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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Please Vote for My Blog as the Best Grammar Blog of 2011 (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Please Vote for My Blog as the Best Grammar Blog of 2011
Jon Boy
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Thanks for all the votes so far, everybody. If you haven't already, please check out my blog here and vote for me here.
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The Rabbit
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Come on people, I can't do this alone.
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Jon Boy
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Grammar Girl is gaining steam. :/
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Jon Boy
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Is anybody else having trouble voting? I'm getting blank CAPTCHAs now.
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katdog42
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I tried to vote, but can't do the CAPTCHAs (poor vision, combined with low definition on the computer screen). Sorry!
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The Rabbit
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I able to vote no problems. Jon Boy.
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Jon Boy
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I'm not getting the problem anymore, so I guess they fixed it.
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CT
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Jon Boy, you might want to change the thread title (here and elswhere) if you need a boost, just to bring it to the eye.

Voting but glitchy connection. [Frown]

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Jon Boy
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Good suggestion, and thanks for the help. [Smile]
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Graeme
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In a recent episode of The Office, Kevin decides to reduce the number of words he uses so that he can save time. His sentences come out as that dialect of English known as Tarzan or Caveman. It turns out that by limiting certain words, things like helper verbs and prepositions his communications are unclear and therefore don't save time.

Now, clearly this falls under Rabit's definition of bad grammar, and thus is not the same kind of thing as her example sentence from Trinidad. But I mention it to help illustrate the following argument for the labeling of some dialects as "wrong."

Languages change, clearly. If a community of speakers, on the whole, accept those changes, then the speakers remain mutually intelligible. But when changes in one community outpace the changes in the other, we have the beginnings of language separation. Pretty soon the two communities will have trouble understanding one another. So while today I can understand the Trinidadian's language, perhaps my grandchild will have a harder time with the language of the Trinidadian's grandchild.
When that separation happens, both communities will believe the other uses "bad" grammar, and they will both be right. Who cares which? They will have lost the means of clearly understanding each other, which is a bad thing.

So for the sake of language continuity, I believe we should enforce some kind of "correct" grammar. We need not be overly concerned that we are adopting some kind linguistic imperialism. We are merely ensuring that we current members of a language community, and our descendants, will be able to communicate.

While enforcing certain norms, it is still possible (and inevitable) that changes will occur in the language community, spreading (eventually) to all members. Such quibbles as whether a preposition should end a sentence, or whether a conjunction can begin a sentence, are worthy issues of debate within a community. For a time, instructors will be forced to teach both (imperial and metric units, anyone?) This is onerous, but one of the prices to pay for the conservative nature of language continuity.

Whose grammar should be considered "correct"? Black English vernacular? California vernacular? Trinidadian? This is certainly the question of whose dialect should be taught in schools. If you accept my premise that one (more or less uniform) dialect should be taught in schools, then this debate is a different issue. In brief, I think it should be Standard American English, since that is the most common dialect in terms of numbers.

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Jon Boy
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I've been knocked down to fifth place. Any help would be very much appreciated. Voting ends tomorrow.
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Jon Boy
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One of the top three contestants must've been disqualified, because they're not listed anymore. I'm back in fourth. Please help me get into the top three!
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The Rabbit
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Jon Boy, I've been voting early and often, but the gap between you and third places is pretty intimidating.
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Jon Boy
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It certainly is, but I think it's still possible.

And I really appreciate all your votes. [Smile]

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Jon Boy
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I'm down by less than 900 now.
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Jon Boy
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Down by 650. Keep it up!
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Jon Boy
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I passed Grammar Girl, and then the first-place blog, Terribly Write, disappeared from the competition by this morning. I'm in second!

Thanks so much for all the votes!

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Jon Boy
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Voting has been extended until midnight PDT on October 20th. But only one vote per person, please.
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Jon Boy
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The results are in—I took third place. Thank you to everyone who voted for me!
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Dan_Frank
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Congrats!

I poked around your blog and it was a fun read. The person who does Terribly Write is pretty irate about this whole thing, and seems to think it's actually some sort of scam and they pre-determined the winners.

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Jon Boy
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Thanks, Dan!

To be fair, I'd be pretty irate too. I don't think it's much of a stretch to call the contest a sham, though I don't think I'd call it a scam. There were no rules on voting; like the owner of Terribly Write, I checked first and didn't see any. The outcome was not decided in advance, though. (Or if it was, nobody ever told me about it.)

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Dan_Frank
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Yeah that was sort of my impression too... that Terribly Write is perfectly justified in being furious at the contest holders, but that they also seem to be misdirecting some of that at you and the other participants.
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Jon Boy
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Not to mention that she's covering up the fact that she was encouraging people to vote multiple times, too. There used to be a post here wherein she complained about others "stuffing the ballot box" while clearly encouraging her fans to do the same.

But I'd be angry at the first-place winner, too. On Twitter he complained about one of the other contestants racking up a ridiculous number of votes, which got them disqualified, but it was pretty obvious that he was engaged in the same behavior too. Judging by his traffic rank, there's no way he legitimately earned all those votes.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Internet voting is a horrible way to determine...well...anything.

Were I running the contest I would find three credentialed expert judges and have people submit their best blog (or two) and have them declare the winners.

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The Rabbit
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The point of most internet competitions is to get publicity for the site holding the competition and that's not going to happen if the winner is chosen by a few judges.

Of course it also doesn't really happen if a person can win by stuffing the ballot box. The obvious solution, to me at least, would be to require people to register, with a valid e-mail address, in order to vote. Its not completely fool proof since many people have several e-mail addresses, but no one is going to have hundreds of e-mail addresses and the hassle of registering a bunch of e-mail addresses would be pretty excessive. I suspect it would deter a certain number of spam wary people from voting, but it still beats the alternative.

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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
Internet voting is a horrible way to determine...well...anything.

Maybe we should have a poll to see who agrees with you.
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Stone_Wolf_
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I vote yes.
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Stone_Wolf_
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I vote in the affirmative.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Yay!
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Stone_Wolf_
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I agree.
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Snarky
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Man,
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Clitic
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it's
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Sarcasm
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like
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Grammar Gestapo
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you're
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Captain Obvious
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not
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Shameless Self-Promotion
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even
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The Editor-in-Chief
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trying.
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Trogdor the Burninator
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*burninates Stone_Wolf_*
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Stone_Wolf_
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Lets take a vote if I'm burninated...
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rivka
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Burnination is not the sort of thing for which one votes. One is simply touched by the flame -- or is not.
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Jake
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[ROFL]
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