Digest #407

Don Rosa donrosa at iglou.com
Mon Feb 12 15:07:23 CET 2001

This is still going on, eh? I've wanted to say something since day one, but
I figured this would end eventually, but it won't. But what is compelling
me to finally open my yap is that folks are picking on Harry like he was
jumping down some guy's throat for not knowing how to put together a pretty
website or accusing Harry of having some hidden reason to attack an
Well, I'm not going to add to this by making direct references to anyone,
but to just explain what it is exactly that annoys and *insults* Harry and
others *including me*.
I've been on this list and other international English-language groups for
quite a few years now. I have never, ever seen anyone stoop to berating a
European or Asian whose English is not perfect. One reason is, of course,
that would be very rude! The second reason is that the English written by
all of these (you) Europeans is astonishingly good! It embarrasses me that
I can only write/speak my own language, and it especially embarrasses me
that American kids are losing the ability *and the desire* to develop good
communication skills. One would think in the Internet age where so *much*
is done in reading/writing on the net that this sad decline would cease,
but it hasn't yet -- my wife, the teacher, can attest to that.
So, here are all these Europeans in these forums, all writing perfect
English in addition to their *own* language and often *other languages* as
well. And then there are certainly others who make some mistakes in
grammar, and that's *absolutely okay*! Nobody minds that! This is not their
native language -- they are still making a superb effort to communicate
with me in *my* language and I find that very flattering and inspiring!

But when I see on a newsgroup a message from someone whose native language
*is* English posting messages that show not the slightest regard for proper
spelling, sentence construction, capitalization, and punctuation... THIS is
annoying to me. People think it's rude to correct them? I think it's rude
that they show such disregard for their language and for others as to write
so carelessly. I feel insulted that they are treating communication with me
and my friends as so inconsequential as to not be worth more than such a
trivial effort. I'm insulted to think that an adult who is interested in
the same things I am is displaying the writing ability of a 3rd grader. And
note that I'm not referring to an *occasional* error such as we all make as
we type quickly -- i reffer to mesages wich are well writen like this wher
i dont stop an thimk fer a second whut im writin and i just let it pore owt
and go and show that i dont rilly care and i shur dont go back an rereed it
befor i mail it       ...Yes, I can read and understand "writing" like
that, but I'll be danged if I will! It's "unreadable" because I don't
*want* to read that sort of rubbish-writing. I skip it. And the longer it
goes on, the more annoyed and insulted I get by the constant disrespect to
the language and to the forum it appears in.
I am deeply embarrassed and insulted when someone whose native language is
English, like myself, appears on any public forum where I am a member and
sets such a poor example. It's as simple as that. I have a great respect
for language and I don't wish to be inflicted with this sort of thing.
Okay, that's all -- I just wanted to see to it that people understand why
some of us find this sort of thing "unreadable" and "insulting" and why we
react in defense of writing skills and those who respect writing
skills. This is an explanation, not an attack. No need to respond to this
and carry this on any further (I hope!).

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