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Author Topic: English teacher says this dosen't work
TheDisgruntledPostman
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"Just for that, I'm going to insist that in all my books from now on, "through" will be spelled "thru" and "though" will be spelled "tho." I like it better, and I'm sick of having these simple little words take up so much stupid space when we're NEVER going to pronounce the "gh" again."
A while ago this subject was sorta brought up when i made the mistake of saying Islam insted of Iserealin(or something along the line of that). So the whole thru and tho thing got stuck in my mind and i told myself i never have to spell out stupid through and though. So a couple days ago i had to type an essay for the red badge of courage. I had to use through and though a couple of times, so i replaced them with thru and tho. Upon getting back my essay(which i got a 92 on) my teacher marked off a few points for using those two words. Mr.Card, is it gramatically correct to use those words in an essay?

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hiro1000
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I am going to say that, if it is in the dictonary, it can be used. And Thru and tho are in them I will use it. [Smile]
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R. Ann Dryden
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Card was being facetious in the article. He was actually AGAINST the bastardizing of words, I believe.
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Icarus
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Irregardless ( [Wink] ) of what Card would say, I would mark off for it.

[Razz]

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Miro
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quote:
Originally posted by TheDisgruntledPostman:

A while ago this subject was sorta brought up when i made the mistake of saying Islam insted of Iserealin(or something along the line of that).

What the heck is Iserealin?
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Soara
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Yes! Reform the English language! [Hat]
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Blackthorne
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I generally disapprove of abbreviating or shortening words. If I'm going to write something, I'm going to write it so it's understandable and easy to decipher.

For example, I looked through my old dictionary and noticed that the letter P stood for 27 different words, depending on the circumstance. It's like trying to solve a mystery when you read an email or a letter that has every other word abbreviated. [Smile]

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RunningBear
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i konw waht you are tlkanig aubot. poelpe are awlays sewrcnig up the elisngh lngauge. Bet you can read that and understand it. I think if people can understand what others are saying without problem then it shouldnt be a issue. Not that I am saying you should type like I just did.
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Shan
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I think abbreviations are awesome for journaling, note-taking, and personal forms of shorthand for business meetings.

For more formal sorts of writing, I prefer to see words spelled correctly, and other appropriate grammatical forms observed by the writer.

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Icarus
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Actually, RB, I struggled to decode that sentence. I could do it, but it slowed me down, distracted me from the message you were trying (sort of) to convey, and generally irritated me. Which means that, as communication, it was less than successful.
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Ppaa Mosoe
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quote:
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in
waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist
and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you
can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not
raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.


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Icarus
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Yes, I caught the reference the first time. But just because you can decode something doesn't mean it has gotten no harder. I would suggest that perhaps "it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are" and "wouthit porbelm" overstate the actual conclusions of the research. If not, then I disagree with it.

(For instance, it took me a good couple of seconds to figure out "mses" and "bcuseae.")

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pooka
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I think if you want to write "thru" you should be forced to use a theta instead of "th".
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rivka
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*takes out Pop and Ic and shoots 'em both* [Razz]
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BADPLMR1
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My girlfriend is a high school teacher in upstate N.Y. and has often said that spelling, grammer,and punctuation mean nothing.Her son is a high honors student in school and has been since kindergarten.Every one of his school assignments contain numerous spelling and grammatical errors that make me cringe to see them.When these papers are turned in to his teachers they are returned with no corrections and an A+ on top.If these children are constantly told that spelling and punctuation make no difference then how will they ever be able to read a contract or legal document and understand it? What will happen to these kids when they go on to jobs where the placement of a comma or even just a single word that looks like another word but has a different meaning could mean the difference between a big payday for the company and going bankrupt? Anyone else out there live in a school district that does not mark off for misspelled words and faulty punctuation? I know that ours can't be the only one.
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Gryphonesse
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quote:
Originally posted by Icarus:
Irregardless

[Razz]

OH this word makes my slapping hand twitch...

[Mad]

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Icarus
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Me too, Gryph. [Smile]

BADPLMR1, those policies are not set at the district level. The teachers in question may not have a great grasp of grammar themselves, or they have been brainwashed by the followers of Noam Chomsky. There are teachers like that in my district, and there are also teachers who teach and mark grammar as part of writing.

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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by TheDisgruntledPostman:
Mr.Card, is it gramatically correct to use those words in an essay?

Spelling and grammar are two separate things. Also, just because something's in the dictionary doesn't mean it's socially acceptable.
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RunningBear
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I was saying that there are different ways of interpreting and understanding information and al long as it works then you could use it. I was putting my little sentence up as a show of how not all forms are efficient. I think that thru should be allowed in the modern english vocabulary.
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Icarus
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. . . and I was explaining why I disagree. Sentences with deviations from standard spelling may "work," in that they can be deciphered. However, they are, at best, distracting and interfere with the communication that is your ultimate goal. You don't have to agree with me, of course; it's okay for you to be wrong. [Smile]
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SteveRogers
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The dictionary has failed me too many times. After a stupid edition that doesn't have all of the words in it made me lose at Scrabble I gave it up. So even if something is or isn't in the dictionary doesn't mean that it is necessarily a word.
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dropofTapioca
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As i understand, the point of an academic paper is to convince someone of your point/thesis. Then why deliberately put in something that is distracting to the reader? So I agree with Icarus in that sense.

I realize that spelling/grammar means 'nothing' in the sense that the two don't help you form a coherent argument. In the other words, the real essence of the paper are the ideas and the clear communication of them. But if clear communication is the ideal, then purposefully including distractions is well, pointless.

I remember another OSC comment that is related to this. Do you remember that scene in Ender's Game when Ender uses the word "n-word" to make a point to Alai? Ender wasn't being racist; he was just making a point about racism. OSC later realized that the 'n-word' was so loaded and thus so distracting that it jarred the reader out of the story. So in that spirit, he removed the scene, even though the "anti-censor" people, lol, objected. (Sorry if I am putting words in OSC's mouth. Please correct me if I am wrong)

Phew, that's it.

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Icarus
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IIRC, he left the scene in, but substituted a more innocuous word.
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Elan
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My son brought home a spelling list the teacher had given him, and she had spelled a word wrong on the list. I was livid. I told her, "If you are going to teach the kid to spell, at least spell things correctly!"

Regardless of how much you dislike spending a micronanosecond longer by adding the correct number of letters to words like 'through' and 'though', you will relegate yourself to lower class jobs the rest of your life if you don't train yourself now to spell correctly. People DO equate spelling and grammar skills with intelligence if that is all they have to judge you by, say, on a resume or a job application. You can gripe about it all you like. But that's the reality. Do yourself a favor. Don't develop poor habits on purpose.

Challenge your brain to do the best you can do. It's true that if you don't use certain pathways in your brain, those pathways begin to atrophe.

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BADPLMR1
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As I am most likely far less educated than other posters here maybe I didn't express myself well enough in the point I was trying to make in my last post.It's the local school district policy through all grades that spelling and punctuation mistakes do not count against the student in any way on any assignment.The reason given by the school is that those things are of a lower order of intelligence function and do not need to be stressed. I can only imagine what this dumbing down of standards will lead to.I have also noticed there is no teaching of cursive writing anymore in our local schools.Can this be because most old documents are in that form and if future public school graduates can't read it the real meaning of those texts will be subject to interpretation only by those with private school backgrounds? Do the teachers care what their students learn or are they only concerned about teaching to the test? How do we as parents convince our children that these things are important when their teachers tell them the exact opposite? When I was young I read a short story called "The march of the dum-dums" whose author escapes me but whose message did not.If you expect less that is what you will get.
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Goo Boy
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quote:
It's the local school district policy through all grades that spelling and punctuation mistakes do not count against the student in any way on any assignment.
Huh. That's new to me. I'm pretty sure I could not work in such a district. Out of curiosity, where is this?


quote:
My son brought home a spelling list the teacher had given him, and she had spelled a word wrong on the list. I was livid. I told her, "If you are going to teach the kid to spell, at least spell things correctly!"
Do you think it was a typo or similar oversight, or that she did not know how to spell it? I'm wondering because everyone makes mistakes; I would differentiate between something like a typo and a habitual pattern that demonstrates ignorance of proper spelling, grammar, or usage.

I'm certified to teach high school math and English. I currently teach mostly math, but I have been an English instructor at the university level. And I make mistakes. I don't try to pretend that I don't. (Actually, I give students extra credit if they catch me making one.) I would hope that somebody wouldn't be livid or judge me incompetent if an assignment I created had a typo on it.

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Audeo
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quote:
I have also noticed there is no teaching of cursive writing anymore in our local schools.Can this be because most old documents are in that form and if future public school graduates can't read it the real meaning of those texts will be subject to interpretation only by those with private school backgrounds?
To be honest I haven't found much use for cursive writing since I learned it in 3rd grade (1993-4), except for in 4th grade when my teacher made us write everything in cursive. Since then I've used print for most notes and handwritten assignments. Since 6th grade, maybe 7th, the majority of my non-math homework was turned in typed.

I think the time spent teaching kids cursive writing would be better used teaching them to type correctly, and use common word processing or data-analyzing programs like word or excel in elementary school, rather than teaching them in high school, by which point they already have several ingrained bad typing habits and will not be inclined to learn more effective or ergonomic methods of typing.

Most older documents that people read were printed using a printing press of some sort, so cursive is pretty much useless unless you read a lot of old-fashioned personal papers, like maybe letters from a great-grandmother, or someone's personal journal from a hundred years ago. Even then, if you go back further than that script varied enough that it would be difficult to decipher without additional information, like a character similar to our 'f' was used as as an 's' in older documents. Still most elementary school and high school educated individuals don't need cursive in daily living. A knowledge of print script and typing would be more than sufficient in most cases.

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Goo Boy
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I have mixed feelings about the teaching of cursive. I use it all the time, so I think it's a very valuable skill. But then I think about trying to teach my (special needs) kids cursive, and I just get a chill. I think I might be just as happy if their school decides not to emphasize that.
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BADPLMR1
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When I was in elementary school in the early 60's we were taught cursive starting in 3rd grade.When my family moved to the next town over while I was in 4th grade I started to be marked off on my assignments by the teachers because they didn't like the SHAPE of some of the letters even though they were formed exactly the way I had been taught in my old school. I would lose from 5-15 points on each paper I turned in, not because of any error in content,but simply because of extremely minor variations between the methods of letter shaping between the new school and my old one. But spelling doesn't matter now and that just gets my goat.
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Irregardless
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quote:
Do you think it was a typo or similar oversight, or that she did not know how to spell it? I'm wondering because everyone makes mistakes; I would differentiate between something like a typo and a habitual pattern that demonstrates ignorance of proper spelling, grammar, or usage.
This reminds me of something... Near the end of my 9th grade year, those of us who were going to take A.P. English the next year were assembled for a brief meeting with the teacher. She handed out a typed list of books we were to read over the summer. The list included Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. There was a note next to it: "Don't get the Orwell one!" So this literature teacher confused George Orwell with H. G. Wells. The paper also made reference to our "excellerated" class. I think there were other errors, but those are the two I remember best.

Fortunately she moved away during the summer, and we got a different teacher.

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macnewbold
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I just found this thread today, and what Elan said above made me want to say something. I agree with you that spelling properly is important, and I agree completely that people do use your use of written language to draw conclusions about you.

You also said: "Don't develop poor habits on purpose." Spelling incorrectly is a poor habit. However, what is "correct" spelling is subject to debate, like we are all debating now. If enough people think that "thru" and "tho" are acceptable spellings of the words they come from, then they are spelled correctly.

While the orthographically conservative still insist on the "ugh" at the end, many of us don't have a problem with modernizing our language and eliminating things from common use that don't serve a purpose or have a benefit. I think the "ugh" falls in that category.

This kind if linguistic evolution has been happening since language began. I, for one, am glad that Ye Olde English styles of speech, including ye and thee and thy and thou and art and hast and thine, have fallen out of favor. That was their language then, but it isn't our language now.

Now someone is surely going to start claiming that they're against Linguistic Evolution, because they're a Linguistic Creationist. Or maybe there's a proponent of Linguistic Intelligent Design in the house?

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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by SteveRogers:
The dictionary has failed me too many times. After a stupid edition that doesn't have all of the words in it made me lose at Scrabble I gave it up. So even if something is or isn't in the dictionary doesn't mean that it is necessarily a word.

Technically, it's a word if people use it as a word. A word's status as a word has nothing to do with its standardness or acceptability.
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Icarus
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People keep talking about language evolution. Language evolution doesn't happen deliberately, so pointing out that language evolves is a lame reason for disregarding conventional spelling (or grammar).
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Treason
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quote:
"Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in
waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist
and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you
can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not
raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe."

I had no problem with that whatsoever. Weird, if you would have asked me if I could read something that mixed up I would have said no.

And : What macnewbold said!

Edit : Although I only type words like thru and tho when I am chatting online, for speed.

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rivka
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*shoots Treason* [Razz]
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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Treason:
I had no problem with that whatsoever.

Yeah, because it's been posted so many times that we all have it memorized. [Roll Eyes]
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chuck7
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English like all living languages is continually evolving. Eventually all words change. You decided to be on the leading edge. You picked up your gun and marched to war. You then paid the price.

The more interesting experiment would be to spell an entier paper in middle english.

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chuck7
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On a related topic, here is a posting I made a while back to another message board. Here is what I think we should do with the English edited to remove some of the more colorful words: [Big Grin]

---------------------------------------------
The revoelushun!


In a somewhat George Carlin-esq fation, I believe it is time to fix English. The language is broken, but I believe with enough effort, we CAN fix it. Here my proposal

1.Silent letters are useless. The word knife should just be nife. You dont say the k so stop wasteing page relastate with it. Same goes for pnumonia psyciatrist and all the others.

2.Kill ph. Use f. We have a spacific leater just for that sound so USE IT. Phonic becomes fonic. Phil becomes Fil. (unless we are talking about my old boss in which it remains <explitive removed>).

3.C, K, and S... what a mess. 2 possible sounds, 3 letters. Is there any sence at all here? S gets the ssss sound. C gets the kuu sound (now properly being cuu sound) and K dies the death it deserves. Look at that! We saved an entier letter! We could reverse it and drop the C and keep K, but I like C better as there are two of them in my name with the current system, and only one K. Besides, as Carlin would say, my plan, i make the rules.

4.Ch and X. The problem with ch is that it does not make the sound of a c and an h. Its an entierly different sound. X is here because it is part of the solution. In its current usage, X is redundant. It just makes the same sound as a k and s (now c and s) together, so drop it. Better yet, REPERPOUS it to fill the ch gap. So no X sounds like ch. Words like Cheese would be Xeese

5.That brings up another point, silent e's at the end of a word. They have no place there. I understand we need something to indicate a voul should be long, but why always put it at the end? Then you dont really know what letter they are modifiing. Now the e goes right after the letter being modified. So a word like ale becomes ael. Granted in that word, there is no confustion, but cases do exists... i just cant think of one.

6.Last but not least, SPELL FENETICLY. Who ever decided that words should be spelled differently than they sound should have their genetalia placed in a meet grinder... WHILE STILL ATTACHED.

So for a few examples:
Examples eksampls
Know = noe or noew if you want to pernounse the w.
Chuck = xuc (I would love to spell my name this way)
Silent = sielent (a little longer, but much more clear)
Deveant = Deeveeant (again, longer, clearer)

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rivka
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ewwwwww!
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Jon Boy
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You should learn how to spell phonetically before you tell others to do so. Heck, even learning how to spell normally would be a good start. [Wink]
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Treason
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Rivka, I would arrest you for all this violence but I've been shot in the head. By someone....I wonder who? I'll have to do a ghostly investigation.
[No No]
Shooting people is bad, M'kay?

[Big Grin]

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Icarus
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Didn't Shaw try to push for a phonetic alphabet? IIRC, he got bogged down in the attempt--it turned out not to be quite as easy as he thought--but I don't remember the specifics.
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Somnium
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I didn't even read this whole thing through, however, irregardless is about the most pointless word ever. I don't see how it can be used in a situation that regardless can be used as well. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like a worthless word that people use when they want to use a word with more syllables than needed, inorder to have a facade of intelligence. Sorry, rant off.
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Elan
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quote:
You also said: "Don't develop poor habits on purpose." Spelling incorrectly is a poor habit. However, what is "correct" spelling is subject to debate, like we are all debating now. If enough people think that "thru" and "tho" are acceptable spellings of the words they come from, then they are spelled correctly.
There is no debate on how to correctly spell "through" or "though". While "thru" and "tho" are commonly used abbreviated forms of those words, they are NOT considered the correct spelling. The point I am trying to make is that you can complain all you like about the unfairness of it all, but in the real world of jobs, business, college reports, publishing... correct spelling counts. Incorrect spelling also counts... against you.

No one is stopping you from spelling anything the way you like. Just understand there is a price you pay for doing so. It is a signal to the reader that the writer is lazy and ignorant. If you don't wish to be perceived in such a manner based on your writing, then use the correct forms of spelling. Then the reader will focus on the content of what you say, not the technical skill with which you say it.

Correct spelling is a job skill, just like running a fork-lift, debating a law, diagnosing an illness, or repairing an engine. It doesn't matter in some jobs, but in other jobs it matters a whole lot. I had to fire someone from a job because she couldn't spell. It was a crucial skill for the work she had been hired to do. People who turn their nose up at proper use of spelling and grammar end up shutting themselves out of a lot of job opportunities.

Again, I say, it's foolish to deliberately cultivate a lazy and bad habit that will have a negative effect on your employment opportunities later on.

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Orson Scott Card
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Spelling has nothing to do with grammar. It's orthography, and you can spell as you like. But since the goal is presumably communication, you spell in such a way as to allow other people to read your work fluently.

However, our spelling got locked down before we were thru changing our pronunciations (we're not actually thru yet) so our spellings are often quite absurd. They also lead to foolishness like pronouncing the silent t in "often," for instance. Tho fortunately we DON'T pronounce the silent ugh in through and though, they still make these short words very long - that's why they get dropped from signs and ads where space is at a premium.

Your English teacher wants to teach you to write and spell in a standard way that implies that you are educated. At present, thru and tho give the opposite impression. My statement about wanting to publish my books with thru and tho as the spellings is part of my effort to CHANGE what is commonly received as "educated." If I start it, maybe others will join me - and as published authors, we don't obey English teachers, they obey us - indirectly, because dictionaries report that our usage is "standard" or "acceptable" and the English teachers consult the dictionaries.

So I was not facetious. I'll just decide when I'm ready to start that little war with my publisher and cause copy editors and proofreaders to have nervous breakdowns.

Till then, DON'T try out new spellings on your English teachers. Try it when you're writing for paid publication and you have a little power to get your way.

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Jon Boy
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Personally, I would be overjoyed if we taught a more descriptive approach to language in schools. Too many people have ridiculous misconceptions about grammar and language rules.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Treason:
Rivka, I would arrest you for all this violence but I've been shot in the head. By someone....I wonder who? I'll have to do a ghostly investigation.
[No No]
Shooting people is bad, M'kay?

[Big Grin]

Not as bad as perpetuating that awful awful awful WRONG -- and did I mention awful? -- meme. [Razz]
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Treason
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I don't remember you mentioning awful...

[ September 26, 2005, 01:48 AM: Message edited by: Treason ]

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rivka
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[Razz]
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Jonathan Howard
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Get. Rid. Of. The. APOSTROPHE.
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