah, constant practice with text. He doesn't mention the effect of autocorrect, but jokes aside, autocorrect not only shows you the right spelling of words while you're typing them, it gives mini-quizzes: "is this the proper word?" Scored by the person you're texting. :) Also, being able to correct mistakes without White-Out matters. (Remember White-Out? That was what you used to paint over errors on a typed page, before retyping and photocopying it.)

Regarding the "kids these days..." meme: America has been afraid of its kids for a long time. I've been assured by Europeans that the whole "teenage kids always rebel against their parents" is basically an American thing, and over the past few decades we've seen several generational conflicts play out -- first trying to bring the Counterculture "under control", then decrying the Yuppies as selfish and greedy, then dismissing Generation X as slackers, and lately trying to figure out how to diss the Millennials. (And it's worse when you get into the sexuality of the younger generation....)

I've heard a reasonable theory that America's fear of its children is a side-effect of deifying "progress": If everything's supposed to be getting better over time, that means the next generation is due to replace yours "any time now", and much of our last half-century's politics and culture wars have been an attempt by older generations to hold that off.

User avatar
Introbulus
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:09 am UTC
Location: New York
Contact:

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby Introbulus » Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:36 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Or, y'know, racist. Which is often what language-peeving amounts to, when it isn't (and often when it is) ableist, ageist, classist, or sexist.


You specifically chose a quote that you knew was written by a black person.

You could have chosen a less obvious source, or any other source that made heavy use of slang. This isn't an exclusively black thing.

Saying that language-peeving is 'often' racist, ableist, ageist and classist is a great disservice to each of those groups - you're saying that those groups necessarily are the groups being criticized. And you're using it as an argument against language criticism. Not defending the way they write, but using it to defend your own beliefs. This isn't born out of some sort of desire to defend their way of life. This is born out of a desire to defame the other side in any way you can, no matter who you're using as a shield.

And that, is racist, ableist, ageist and classist.
If you can read this, you are wasting your time.

JustDoug
Posts: 90
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:35 pm UTC

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby JustDoug » Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:46 am UTC

Flumble wrote:
The Chosen One wrote:Ironically, 'surprise' is misspelled in the first panel.

...or, appropriately? I don't know how much Randall sexts.

I'm all in for "suprise"; the R is silent and fuck etymology. On the other hand English is notorious for its inconsistent (when comparing sounds to symbols) spelling, so the spelling of "surprise" isn't surprising.


Only in youyr regional accent, I'll wager: the Recieved Pronounciation correct 'SUR-prize' vs 'SUH-prize' or even 'SA'=prize'. (old school no pronounciation symbols.)

User avatar
Xenomortis
Not actually a special flower.
Posts: 1397
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:47 am UTC

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby Xenomortis » Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:47 pm UTC

JustDoug wrote:
Flumble wrote:
The Chosen One wrote:Ironically, 'surprise' is misspelled in the first panel.

...or, appropriately? I don't know how much Randall sexts.

I'm all in for "suprise"; the R is silent and fuck etymology. On the other hand English is notorious for its inconsistent (when comparing sounds to symbols) spelling, so the spelling of "surprise" isn't surprising.


Only in youyr regional accent, I'll wager: the Recieved Pronounciation correct 'SUR-prize' vs 'SUH-prize' or even 'SA'=prize'. (old school no pronounciation symbols.)


RP is non-rhotic, that r is dropped.
I might keep it when speaking, my speech is more rhotic than RP (having grown up in the South-West), but it's not consistent.
Image

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 25789
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Aug 30, 2014 1:04 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Back to the same old "if enough people do it it stops being a mistake" bullshit.
Back to that bullshit about how language actually works and has always worked, you mean?

That's not even what I was getting at here, I simply took issue with your presumption that anyone not using proper grammar must be unable to do so, rather than making a conscious decision like how I'm able to consciously decide which shoes to wear when I leave the house today.

I don't want to have this argument again, especially if you're going to stoop to suggesting anyone who disagrees with you must be some kind of bigot or other.
No, you might also simply be stupid, as I clearly stated, and using bad or incomplete logic when trying to ascertain the cause of someone else's language choices.

But yes, if someone's choice to use, for example, AAVE instead of GAE makes you think they're emotionally distraught or just dumb, I'm perfectly comfortable calling you racist.

Introbulus wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:Or, y'know, racist. Which is often what language-peeving amounts to, when it isn't (and often when it is) ableist, ageist, classist, or sexist.


You specifically chose a quote that you knew was written by a black person.

You could have chosen a less obvious source, or any other source that made heavy use of slang. This isn't an exclusively black thing.
Which is why I didn't pick something in AAVE (that quote is pretty standard English, just without any punctuation and with a modicum of slang and shortenings thrown in), and why I added all those other categories as additional possibilities.

Really, I picked that example because it was one I talked about in a class recently and it came most readily to mind as an example of perfectly clear, intelligent and educated commentary that nonetheless doesn't adhere to all the standard academic rules of writing.

Saying that language-peeving is 'often' racist, ableist, ageist and classist is a great disservice to each of those groups - you're saying that those groups necessarily are the groups being criticized.
Um... no. That is not what often means, actually.

Are you emotionally distraught or just dumb? Or did you choose to ignore the meaning of my words in order to make your argument appear stronger?

Saying that peeving is 'often' those things means I'm saying that those groups often are the groups being criticized (albeit perhaps indirectly or even unknowingly)

And you're using it as an argument against language criticism. Not defending the way they write, but using it to defend your own beliefs. This isn't born out of some sort of desire to defend their way of life. This is born out of a desire to defame the other side in any way you can, no matter who you're using as a shield.

And that, is racist, ableist, ageist and classist.
You've obviously never seen anything I've ever written about language and prescriptivism before, have you? Its frequent implicit bigotry is not even remotely the only problem I have with language peeving, and I've been back and forth about this with Pfhorrest numerous times. (It is also, for example, usually anecdote-based and scientifically void, and has the effect of making writers worry about following (arbitrary made-up) rules at the expense of writing clearly and elegantly.)

And I will absolutely defend the choice of a group of people to express themselves how they wish. If this discussion were primarily about an example of language use that was typically characteristic of a racial minority, or of women, or of young people, or of people with a language-related issue like dyslexia or hearing impairment, then my responses would more explicitly be defensive. But instead I simply brought in that example as an example.

You're coming into this argument as though it were a discussion where one person claimed sandals are always universally informal footwear, and I pointed out a culture where people traditionally wore sandals to weddings, and then you jump in accusing me of "using" that culture to defend my own beliefs.

No, I am using one example of one aspect of a culture as a counterexample in this argument, and in that sense it is an example that supports my own beliefs, but that's a far cry from exploiting Black or Latino culture or the entire female gender for the sake of an argument, or whatever it is you think I'm doing here.

Mental Mouse wrote:Regarding the "kids these days..." meme: America has been afraid of its kids for a long time. I've been assured by Europeans that the whole "teenage kids always rebel against their parents" is basically an American thing, and over the past few decades we've seen several generational conflicts play out -- first trying to bring the Counterculture "under control", then decrying the Yuppies as selfish and greedy, then dismissing Generation X as slackers, and lately trying to figure out how to diss the Millennials. (And it's worse when you get into the sexuality of the younger generation....)
You sure about that?

All this current hand-wringing concern of old people about the language of texting was going on in Europe about five years before it became a thing in the US, on account of Europeans beginning to use SMS technology before most Americans did.

And teenage kids rebel against their parents in every generation of every culture, to some extent. Recent American examples may be greater than prior European ones, but old people complaining about "kids these days" has a long and robust tradition everywhere.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

User avatar
dash
Posts: 95
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:05 am UTC

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby dash » Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:50 pm UTC

The emphasis on "Why on earth is that a surprise" is unfortunate, imo. Sort of insulting. Being around that kind of person is tiring.
If my wife were a D&D character she'd be all 10's

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 25789
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:23 pm UTC

And in this particular case, where WHG never actually puts forth the kind of peeving argument Randall is obviously (and I think reasonably) addressing, it kind of seems to go against the spirit of Ten Thousand a bit.

Like, I'm obviously not above arguing (condescendingly) about grammar with people who ought to know better, but that isn't the same as insulting someone who may simply never have been exposed to the non-"kids these days"-lamenting perspective.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

User avatar
oac
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:34 am UTC
Location: Flanders

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby oac » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:08 pm UTC

Despite being an engineer myself, I'm shocked by the fetish for performance and efficiency people have on this forum... Will I continue posting? Hell yeah :D :D

project2051
Posts: 178
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:20 pm UTC

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby project2051 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 1:08 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
oac wrote:I write with fountain pens all the time. Classy as hell :)

Furthermore, in Belgium, almost anyone can write cursive. Sad evolution in the US...

Why is that sad?

Cursive serves no practical purpose and is generally speaking more difficult for other people to read, to the point of being impossible for many whose native language is in a different script.


I always hatted cursive, of course this comes from an aircraft technician who's main job was annual inspections. This meant I had to go back through the plane's maintenance logs and confirm that required maintenance had been preformed. Trying to decipher some entries was a such a pain, that and being taught lettering in 3 years of college drafting classes. So all my log entries were in all capital block lettering, because techs coming after me were not going to have to struggle to read my entries.

User avatar
addams
Posts: 9421
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC
Location: Gold Beach, OR; 97444

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby addams » Sun Aug 31, 2014 5:18 am UTC

WilliamLehnsherr wrote:Could this mean there might be a generation that can actually understand Finnegans Wake?

That is hysterical.

No. No, we will not have a generation that understands Finnegan's Wake.

Maybe, they will be living Finnegan's Wake.
Maybe, they will be writing Finnegan's Wake.

The well connected will Not be reading Finnegan's Wake.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 39 guests