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Is English really that difficult?

I know there are plenty of folks out there with learning disabilities, as well as folks who have English as a second language. And in their situation, yes, English really IS that difficult.

But what excuse do people have who have English as their native language?

I'm already anticipating those who say, "Well, you understand what I'm saying, so who cares?"

The thing is, I don't always understand what you're saying. I really don't. When people use the wrong word for something, it changes the meaning of what they're saying.

Sure, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but if we're going to trade cliches, then "'twas brillig and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe."* See? Words actually do matter.

And regardless (not irregardless) of the fact that 'u' may be easier to type than 'you,' it's actually harder to read because it's nonstandard. I actually have to translate that one letter into a real word before I can continue reading.

Also, punctuation is not optional. Yes, everyone makes mistakes, but when I see an entire unblocked paragraph of either all caps or all small letters with absolutely no punctuation, I have a hard time reading it.

And no, I'm not the problem. I'm not stupid because people can't be bothered to communicate clearly.

Like I said, everyone makes mistakes. I get that and I don't claim to be perfect. I make typos and misplace apostrophes and commas. I type too fast and may forget to capitalize occasionally.

I can't tell you how often I've had to bite my tongue from correcting people here. I won't do it because it's rude to point out specifics, but I have to say that the lack of care that people take when they're communicating also feels rude. As if they don't have any respect for their audience.

So, am I one of the hated Grammar Nazis or am I making a legitimate point?

*The quote is from the poem "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll and appears in "Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There."


Asked by SusanTheWriter at 10:39 AM on Mar. 21, 2011 in Just for Fun

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Answers (20)
  • Education is provided free of charge to every person in this country, there simply is not an excuse. Period.

    That said, I will make the exception for those who are obviously severely challenged, or speak English as their second language... Perhaps a 3rd exception for those using mobile devices with manual text opposed to touchscreens. It truly *is* a PITA to text type entire words when one can abbreviate. Though it is generally obvious when that is the case.

    You're not a grammar nazi, or a snob. I find it frustrating myself, even though I am "Lysdexic". I've taken the time to adapt and overcome my "disability" in hopes that I can effectively communicate.

    It boils down to laziness, lack of self confidence, and general discontent. Why else would one present their self in such a way for the world to see?

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 11:02 AM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • Unfortunately, in this case both are true. You do have a point in that people should respect the language and try to use it as correctly as they can. However, by pointing out other's shortcomings, you sound like a Grammar Nazi. Don't get me wrong, I am completely on your side in this matter. Nothing makes me cringe more than a plural with an apostrophe. But I stick with my rule of if a person can't be bothered to make her post legible, I can't be bothered to answer it.

    Answer by hootie826 at 10:47 AM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • I agree. I don't feel that you are being unreasonable in expecting people to correctly use their native language. I don't expect everyone to use big words, but I do expect them to put some care into the words that they do use.

    Answer by DusterMommy at 11:08 AM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • I know what you mean. It irritates me but I try to ignore it or just don't answer. I'm not claiming to be perfect though. I feel like my grammar is at least average while I know my puncutation is not. That said, there are mistakes that are just ridiculous. Then there are things like "much" added to the end of a sentence that also bug me. Before seeing it here, the last time I heard it was on Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the late 90's. I'd love it if that use of the word go the way of the dinosaur.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:02 AM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • I am severely dyslexic I work hard at making my posts and correcting them. I also write sometimes I miss things point being its all good at the end of the day. I write anime and fiction it takes me a long time but its a battle I win or lose some days. I am in college and months from graduating still making errors but trying is half of getting there.


    Answer by pinkdragon36 at 10:59 AM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • I am English.  I use the letter "u" in words like colour and neighbour and I pronounce the last letter of the alphabet as zed.


    Answer by beeky at 12:13 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • laughingIts hard sometimes but I manage. You just have to remember not everyone is educated.


    Answer by kiansmom0423 at 10:43 AM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • Susan, I feel your pain!

    Answer by gdiamante at 12:20 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • There is a difference between accidental grammar mistakes and outright not caring... for instance the post that consists of ME NEED HELP DO NOT NO WHAT TO that is just a not caring. I hate people who use all caps for everything that they type. I don't go ripping on the people who write them...but you can sure bet that they won't be getting any answers from me. I think texting is going to make changes to the English language soon WTF and OMG are going to be in the dictionary and accepted as everday language. You would think that cell companies charged by the letter versus the number of texts sent!

    Answer by michcous at 2:09 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • I agree completely. When people post things like that it does force you to slow down to translate it. God forbid you complain though, people will call you judgemental. The computer is a marvelous thing... if you are in doubt about spelling or meaning... GOOGLE IT!

    Answer by ConcernedMom141 at 12:03 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

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