Another Pet Peeve

Lounge By Sugarflowers Updated 7 Sep 2009 , 12:57pm by poohsmomma

Sugarflowers Posted 21 Jun 2009 , 5:17pm
post #1 of 109

I'm pretty sure this has been discussed before, but I couldn't find it. Anyway, is the lack of capitalization and punctuation a pet peeve of any one else? It drives me batty! The sentences seem to go on for the longest time with no discernible point. Is it really so hard to type in correct sentences using basic grammar structure?

Sometimes I get messages in other languages that have to be translated and the translator doesn't even know what was written because there are sometimes no spaces between words, no punctuation, etc.

Sorry for the rant. I'm just a little frustrated.

108 replies
indydebi Posted 21 Jun 2009 , 5:25pm
post #2 of 109

We are avid readers in our house (I'm a speed reader) and I'm a trained adult literacy instructor, so yes, it irritates me also. I honestly cannot understand how anyone manages to NOT know how to read. I know it happens .... I just can't comprehend how.

As someone who has been in the position of reviewing resumes and hiring people, it's amazing to me the lack of basic grammar that I've seen and much of it from college grads.

I believe much is attributable to the texting generation and on-line chats ..... actual "writing" has become a lost art and taken a back seat to technical shorthand.

I had one friend say to me that it's not important that her sons learn to spell because everything can be run thru spell check. I said, "One, I had to trash a thousand forms I had printed at the print shop for my office because spell check didn't notice that I had "doe snot" instead of "does not" in the memo. Two, when your sons are filling out job applications, I doubt the HR secretary will allow them to use her computer to spell check the app for them."

And please PLEASE hit the return/enter key once in awhile! It's hard on the eyes to read a HUGE paragraph of info.

Mensch Posted 21 Jun 2009 , 5:29pm
post #3 of 109

Count me in on all of the above.

Paragraphs without punctuation which are five inches long on the screen. Sheesh, by the time I've finished reading it I'm all out of breath.

Actually, I don't even read those posts anymore. If the writer has so little respect for him/herself and his/her readers... well, why should I waste my time?

That said, the occassional typo doesn't bother me, or if the writer obviously does not have English/American as a native language.

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 2:45am
post #4 of 109

I agree with the above as does my Mother in law. She's a court reporter and she's always on top of that stuff.

While we're on the topic of kids not learning how to spell because of the job interview example, can I bring up the related issue of presentation at an interview? My company just hired on a handful of teenagers for the summer, and every single one of them showed up for the interview and first day orientation in jeans. And not only jeans, but ripped jeans.

Seriously, their parents have never bought them a pair of khakis? And please don't try to tell me that perhaps they couldn't afford it. I saw the brand name labels on those "distressed" jeans. They could afford a single pair of black pants from Target.

bigsisof3kids Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 2:50pm
post #5 of 109

So true on all of the above!

Before I got accepted to go to culinary school, all the applicants had to be interviewed by the chefs. So there were probably 100 or so (I'm really bad at guesstimating) people in this room, and they would call our name one by one to be interviewed. Well, I bet only 1/3 of us even tried to dress nice. It was terrible. You really think you're going to be chosen if you have ripped jeans hanging so low we can see your boxers, and some dark skull-and-crossbones tshirt? Really? (WOW I sound a lot older than I really am! icon_smile.gif )

A lot of my friends kind of make fun of me, jokingly, about my meticulous grammar. I'm always correcting them on their English, lol. And when I text, I still use that good grammar, and punctuation. Takes me longer, but I hate when I have to try and decipher someone's text. "U txt me l8r, K?" , etc. Drives me nuts.

And yes, when I see a post on here that is really long, with no breaks in between, I usually don't read it, especially if it's mostly run on sentences. On the other hand, if it is written well, I read it even if it IS really long.

Ahhh, I feel better now, thanks for bringing this up!

cakes22 Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 6:03pm
post #6 of 109

I agree too. But I am a horrible speller and I rely on spell check for everything.

Regarding job interviews: I think dressing nice for an interview says a lot about the person. I haven't been on one in a while, but I thought that at least some effort would reflect interest. I often look at kids who have those earrings that stretch there earlobes, and wonder what they are going to do for a living and what they are going to look like at the age of 60?


Vowels are like endangered species, they are on the way out because of texting. I try to decipher my DD's texts and I do alright, but sometimes I get confused when the letters & numbers get mingled together. Out of her friends parents, my DH & I are the only ones who text, or I should say who know how to text. I gotta get me one of those phones with the full keyboard, I hate pushing the #'s to get to the letter I need.
Oh well...........

Remember when cell phones were like the motorola brick? Or when car phones were actually attached to the car and you had that little curly-cue antenna?

JaeRodriguez Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 8:05pm
post #7 of 109

I agree as well but I have gotten so lazy from texting and facebooking that I have to remind myself to type correctly! I worked with middle school kids and high school kids that are so bad at spelling half the time I couldn't understand their text messages to me. I have seen so many wrong spelled words it would make your head spin! One that comes to mind is "pretty", They type perrty, perty, prety, parety...

My sister is in school to be a teacher and my friend is a teacher as well and both of them have said repeatedly that they are not allowed to take points off for spelling anymore, how crazy is that! It frustrates them to no end.

Like I said I have to make a concious effort to type "I" instead of "i" and I do think that my typing laziness has affected my spelling somewhat too but being a product of the technological generation is not a good excuse! Especially because my career path is medical transcription, haha. :]

mcaulir Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 4:42am
post #8 of 109

It's not just kids. So many adults have no idea either. I'm a teacher and have actually had parents tell me, "I never knew how to use punctuation, so it doesn't matter if little Johnny doesn't know either." Argh!

'Doe snot' Ha ha ha! Can I use that one in my it-is-important-to-learn-how-to-spell rants?

People who cannot spell: it's 'supposed to' and 'used to', not 'suppose to' and 'use to'; 'could have' not 'could of'; the effect is lovely and things affect the taste; 'a lot' is two words; it's is short for it is, its belongs to it; etc etc etc.

Once a year, we have 'Badly-used Punctuation Month' in my classroom where the students find examples on public signs, the local newspaper etc for prizes. I had to ban one student because he found so many that he was clearing out my prize box.

Of course, ignore all of the above for speakers of English as their second language.

There, my rant for today is done. Now my husband won't have to put up with it. icon_lol.gif

sinstl Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 6:23am
post #9 of 109

I hate the misuse of apostrophes. For example, a sign that says "book's" instead of "books". If I see something like this I start to rant, "What does the book own?" And then my husband tells me I'm a weirdo, but I just can't stand it. Oh, and I still spell everything correctly when I'm texting, no abbreviations.

saffronica Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 9:46am
post #10 of 109

Amen, amen, AMEN! I try not to be a grammar snob, but it's hard. When my three-year-old uses improper grammar, I repeat her statement (or something similar) using proper grammar. She picks up on it eventually, and I am able to avoid criticizing her. I try it with adults, too, but they don't catch on as fast! It drives me crazy when people go on and on about having "fondue" on their cakes. I understand that they don't know anything about it, but after they've heard me say "fondant" forty times, you'd think they'd get the idea!

When I was deciding on a preschool for my daughter, I was amazed that EVERY SINGLE ONE sent me an information packet full of typos, improper grammar, poorly worded sentences, etc. These are the people teaching my child, and they can't even get it right?! No wonder so many people struggle with grammar!

mcaulir Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 10:06am
post #11 of 109

sinstl - You are my long lost soul-mate! I constantly irritate all those around me by ponting out apostrophe errors! My worst recently was a footwear shop that had signs obviously made by the same company: "Mens sport shoes" "Men's casual shoes" "Mens' work shoes".

At least get it wrong all the time! Three signs, three different ways! Don't they realise they can't all be correct? (Insert me pulling hair out)

saffronica - I am the weird nut at my school for knowing how to punctuate. I have had to 'un-teach' incorrect things that teachers from previous years have taught students, and spent hours one day trying to make the comments in another teacher's report cards resemble something that could go out to parents. He had written 'studdent' in nearly all his reports and used 'to' and 'too' as though there was no difference.

Heaven help his students.

costumeczar Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 12:45pm
post #12 of 109

I have a list in my office of misspellings and malapropisms that I've heard that amuse me. Things like "if that brings him some solstice in his life, that's great." (instead of "solace," get it?)

My favorite misspelling was on a filing cabinet in an office I worked in. This was in Massachusetts, where the word "drawer" is pronounced "draw." So naturally, someone had written "This draw is broken, do not use" and hung the sign on the cabinet.

I once called the local news station during a blizzard to tell them that it was spelled "inclement" weather, not "inclimate" weather, and that they should change the crawl on the bottom of the screen that they'd put up to announce school closings. About 5 minutes after I called, it changed! My contribution to literacy...

I have to say, also, that I can't type, so if I miss something while I'm proofreading, I plead the 5th.

costumeczar Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 12:49pm
post #13 of 109

There was a book written a few years ago called Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, by Lynne Truss. (it had a picture of a panda on the cover to go along with the title.) It addresses this very subject, so if you feel alone in your annoyance you should get it.

indydebi Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 1:14pm
post #14 of 109

I called a radio station once to tell them to pass on to their news reporter who reported a person "....had been sentenced to die for a 2nd time", that a person cannot die a second time. They can be sentenced, for a 2nd time, to die .... but they cannot be sentenced to die twice. Once you're dead, you're dead.

I wish I could remember what it said, but I saw a big billboard for one of those cheap car insurance companies with a grammatical error. Ironically, it also had Albert Einstein as the "promotoer" of the product. Einstein using poor grammar. The irony of ironies.

-Tubbs Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 4:14pm
post #15 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

There was a book written a few years ago called Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, by Lynne Truss. (it had a picture of a panda on the cover to go along with the title.) It addresses this very subject, so if you feel alone in your annoyance you should get it.



I LOVE this book. There is also a children's version.

sinstl Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 5:16pm
post #16 of 109

mcaulir - Oh, I knew I wasn't alone! It brings tears (not tear's) to my eyes to know there's another person out there who feels the pain of improperly used apostrophes! icon_lol.gif

indydebi Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 5:37pm
post #17 of 109

Great! With some apostrophe experts on here, help me out! I can NEVER keep straight the ....it's.... vs ....its..... What confuses me is an apostrophe shows possessive and it also shows a contraction.

Is there a trick to remember which is which and how to use these two properly?

dinas27 Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 6:43pm
post #18 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Great! With some apostrophe experts on here, help me out! I can NEVER keep straight the ....it's.... vs ....its..... What confuses me is an apostrophe shows possessive and it also shows a contraction.

Is there a trick to remember which is which and how to use these two properly?




'Its' is the exception to the possessive rule - the only time you use an apostrophe is with the contraction.

indydebi Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 6:51pm
post #19 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by dinas27

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Great! With some apostrophe experts on here, help me out! I can NEVER keep straight the ....it's.... vs ....its..... What confuses me is an apostrophe shows possessive and it also shows a contraction.

Is there a trick to remember which is which and how to use these two properly?



'Its' is the exception to the possessive rule - the only time you use an apostrophe is with the contraction.




Got it! "If it's not a contraction, there there's not an apostrophe!"

Geesh, I've been driving you guys nuts for quite some time, then! icon_redface.gificon_lol.gif

dinas27 Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 6:55pm
post #20 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I called a radio station once to tell them to pass on to their news reporter who reported a person "....had been sentenced to die for a 2nd time", that a person cannot die a second time. They can be sentenced, for a 2nd time, to die .... but they cannot be sentenced to die twice. Once you're dead, you're dead.

I wish I could remember what it said, but I saw a big billboard for one of those cheap car insurance companies with a grammatical error. Ironically, it also had Albert Einstein as the "promotoer" of the product. Einstein using poor grammar. The irony of ironies.




Actually I might have thought this was on purpose. Einstein, for all of his brilliance in mathematics and physics, was not scholar of grammar. He failed to pass an entrance exam to get into secondary school.

On a side note: Some triva relating to your first paragraph.
A person is not hung until they are dead. They are
hanged.

-Tubbs Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 9:35pm
post #21 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by dinas27

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Great! With some apostrophe experts on here, help me out! I can NEVER keep straight the ....it's.... vs ....its..... What confuses me is an apostrophe shows possessive and it also shows a contraction.

Is there a trick to remember which is which and how to use these two properly?



'Its' is the exception to the possessive rule - the only time you use an apostrophe is with the contraction.



Got it! "If it's not a contraction, there there's not an apostrophe!"

Geesh, I've been driving you guys nuts for quite some time, then! icon_redface.gificon_lol.gif



Lol! 'It's' works only as a contraction of either 'it is' or 'it has', so if you need to check, say the whole thing:

'It's been a long time', or 'It's nice to see you' (check - 'It has been a long time.' 'It is nice to see you.' Both work.

'It's coat was furry' (check - 'It has/is coat was furry' - doesn't work).

Now, can anyone help me out with the possessive apostrophe when the last name has an 's' at the end? Eg, Is this correct 'Is this the Williams' house?' or should it be 'Williams's' (surely not..), or even 'Williamses'... icon_confused.gif

mixinvixen Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 10:42pm
post #22 of 109

i have a habit of writing in all lower case, but by golly, i do use paragraphs and punctuation!!!!!!! there is a poster on here that when i click on and see it's by them, i just move on...impossible to read...cause it looks...like...this...with...huge run on......sentences.

sorry to offend that poster if it's you!

costumeczar Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 11:15pm
post #23 of 109

Here's a simple explanation:

If the singular noun ends with an s, add apostrophe s if the extra syllable is pronounced. If the extra syllable is not pronounced (or if it otherwise looks confusing to add apostrophe s), simply add an apostrophe.

Examples: the dress's hem
(Added syllable is pronounced.)
Lloyd Bridges' son
(Added syllable is not pronounced.)

Some authorities always add an apostrophe only to any word ending with s, regardless of its pronunciation. This is acceptable. Whichever standard you follow, be consistent.

Example: the dress' hem
(Word ends in s, pronunciation does not matter.)


This is from www.englishplus.com

Adding the "es" to the end (Willliamses) would be the plural (more than one member of the Williams family)

ptanyer Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 11:44pm
post #24 of 109

I'm glad that I'm not the only one who thinks about grammar and punctuation when posting! I work as a legal assistant in my full time job and I write all day long. So my habits from work tend to carry over into my writing at home, no matter what it is. I've also had to learn to be very detailed in my writing and that too has carried over...lol. So sometimes you get more than you asked for, but habits are hard to break, and after all, I'd rather that you knew exactly what I was talking about or explaining than having you scratch you head and say "huh?".

So here's a salute to fellow CCer's who care about how their writing looks and sounds thumbs_up.gif

mcaulir Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 11:54pm
post #25 of 109

I think the issue of whether to add an extra 's' after a words ending in 's' can be a bit fuzzy. Different books and websites tell you different things, and it is different depending on the country you're in. I tend to add an extra 's' if it's a name ending in 's'; Bridget Jones's Diary, for example.

Has anyone else read the British book "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" by Lynne Truss? It is one of my all-time favourite books. (Sorry, favourite is spelled with a 'u' in Australia and I can't bring myself to not put it in).

The best part is where she finds out that there's an Apostrophe Protection Society in the UK, and not only wants to join, but asks if there's a militant branch and wants to arm herself with various markers and stickers for apostrophe correction in day-to-day life.

Gosh, I hope I haven't left any typos in these posts. How embarrassing!

-Tubbs Posted 25 Jun 2009 , 2:00pm
post #26 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Here's a simple explanation:

If the singular noun ends with an s, add apostrophe s if the extra syllable is pronounced. If the extra syllable is not pronounced (or if it otherwise looks confusing to add apostrophe s), simply add an apostrophe.

Examples: the dress's hem
(Added syllable is pronounced.)
Lloyd Bridges' son
(Added syllable is not pronounced.)

Some authorities always add an apostrophe only to any word ending with s, regardless of its pronunciation. This is acceptable. Whichever standard you follow, be consistent.

Example: the dress' hem
(Word ends in s, pronunciation does not matter.)


This is from www.englishplus.com

Adding the "es" to the end (Willliamses) would be the plural (more than one member of the Williams family)



Ok, this helps. But, then, if there are multiple Williamses, does their home then become the Williamses's house?!!!

It's a minefield!!

P.S. Another book recommendation for those who love language and its development:- Bill Bryson's Mother Tongue is great!

bigsisof3kids Posted 25 Jun 2009 , 3:04pm
post #27 of 109

I've always had trouble with last names also. Because we usually add an 's' at the end of people's names when we use them, like, "I went to the Hardin's house." But then, sometime someone's last name DOES end in an 's' like "Adams." So, "I went to the Adams' house", or, "I went to the Adams's house." So thank you SO much for helping out everyone! I went to that english website that you posted, costumeczar, and I really liked looking around there icon_smile.gif

I love that there are actually people that take the English language as seriously as I do. One of my friends' (or friends's? icon_wink.gif ) mom is French teacher at our local college, and she says she basically has to teach the students how English works before even attempting another language!

-Tubbs Posted 25 Jun 2009 , 4:05pm
post #28 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcaulir

Gosh, I hope I haven't left any typos in these posts. How embarrassing!



Now, if you'd said "typo's", that would be embarrassing!! Genuine typos, no. They happen all the time. I'm good at spotting them - it's very unusual for me to read a book and not find at least one - I can even see where two spaces have been inserted instead of one! So, when I read back my own writing and find errors, it's torture!!

Sugarflowers Posted 25 Jun 2009 , 4:39pm
post #29 of 109

This thread has reminded me of my personal disdain for "texting". When my boys send me a message in typical text I tell them I don't speak text and will only accept proper sentences. Now, their general spelling skills stink, so I let minor misspellings or typos slide. I do give them a hard time about it over all though. icon_smile.gif

Typical texting is incredibly annoying. It also takes more effort to do typical text than it does to actually spell out a word. It also takes so much more time than an actual phone call!

Ironically, I'm typing this on a phone because I haven't yet turned on my computer. icon_biggrin.gif

Thanks for all the great stories and letting me know that I'm not alone. icon_smile.gif

Michele

Mensch Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 5:06am
post #30 of 109

Oh....another one that drives me crazy....is when people don't use normal punctuation......they just resort to using the dotdotdot.....why is it...do you think.... so hard to use commas....periods and....not to mention...capitalizing the first letter of every sentence...?

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