How to right good*

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
Bill Duncan
Posts: 1547
Joined: March 13th, 2008, 11:33 pm

How to right good*

Postby Bill Duncan » February 20th, 2006, 2:10 pm

Many times, online, threads get sidetracked by people responding to posts that are riddled with spelling errors, or run-on sentences, or which lack punctuation. Posts written in ALL CAPS are another common cause for topic drift. To be fair to those who complain, such posts are often hard to read. Personally, the ALL CAPS thing makes my eyes ache. But Im old, and I lived through the sixties and what was the question again?

Sorry. Im back. I offer the following suggestions to all who post to the Genii message base, in the hope that all posts will be evaluated for their content and that the content is not overlooked due to easily corrected problems.

Here is my modest proposal:

Edit your messages before you post them. It is my dirty little secret that many of my own posts were composed in a word processor so that I do not embarrass myself by revealing my inability to correctly spell any word with more than three syllables. Oh damn, I just found out that dont know how to spell syllables.

In any case, virtually all personal computers used to browse the web have at least one program capable of spell checking and correcting simple errors such as forgetting to use commas and/or periods, forgetting to capitalize the first word of a sentence, or using right when you mean write as I did in the title of this message.

That last one is tricky, but heres how you do it. The spell checker wont care if you use right (correct) when you really mean write (as in type), but modern word processors offer tools to grammar check what you type. For example, in Microsoft Word 2003 (which came with my computer) I can highlight a word such as right and press Shift and F7 at the same time. When I do a list pops up on the right side of the screen showing correct, true, accurate, exact and so on. So I now know that what I really wrote is How to accurate good, which makes me feel like Dave Barry.

I do this because I want people to judge me for the content of my posts, not how well I spell. And honestly, if I didnt spell check this puppy Richard (who has a degree in English) would probably kick my sorry ass off this board for good.

Another bonus of using a Word Processor to compose your messages is that it takes a few minutes more to actually write the message, which gives you time to decide if you really want to call someone a stupid booty-head. It also allows you to save a copy of your more clever messages in case you feel nostalgic. Oh, carp. Theres another word I cant spell Im outta here.

Leave me alone. Outta is so a word! I am so going to reformat your digital ass.

Composed in Microsoft Word 2003 (Service Pack 2)
Pages 1
Words 526
Characters (no spaces) 2,338
Characters (with spaces) 2,864
Paragraphs 18
Lines 51

* A free copy of Coin, from Bill to whoever posts the name of the person whose title I used here and where his article was published. I already checked and a Google search wont answer the question correctly.

Guest

Re: How to right good*

Postby Guest » February 20th, 2006, 2:19 pm

I was thinking Ambrose Bierce, but can't remember where - maybe in a little book called "Write It Right"?

Best, PSC

Bill Palmer
Posts: 719
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Houston TX
Contact:

Re: How to right good*

Postby Bill Palmer » February 20th, 2006, 2:19 pm

There is a wonderful book about comma problems called Eats, Shoots and Leaves that anyone who writes anything should read.
Bill Palmer, MIMC

Guest

Re: How to right good*

Postby Guest » February 20th, 2006, 2:24 pm

Or could it be Bill Safire?

Best, PSC

Bill Duncan
Posts: 1547
Joined: March 13th, 2008, 11:33 pm

Re: How to right good*

Postby Bill Duncan » February 20th, 2006, 2:25 pm

Paul,
While Mr. Bierce may have used that phrase he's not the person from whom I stole it.

Though, it's not beyond possible that the author I cribbed from, cribbed from Bierce. He did attend college back east with all those intellectuals...

Didn't I already send you a copy of C,fB?

User avatar
Gord
Posts: 384
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Brampton, Ontario
Contact:

Re: How to right good*

Postby Gord » February 20th, 2006, 6:17 pm

Originally posted by Bill Duncan:
It is my dirty little secret that many of my own posts were composed in a word processor so that I do not embarrass myself by revealing my inability to correctly spell any word with more than three syllables. Oh damn, I just found out that dont know how to spell syllables.
Holy Moley, I've never thought of doing that. Brilliant. From now on expect properly spelled posts.
...
...
...
after this one.
...
...
I promise.

As for the quote, I seem to remember Steve Martin doing something, maybe a routine, possibly a short story from his book "Cruel Shoes" that sounds just like your post title.
Either that or that scene from The Simpson's where Homer goes "Ooooo, he card read good."

Gord

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 8170
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: How to right good*

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 20th, 2006, 6:39 pm

Found a couple of decent options and a good swipe from a blog

take your pick.

I'd cite the SNL writer, but the blog entry seems to better fit the Bill.

http://www.nationallampoon.com/flashbac ... egood.html

http://treygivens.mu.nu/archives/120450.php
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

cgscpa
Posts: 29
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Ashton MD

Re: How to right good*

Postby cgscpa » February 20th, 2006, 7:33 pm

Originally posted by Bill Duncan:

Edit your messages before you post them.
I have Google's Tool Bar installed on my computer. Besides doing an excellent job stopping pop-ups, it does have a spell check feature that checks spelling of text typed on any web page form. It's easy to use and great for those shorter posts.

User avatar
Gord
Posts: 384
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Brampton, Ontario
Contact:

Re: How to right good*

Postby Gord » February 20th, 2006, 7:47 pm

Originally posted by cgscpa:
Originally posted by Bill Duncan: QUOTE]I have Google's Tool Bar installed on my computer. Besides doing an excellent job stopping pop-ups, it does have a spell check feature that checks spelling of text typed on any web page form. It's easy to use and great for those shorter posts.
Well, lets give it a try.

Yep, it works. Thanks for the other hint.

Gord

Guest

Re: How to right good*

Postby Guest » February 21st, 2006, 1:35 am

Originally posted by Bill Palmer:
There is a wonderful book about comma problems called Eats, Shoots and Leaves that anyone who writes anything should read.
It's an absolute gem. A very entertaining read.

Dave

Frank Yuen
Posts: 569
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Winfield, IL

Re: How to right good*

Postby Frank Yuen » February 21st, 2006, 8:05 am

An Owed To The Spelling Checker :D

I have a spelling checker.
It came with my PC.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss stakes aye can knot sea.

Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your sure reel glad two no.
Its vary polished in it's weigh
My checker tolled me sew.

A checker is a bless sing.
It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me right awl stiles two reed,
And aides me when aye rime.

Each frays come posed up on my screen
Eye trussed too bee a joule.
The checker pours o'er every word
To cheque some spelling rule.

Bee fore a veiling checkers
Hour spelling mite decline,
And if we're lacks oar have a laps,
We would bee maid to wine.

Butt now bee cause my spelling
Is checked with such grate flare,
Their are know faults with in my cite,
Of nun eye am a wear.

Now spelling does not phase me,
It does knot bring a tier.
My pay purrs awl due glad den
With wrapped words fare as hear.

To rite with care is quite a feet
Of witch won should bee proud,
And wee mussed dew the best wee can,
Sew flaws are know aloud.

Sow ewe can sea why are dew prays
Such soft wear four pea seas,
And why eye brake in two averse
Buy righting want too pleas.

(Credit for the authorship is given to Jerry Tzar, Dean of the Graduate
School of Northern Illinois University and was published in SPELL - Society for the Preservation of English Language and Literature)

Bryan Dreyfus
Posts: 41
Joined: July 18th, 2008, 4:34 pm
Location: Indiana, U.S.A.

Re: How to right good*

Postby Bryan Dreyfus » February 21st, 2006, 9:47 am

I ask, "Why is it so important to to so precise?"

Isn't it only important that the meaning is understood.....after all i would consider this a casual conversation.

I think the people who brow beat people because of their literary skill, used or not, just haven't got anything of importance to add to the conversation so they jump onto a self made band wagon to show how intelligent they are (although not keeping on topic which would show more intelligence than pompousness (sp)) and mess up a thread to begin with.

Just my 2 cents worth and I even kept on topic.

Bryan
Bryan

User avatar
mrgoat
Posts: 4257
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Brighton, UK
Contact:

Re: How to right good*

Postby mrgoat » February 21st, 2006, 9:53 am

Found this:

As new technologies become part of everyday life, it only makes sense that the language change as well. The advent of the Industrial Revolution brought many new words into the English vernacular. The turn of the century brought many more. Just as a medieval chariot became carriage, then horseless carriage, and finally car, so too have words and concepts that were formerly the exclusive bailiwick of computer scientists and other technical professionals entered the layperson's dictionary of common words. This absorption of technical words into the language has resulted in some meanings becoming skewed. In everyday conversations unrelated to computer technology you might hear people talking about "being online" or needing "down time," things "crashing" and machinery "booting." The more terms are incorrectly used, the more the skewed meanings of the words gain legitimacy.

From here

It does seem to be the preserve of the elder folk to hark after authorititive grammer and spelling over excellent content. Like the folk at the magic circle that think you have to wear a tie and jacket and not jeans.

Presentation isn't as important as ideas to me.

Added to which, its a battle that cannot be won.

Language evolves. Writing evolves. Embrace it or die.

Melodramatic? Possibly. But true I wager.

Best

Damian

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 8170
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: How to right good*

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 21st, 2006, 10:04 am

Originally posted by mrgoat:
...Presentation isn't as important as ideas to me...
I respectfully offer a differing opinion on that matter.

We are known by our words here in cyberspace.

And as magicians we are expected to craft the reality we present.

This leaves us with nothing less or more than words with which to present ourselves and our ideas here.

As in offering food, magic or an opinion; presentation counts.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

John LeBlanc
Posts: 903
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: How to right good*

Postby John LeBlanc » February 21st, 2006, 10:48 am

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
This leaves us with nothing less or more than words with which to present ourselves and our ideas here.

As in offering food, magic or an opinion; presentation counts.
I agree with this. I believe details matter, and I think my conversations -- whether here or in person -- deserve a level of effort to get across my thoughts as clearly as possible, even when I am being obscure.

But I don't believe in beating someone about the head and shoulders with a copy of the New York Times Style book as much as I do encouraging people to be thoughtful in their replies.

Even being a smartass takes effort if you are to be artful in your approach. :)

John
http://www.escamoteurettes.com/blog/

Bill Duncan
Posts: 1547
Joined: March 13th, 2008, 11:33 pm

Re: How to right good*

Postby Bill Duncan » February 21st, 2006, 11:14 am

We have a winner. Jon correctly identified National Lampoon editor and SNL alum Michael O'Donoghue as the fellow from whom I stole my title.

Bill Duncan
Posts: 1547
Joined: March 13th, 2008, 11:33 pm

Re: How to right good*

Postby Bill Duncan » February 21st, 2006, 11:19 am

Originally posted by BryanDreyfus:
Isn't it only important that the meaning is understood.....after all i would consider this a casual conversation.
But you would be wrong Bryan. A conversation is TWO WAY. A post to a message board isn't. It's an utterance. An index card stuck on a wall at the school or grocery store... If you say something in conversation you get immediate feedback and know (or at least have some idea) if you were successful in your attempt at communcation. When you post online you don't. How many times have I read a post on The Magic Cafe that was poorly written and confusing only to later see the only response be from the author asking why no one responded? Many times.

If you don't respect what you are writing enough to do it well and clearly, how can you expect other to respect it?

You wouldn't go to a job interview without tucking in your shirt would you?

Bill Duncan
Posts: 1547
Joined: March 13th, 2008, 11:33 pm

Re: How to right good*

Postby Bill Duncan » February 21st, 2006, 11:22 am

Originally posted by mrgoat:
Presentation isn't as important as ideas to me.
Damian,

If the ideas are worth presenting, shouldn't they be shown in the best and clearest light?


Language evolves. Writing evolves. Embrace it or die.
Please explain how difficult to read sentances indicate "evolution" and not entropy.

Guest

Re: How to right good*

Postby Guest » February 21st, 2006, 12:28 pm

Originally posted by mrgoat:
Presentation isn't as important as ideas to me.
Quite so. But if someone is trying to communicate their ideas to others, then good presentation improves clarity.

If I write something that 100 people will read, I put some effort into expressing it clearly.

If 100 people are each writing something that only I am going to read, then the onus is on me to understand what they've written.

When communicating, the minority should put themselves out for the majority. That's not only to do with writing on one a forum such as this, it's a reasonable general principle.

So if one illiterate wishes to e-mail another illiterate or two and scribbles away, that's fine. But if he writes something here for 100 of us to read, the one minute that he's saved by scribbling wastes 100 minutes of our time in deciphering it. Well, 99 minutes, 'cos I no longer try to read it.

For several years on another board, I struggled to understand the text-speak posts. And then I gave up - if they wanted me to read them, they'd have made that little effort to make them easier to read. But if they were so keen to save a minute of their precious time that they couldn't be bothered to make it clear (not beautiful, not grammatically perfect, just clear), then I wasn't going to waste those extra minutes of my time that it would take me to decode their writing. But that's just me.

It's about having respect for the people with whom you're communicating.

Originally posted by mrgoat:
Language evolves.
Of course it does. New words are introduced. Some words change their meaning.

But introducing errors (such as using media as if it were a singular noun, to pluck an example from the air) is simply wrong. The argument that since enough people do it it becomes "correct" doesn't justify such an offence, any more than it would justify driving while drunk.

Dave

PS - I don't deliberately use a spellchecker. I consider them rather like using a calculator to check that 2 x 3 = 6. They accustom the brain to desuetude. But again, that's just me.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5220
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: How to right good*

Postby Bill Mullins » February 21st, 2006, 12:36 pm

Originally posted by mrgoat:
Found this:

As new technologies become part of everyday life, it only makes sense that the language change as well. The advent of the Industrial Revolution brought many new words into the English vernacular. The turn of the century brought many more. Just as a medieval chariot became carriage, then horseless carriage, and finally car, so too have words and concepts that were formerly the exclusive bailiwick of computer scientists and other technical professionals entered the layperson's dictionary of common words. This absorption of technical words into the language has resulted in some meanings becoming skewed. In everyday conversations unrelated to computer technology you might hear people talking about "being online" or needing "down time," things "crashing" and machinery "booting." The more terms are incorrectly used, the more the skewed meanings of the words gain legitimacy.
The evolution described here, along with the growing vocabulary of English, and the introduction of new words and terms or the modification of old ones, is a process by which communication is made more precise and more clear. The general sloppiness of email and board posts (lack of capitalization, punctuation, bad spelling, etc.) being criticized in this thread is just the opposite. If I want my posts to be understood, and taken seriously, it is incumbent upon me to make them understandable, and serious.

Pete McCabe
Posts: 2329
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Simi Valley, CA

Re: How to right good*

Postby Pete McCabe » February 21st, 2006, 2:11 pm

A recent study found that most people can correctly determine the tone (i.e. satirical or in earnest) of an email communication only about 50% of the time. I am sure that the figures are not appreciably higher for message board posts.

Thus it behooves us to take extra care when posting anything that is either satiric or in earnest, or anywhere in between.

Bryan Dreyfus
Posts: 41
Joined: July 18th, 2008, 4:34 pm
Location: Indiana, U.S.A.

Re: How to right good*

Postby Bryan Dreyfus » February 21st, 2006, 3:44 pm

I repeat myself. I called this a casual conversation.

So, let me conclude, a person without your perceived literaray skill level has any business comunicating to the best of his or her ability because it doesnt measure up?

I would rather muddle through a less than coherant post than to disavow someone with a valid idea or opinion.

Shame on anyone who excludes anyone from freedom of expression just because they perceive it to be less than "standard". Shades of 30's Germany.

Bryan
Bryan

User avatar
Dustin Stinett
Posts: 6893
Joined: July 22nd, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Sometimes
Location: Southern California
Contact:

Re: How to right good*

Postby Dustin Stinett » February 21st, 2006, 6:36 pm

The other day I handed my son, who is a freshman in college, some instructions I had written for him. He handed the single page back to me and said, Too many words: I need bullets.

I almost fell out of my chair; but not out of laughter. Just what in the hell are they teaching you at that school? I asked.

The question was rhetorical: I already knew the answer.

For the record: I am an ardent follower of the Dr. Edward Tufte school of information dissemination. (I always subscribed to his type of thinking, but I was unaware of his teachings until Jamy Ian Swiss turned me on to his work.) One aspect of this belief is that words are important and these days we are seeing too few of them being used. (And those being used are often used incorrectly: That includes punctuation, grammar, etc.)

There is absolutely nothing wrong with brevity as long as the clarity of the message does not suffer as a result. More often than not, however, clarity is suffering. (If you dont believe me, watch the evening news on television some night.)

The consequences of this trend, which has been dubbed by folks like Dr. Tufte as the dumbing-down of America, range from easily resolved miscommunications to (documented) incidents that have resulted in multipleand always tragicfatalities.

The simple miscommunications are usually resolved withimagine thismore words. Had the correct words, and a sufficient number of them, been used correctly at the outset, there would have been no miscommunication to correct.

The latter consequence is one from which we can only hope to learn; though, sadly, there is little evidence of that either. The attention spans of people seem to be growing smaller if what is being taught in our schools, pushed by software companies, and perpetuated by corporate tunnel-vision is any indication.

Fortunately, we dont deal with many life and death issues here. Its only the former and what lies in between these two extremes that concerns us here at the Genii Forum.

How many times have we seen posts that are so misinterpreted that they lead to flame wars? How many times have we seen posts that ask questions, but the replies, according to the person asking, do not answer the question? (Thanks for the information, but what really I need is) How many times have we read posts purposely written in vague language whose existence is meant only to stir the pot? Then the poster usually has the audacity to say, But thats not what I meant.

If youve been paying attention at all, these scenarios should sound familiar to you. Not only on this board, but virtually every message board you visit.

How do we fix it? Whine about it? Criticize it? Create a Grammar Czar position? (God forbid.)

Im not sure. I do think that one way to fix it (like many problems in this world) is for each of us to take care of our own little corner of the world. If we all did our best, theres less to worry about. I try to communicate as clearly as I can (though I am not always successful; but I do honestly try). I proofread virtually everything I write. Again, Im not always successful at catching my errors, but the point is, I try. I do this not only so I will be taken seriously (though sometimes I post things that are not at all serious, but I still want them to be clear), but I do it out of consideration for the people who might read it.

Frankly, its difficult for me to believe that someone who uses all lower or upper case letters and obviously didnt proofread the post has any consideration for those reading it. So why bother?

So, I will often ignore posts that are written in all upper or lower case with little or no punctuation, or are all but completely incomprehensible. Spelling and less than perfect grammar does not bother me as much, and I certainly cut those whose native language is not English all the slack they need. (Quite often, these folks are trying harder to communicate clearly than are some of our American brethren.)

This is not about exclusion: its about effective communication.

Dustin

John LeBlanc
Posts: 903
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: How to right good*

Postby John LeBlanc » February 21st, 2006, 7:32 pm

Originally posted by DustinStinett:
This is not about exclusion: its about effective communication.
Dustin, I think it is also about respect for the intended audience. I think it borders on hubris to expect people to read something cobbled together with one eye closed and one hand busy dialing a cell phone number.

John
http://www.escamoteurettes.com/blog/

John LeBlanc
Posts: 903
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: How to right good*

Postby John LeBlanc » February 21st, 2006, 7:37 pm

Originally posted by BryanDreyfus:
Shame on anyone who excludes anyone from freedom of expression just because they perceive it to be less than "standard".
No one is being denied freedom of expression; some of us just aren't giving them an audience. That's an important distinction to acknowledge.

Originally posted by BryanDreyfus:
Shades of 30's Germany.
Clearly, you need to get out more. That's an embarassing case of intellectual myopathy you've got going there, Bryan.

John
http://www.escamoteurettes.com/blog/

User avatar
Dustin Stinett
Posts: 6893
Joined: July 22nd, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Sometimes
Location: Southern California
Contact:

Re: How to right good*

Postby Dustin Stinett » February 21st, 2006, 7:55 pm

Originally posted by John LeBlanc:
I think it is also about respect for the intended audience.
Exactly John, which is what I tried to say in the last line of my 13th paragraph.

See? It doesn't always work no matter how hard you try!

Bill Duncan
Posts: 1547
Joined: March 13th, 2008, 11:33 pm

Re: How to right good*

Postby Bill Duncan » February 21st, 2006, 8:09 pm

Originally posted by Bryan Dreyfus:
I repeat myself. I called this a casual conversation.
To which I repeat, a conversation is two way. A series of posts may become something like a conversation, but it also may not. And if the goal is to start a conversation, making it hard to read the post does not help that goal. If the goal of the post is to provide information, making it hard to read defeats that goal as well.

So, let me conclude, a person without your perceived literary skill level has any business communicating to the best of his or her ability because it doesnt measure up?
What I wrote was:
from the original post:
I offer the following suggestions to all who post to the Genii message base, in the hope that all posts will be evaluated for their content and that the content is not overlooked due to easily corrected problems.
I know full well that there are very smart people out there who cant write worth beans. But there are many problems that can easily be corrected, and if the writers goal is to be read they can, with very little extra effort.

I would rather muddle through a less than coherent post than to disavow someone with a valid idea or opinion.
Most people just dont bother reading posts that require effort. Heck, many folks dont even bother reading all the posts in a long thread. Just look at the number of times where someone asks a question, someone else answers it and then the thread goes on for a few posts and someone else answers with the same answer that was already given Again, its about communicating and the harder it is to read what you write the less attention your words will get.

Shame on anyone who excludes anyone from freedom of expression just because they perceive it to be less than "standard". Shades of 30's Germany.
Again, my post was based in the hope that people could better express themselves and that more people would actually read what folks wrote. Im sorry that being in favor of more clarity in communication makes you think Im a Nazi. That communication was very clear.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5220
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: How to right good*

Postby Bill Mullins » February 21st, 2006, 9:03 pm

Originally posted by BryanDreyfus:
Shades of 30's Germany.
Godwin's Law !

Guest

Re: How to right good*

Postby Guest » February 22nd, 2006, 1:52 am

Originally posted by BryanDreyfus:
Shame on anyone who excludes anyone from freedom of expression just because they perceive it to be less than "standard".
Quite so. If I can understand it, I'll read it.

But if I can't, I won't.

I don't refuse to read something on the grounds that it fails to conform to some perceived standard. I decline to read something which is hard work to read, when that hard work for me (and all its other intended readers) could have been avoided by an extra minute's effort by its author.

Originally posted by DustinStinett:
Spelling and less than perfect grammar does not bother me as much.....
Quite so. They don't make it hard work to read.

Originally posted by DustinStinett:
.....and I certainly cut those whose native language is not English all the slack they need. (Quite often, these folks are trying harder to communicate clearly than are some of our American brethren.)
Indeed. I often notice that such writers apologise for their bad English, when in fact their writing is far better than many.

Take a moment to think how most of us would fare on a magic forum in another language.

Originally posted by John LeBlanc:
I think it is also about respect for the intended audience. I think it borders on hubris to expect people to read something cobbled together with one eye closed and one hand busy dialing a cell phone number.
I couldn't have put it better.

Dave

User avatar
NCMarsh
Posts: 1222
Joined: February 16th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Devant, Wonder, Richiardi, Benson, DeKolta, Teller, Harbin, Durham, Caveney, Ben, Hoy, Berglas, Marceau
Location: Orlando, FL
Contact:

Re: How to right good*

Postby NCMarsh » February 22nd, 2006, 10:05 am

Here is the text of the Wikipedia entry on Godwin's Law (cited above by Bill Mullins -- I couldn't get the link to work):

Godwin's Law (also Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies) is an adage in Internet culture originated by Mike Godwin on Usenet in 1990 that states:

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.

There is a tradition in many Usenet newsgroups that once such a comparison is made, the thread in which the comment was posted is over and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress.

It is considered poor form to raise arbitrarily such a comparison with the motive of ending the thread. There is a widely recognized codicil that any such deliberate invocation of Godwin's Law will be unsuccessful.
Best,

N.

User avatar
mrgoat
Posts: 4257
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Brighton, UK
Contact:

Re: How to right good*

Postby mrgoat » February 22nd, 2006, 10:16 am

Originally posted by Bill Duncan:
Originally posted by mrgoat:
Presentation isn't as important as ideas to me.
Damian,

If the ideas are worth presenting, shouldn't they be shown in the best and clearest light?


Language evolves. Writing evolves. Embrace it or die.
Please explain how difficult to read sentances indicate "evolution" and not entropy.
a) Possibly, but on the internet I suggest that presentation is not as important as content. I prefer a two line great idea to a 289712 line post from Mr R. (No offence)

b) I didn't find it hard to read. I think (and I have no idea of your age or online experience) that older people with less 'geek' skills will find internet based shorthand harder to comprehend. As more and more people use this style of writing, those that find it harder to read will eventually give up thorugh a lack of comprehension.

It is my belief this *will* happen - if it is liked or not.

Not saying I prefer it, like it or anything like. Just think there ain't no stopping it.

John LeBlanc
Posts: 903
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: How to right good*

Postby John LeBlanc » February 22nd, 2006, 10:17 am

I used to invoke Gowin's Law, too, until I met two Holocause survivors and heard their stories first hand. I've long been a student of history and, particularly, the two world wars. I always took the Nazi atrocities seriously, but from that day forward, I decided I would go out of my way to avoid marginalizing that horror.

Just my opinion, nothing more.

John
http://www.escamoteurettes.com/blog/

User avatar
mrgoat
Posts: 4257
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Brighton, UK
Contact:

Re: How to right good*

Postby mrgoat » February 22nd, 2006, 10:18 am

Originally posted by Dave Le Fevre:

For several years on another board, I struggled to understand the text-speak posts. And then I gave up
QED

Evolve or die.

Eventually everyone will be speaking a language you struggle to understand. Yet the people speaking it find it east to understand. And your chosen manner of communication will seem as old fashioned as the language of the French Court in the 16th century does now.

User avatar
mrgoat
Posts: 4257
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Brighton, UK
Contact:

Re: How to right good*

Postby mrgoat » February 22nd, 2006, 10:20 am

Originally posted by DustinStinett:
Originally posted by John LeBlanc:
[b]I think it is also about respect for the intended audience.
Exactly John, which is what I tried to say in the last line of my 13th paragraph.

See? It doesn't always work no matter how hard you try! [/b]
Maybe if you were more concise?

;)

User avatar
mrgoat
Posts: 4257
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Brighton, UK
Contact:

Re: How to right good*

Postby mrgoat » February 22nd, 2006, 10:28 am

NB This seems to have got a little heated, with references to Nazi Germany etc. I just was meant to make you think a little, that's all. I cannot understand the kids in the street in Hayes where I work - near Heathrow. I cannot go p to them and demand they speak with recevied pronunciation. So I cannot understand them.

Wha' gowin' on? Fo' shizzle mah nizzle. I and I is keepin' this [censored] real. Yo' gonna hit me up with a nickle bag of your chronic [censored]?

etc

A chat about this can be kept calm and less heated surely?

Or am I just misreading things like 50% of people?

:)

Damian

Guest

Re: How to right good*

Postby Guest » February 22nd, 2006, 1:46 pm

Originally posted by mrgoat:
Originally posted by Dave Le Fevre:
[b]
For several years on another board, I struggled to understand the text-speak posts. And then I gave up
QED

Evolve or die.[/b]
That's fair comment - text-speak has become a form of communication.

I should have been more precise - I meant text-speak-like, rather than text-speak. Yes, those posts used text-speak symbolism (such as "c u m8" for "See you, mate". But they were, in addition, illiterate to a point of incomprehensibility. I can understand "c u m8". I cannot understand an unpunctuated stream of assorted ASCII characters.

And I do take your point about evolve or die. I dislike text-speak, but when I have to read it, I do so and I understand it. And I suppose that I could write it (shudder). Which would appear to be more than can be said for many text-speakers when they're asked to communicate in non-text-speak (or English, as it's known).

Dave

Bill Duncan
Posts: 1547
Joined: March 13th, 2008, 11:33 pm

Re: How to right good*

Postby Bill Duncan » February 22nd, 2006, 2:04 pm

Originally posted by mrgoat:

b) I didn't find it hard to read. I think (and I have no idea of your age or online experience) that older people with less 'geek' skills will find internet based shorthand harder to comprehend. As more and more people use this style of writing, those that find it harder to read will eventually give up through a lack of comprehension.
For the record, I'm old: 48. And I've been on the 'net since before Bill Gates was. I'm a computer geek by trade and choice; a systems engineer and a Perl Hacker.

I read and write geek fluently.

And contrary to what you may think, corporate America will continue to hire and promote people who can write over people who won't take the time. Clear communication is even more important in an online world, because you don't get a chance to correct an error that would have passed in conversation.

John LeBlanc
Posts: 903
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: How to right good*

Postby John LeBlanc » February 22nd, 2006, 3:16 pm

Originally posted by Bill Duncan:
And contrary to what you may think, corporate America will continue to hire and promote people who can write over people who won't take the time. Clear communication is even more important in an online world, because you don't get a chance to correct an error that would have passed in conversation.
For a number of years I conducted technical interviews for a top headhunter group. There were lots of brilliant programmers who lost out on six-figure positions because they didn't find it worth the effort to communicate appropriately for the corporate world.

But at least no one's stepping on their right to free expression! (Or at least lower-pay expression.)

John
http://www.escamoteurettes.com/blog/

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 8170
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: How to right good*

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 22nd, 2006, 5:49 pm

Any interest in a communication skills 101 thread?

Topics might include how to ask for clarification and how to rephrase ideas in terms that other forum members use.

Perhaps we could explore closed versus open ended questions as well.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

User avatar
mrgoat
Posts: 4257
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Brighton, UK
Contact:

Re: How to right good*

Postby mrgoat » February 23rd, 2006, 5:02 am

Originally posted by Bill Duncan:
Originally posted by mrgoat:

b) I didn't find it hard to read. I think (and I have no idea of your age or online experience) that older people with less 'geek' skills will find internet based shorthand harder to comprehend. As more and more people use this style of writing, those that find it harder to read will eventually give up through a lack of comprehension.
For the record, I'm old: 48. And I've been on the 'net since before Bill Gates was. I'm a computer geek by trade and choice; a systems engineer and a Perl Hacker.

I read and write geek fluently.

And contrary to what you may think, corporate America will continue to hire and promote people who can write over people who won't take the time. Clear communication is even more important in an online world, because you don't get a chance to correct an error that would have passed in conversation.
Didn't realise we were dicussing resumes.

:)


Return to “General”