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Why, my God, why?

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posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 08:32 AM
Ok I have been pissed off for years about something, and I want to share that pissed off feeling with others like me.

Why, my God, why are americans and british people the only ones on this planet who can NOT write good english? Why? I know I make mistakes, but it is nearly every single time when bad grammar/spelling is encountered, its origin is somebody who speaks and writes english as their native language.

I would normally expect native speakers to clearly outperform foreigners with these skills (online), but no. That won't usually happen.

Is it some sort of freaky theory about something that can give me an answer to this dilemma, or is there anything that can be done to tell me why, my god, why?

(Although I am pissed off about a lot of things, this in particular comes into my mind.)

[edit on 23/1/08 by rawsom]

posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 09:11 AM
reply to post by rawsom

What, to you, constitutes "good English"? I speak a version of English, a dialect, if you will, called Western American-English. In many English speaking communities it might be all but incomprehensible. I know several people from Australia who, when I first met them were nearly incomprehensible. I knew they were speaking English, alright, just not a version I spoke. To this day, I run into words that are rude, insulting to me, but common terms that are anything but insulting or rude.

There are so many versions, or dialects, of English floating around, that there is no longer any one correct "good English".

posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 09:11 AM
I feel you on this, I really do, but what can you do.

The point of language, written or spoken, is to communicate.

For years in the U.K. grammar was not taught. I'm not taking the piss, I was not taught the basics of grammar while at school. The punctuation lessons were pretty thin on the ground as well. I'm 30 years old by the way. Tenses happened to other people and conditionals and gerunds came from mars and colons and apostrophes came from venus.

Just get over it, and put it down to the fact that, language is constantly evolving. What you think you know about grammar may not be the most present version of the accepted form.

If you understand it: reply to it.

If you don't: then leave it alone.


posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 09:11 AM
reply to post by rawsom

Do you really think that spelling is a good question to invoke God over?

I can see asking God why children are starving, why there are wars, or any other types of human injustices, but for spelling?

As for you, I would like to ask God why you, can't seem to get any real priorities straight, unless you think the reason for all of the worlds problems are due to the spelling errors of British and American people!

posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 03:20 PM
reply to post by Enthralled Fan

No kidding. There are children dying, wars, and many other huge issues going on, but God forbid someone forget to put an apostrophe in the word don't.

I can understand if they are bastardizing English to the point where you can not understand what the heck they are saying. Like I am not quite a fan of serious ebonics I will admit. However as long as you understand what they are saying without too much struggle deciphering their words, then who cares?

posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 08:58 AM
I live in England, its our languge, were the best country on the planet, we are the best. At one point in time the world was in our hand, this is what it felt like to be british, i think we desearve a break.

....oops did i spell some thing wrong...funny.


posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 09:20 AM

It concerns me too at times. It is not the crux of everything happening out here but your concern does bear some mentioning.

One of the problems with writing and grammer is that most people today are watchers ...not readers. Television and movies are the more common medium than are books and articles. THe problem with television and movies is that they tend to do our thinking for us. This is not the same as reading a book or article in the newspaper. However I will qualify this statement further by saying that most newspapers, the vocabulary levels are at four letter words...not much of a language accomplishment.
Most of the folks at ATS/BTS are more accomplished readers than the average person.

I will also add this point. When you go back and read books over a hundred years facet comes through clearly. Those people of those times who could read and write had an extensive vocabulary.

I was told by a dean of economics at an American University that folks back a hundred years or so back ,who were educated, had a vocabulary of some 4000 to 4500 words and knew what they meant. Today our average vocabulary of most Americans is about 1000 to 1200 words and most of them four letter words.

YOu can tell with some of the posters here ..on this forum. If you do not give them the Readers Digest Condensed version they get lost and frustrated. Not all mind you but a noticable group.

As to all the starving peoples in the are not going to be able to do much about that either ...nor this about reading and writing. One must motivate themselves to improve in the reading and writing arena. You cannot do this when you are raised, fed, watered,and groomed in front of a television set.
I of course include myself in this. I Know what you mean about reading and writing. IT is obvious to me by the number of peoples I know who cannot describe a concept or principle outside of a movie or television program about which they have watched and gotten all emotional. Their lives and thoughts are television/movie thoughts..little original experiences or thinking going on. more thing.. Americans are not the only ones like this. It is common also in many of the Western nations, not just here.

Hope this helps clear up your perspective.


[edit on 24-1-2008 by orangetom1999]

posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 10:10 AM

Originally posted by orangetom1999 more thing.. Americans are not the only ones like this. It is common also in many of the Western nations, not just here.

Hope this helps clear up your perspective.


It did, thank you. I have heard something about this in our country as well, and noticed that most of the yonger people and even most of my own age have somehow lost the capability to think in abstractions. What I heard it was commong among educated at some point. Then it just vanished, but not because of education missing something.

posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 02:38 PM

It did, thank you. I have heard something about this in our country as well, and noticed that most of the yonger people and even most of my own age have somehow lost the capability to think in abstractions. What I heard it was commong among educated at some point. Then it just vanished, but not because of education missing something.

I agree with what you declare or state concerning the ability to think in abstractions. Many of us are adrift in this kind of boat so to speak.

My belief is that this is the status because we have been groomed or conditioned to not think but instead to emote. Thinking is difficult and often requires informations or grist in order to stoke our thinking apparatus. This also means dicipline in organizing the grist into a logical reasonable order such that we can extract the usable from the not usable and for our benefit. Much of this is precisely because something is missing from our educations. Discernment and the tools to handle discernment to our benefit. This cannot be must be deliberate.
Education is for the purpose of instilling diciplines in us. An educated person in times past was often asked what was the dicipline in which they were educated. You dont often hear this question now days. "In what dicipline have you been educated."

Those who have spent a lifetime in "Amusements" and emotional satisfaction often do not have these diciplines. Instant gratification is often and verily at odds with dicipline.

The very word itself..amusement..or amuse...translates or breaks down..

muse- thinking.

without thinking-amuse.

Our lives are so affluent that we no longer think to problem solve ...we purchase products to solve problems but never think of the nature of that which surrounds us or that eventually..we serve the products not necessarily the products serving us. Amusement can be like this. Amusements are all it takes is to stop many peoples from thinking down certain avenues. They can be derailed..or even hijacked from real abstract thinking.

To me this is why we are so often bombarded with drivel like what the movie stars are doing or what drama is going on in their lives..etc etc. The gods and idols of sports or whatever other drivel can be spoonfed to us to prevent thinking on our own. The medium for most of this is radio,television, and movies.

If you want to take this thinking pattern to the next level..we are talking about a drug habit here. Some of us need to regularly be fed this pablum in order for our lives to have meaning and be fulfilled. Amusements can easily become a drug to those without diciplines in thinking but instead are reactionarys. They can easily be put on a string like a puppet while fleecinig thier pockets.
Well I think you are smart enough to get the point I am making without further ado.

Teach yourself the diciplines to be discerning here..dont just amuse your way through life. What is the motto here...Deny Ignorance. There is alot to be said for that motto.

You will often see me being facetious in my replys to some posters here on ATS/BTS in asking if they went to public school. By this I am facetious in infering that they have a television education. To me this is what much of our education has become in Stateside public schools. A television education.

Keep thinking and ease off on the drug of amusements. Exercise your brains natural abilities to solve abstract thought and problems. Otherwise you risk becoming wildlife..which needs to be controlled by more "Amusements." Dicipline yourself. Let no one discourage you here.
And dont forget to deny ignorance


posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 04:42 PM
reply to post by orangetom1999

I have been thinking these sort of things for some years now. Well, actually not actively thinking this but it does come into my mind every now and then, when I'm forced to be with people in their early twenties. Not that I'm very old myself, but still. I keep seeing an enormous difference in culture, style of happiness (or what leads to it) and behaviour motivated by emotion alone.

In culture, there are obviously some main elements, which for a long time were acruired into a person through discipline and effort, but today those elements appear to be born emotionally driven, and that type of drive is the only type that will do. Its sad. Also, there seems to be this trend among media by remixing and using old songs and then selling them as new. This sucks, obviously. But what really hit me was that I noticed that from top ten albums, in 9 out of 10 the hit song was some remix of a song from the 60's or 70's. I was stunned to find out that this type of development has been going on for years. It pretty much means that no new talents become known for our yonger part of a society. This must destroy something, Im sure of it.

Style of happiness.. I'm not very sure about this, but I certainly know that for the most part people want a short-time solution into everything, including happiness. It was not long ago when a child or teenager would have been happy with a product for years to come, but now that feeling appears to be some sort of consumeable element only. It lasts about a month or so, and this depends on price only. (I'm not implying that buying something makes one continuously happy for years, though. Hopefully you got my point.)

Its just that there is no short-time solution for good feelings, unless you are extremely rich and capable of buying anything you want. And that, really, is a mission to most even though their goal is upper middle-class. It boggles my mind when such people, who have finally achieved their goal, then ask now what to do? I can get anything, why aren't I happy? Then, they discover that most people who have money have actually spent lots and lots of their time into practising something that can be done with hands. And they wonder what a hell, this can't be. They don't buy, they do actual products (although as a hobby, obviously).

Emotion as well has suffered some great inflation in our times. Almost all emotions are being got from media, buying something or.. well, from where else? Long, meaningful and defined conversations with friends are an impossibility most of the time, as beginning of some conversations goes like "hey, did you see matrix and isn't that idea a cool thing?" and responses are, like you said, in context of that movie and both have incapability to create actual asbstractions that could be in real world, in some other situation.

Nevermind using knowledge, it no longer applies to society. Today's society will be about using feelings, and feelings alone. Some lonely pieces of sugar are spit out every now and then to give thinking people some mercy, but that's about it.

All this makes me feel, that I'm propably extremely lucky person to not have had friends who would go with fashion or media, people who read a lot and people who love to think. Today, that seems to be a privilidge that you get when you get born into some already defined environemnt.

posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 05:47 PM
I, too, have noticed a problem with spelling and grammer on this site and, I'm sure, I've been just as guilty as the illiterate in committing these errors.

English is known and taught world-wide. Most countries educate their children in their native language and teach English as a second language. I am much more tolerant of grammatical and spelling errors when committed by someone I know does not speak English as their first language than I am of my fellow native English speakers. It used to be a pet peeve of mine in which I made a royal nuisance of myself by correcting mistakes or pointing out errors. I found that people just quit talking to you. Besides, most people don't have anything of substance to tell you anyway, so it makes little sense to "polish the turd". (Present company excepted)

The lost art of conversation has died imperceptibly so that most of us are reduced to "sound bytes" of information without ever realizing it. It hardly matters to anyone if you spell correctly, enunciate clearly, or properly state your position on a matter if the topic of conversation is a trivial one. I believe lack of depth (shallowness) has contributed to sloppiness in communication.

posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 06:15 PM

Originally posted by whitewave
It used to be a pet peeve of mine in which I made a royal nuisance of myself by correcting mistakes or pointing out errors. I found that people just quit talking to you.

It is not my intent nor do I consciously notice all errors done. I'm not perfect myself.

Besides, most people don't have anything of substance to tell you anyway, so it makes little sense to "polish the turd". (Present company excepted)

That is what happens when all information coming in is from easy sources, such as magazines, newspapers and television that especially try to be easy to read. They simply don't use words that most people do not understand. What follows is that people don't learn to use new words either, I don't really know if there is anything that can be done about it, as long as media knows that by being understandable to most means more sales for most.

I know people have lots of things to say, but they just don't understand what they are missing when trying to form an opinion that they know is right. I have seen it several times, when people suddenly get interested about some subjects that are by their nature requiring more complex words, sentences and larger contexts to understand. I believe this is where hobbies kick in, but sadly not many want to spend too much time learning something.

The lost art of conversation has died imperceptibly so that most of us are reduced to "sound bytes" of information without ever realizing it. It hardly matters to anyone if you spell correctly, enunciate clearly, or properly state your position on a matter if the topic of conversation is a trivial one. I believe lack of depth (shallowness) has contributed to sloppiness in communication.

There are a billion ways to converse, and most of those ways remain hidden from people who get their daily doses from mainstream media. It is sad that even magazines specialized in something have diversified their readership into people who want it easy and to people who want to battle a bit for the understanding. Or more accurately, want better definitions and more into depth explanations.

posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 07:27 PM
When I went to nursing school we were taught that when we explain some point of care to a patient or family member, we should gear it down to a 6th grade level because most people just have no understanding of medical jargon. It's true that most people have a limited understanding of medical terminology but, I've found that if the majority of one's conversation is "geared down to a 6th grade level" then one's THINKING begins to degrade as well.

All forms of public medium are geared toward the lowest common denominator. This includes the internet. There are sites that provide in- depth information but they're not visited often or by the majority. Posting on discussion boards or chat rooms requires brevity. Instant messaging and emails do not allow for deep, thoughtful responses.

Magazines are pure fluff that are designed to sell advertising space. It's difficult to even find an article and, if you do, it's likely to be on some topic you couldn't care less about. If it is on a topic of interest, it's likely to not have any useful information. At least that has been my experience.

Radio is the same. When I drive to work or back, there's nothing but yammering idiots spewing nonsense. After changing the channel about 5 or 6 times and getting the same "talk you to death" spiel, I just give up and pop in a CD.

I gave up watching television over a year ago. There were some mindless fluff shows I enjoyed but, overall, I was wasting way too much time sifting through the propaganda. Nature shows, history shows, etc. were somewhat better but so heavily ladden with propagnda and indoctrination that I realized that if someONE were in my living room trying to pump that drivel into my belief system, I wouldn't give them 5 minutes of my time; no matter how many shiney pictures they produced.

We're a fast food nation. We want everything now. Producing substance and quality require time, effort and discipline. We're willing to sacrifice quality in all avenues to have quantity now. This includes conversation.

You ever notice how when people are trying to explain something to you they keep saying, "ya know?" Obviously you don't know or they wouldn't need to explain it to you. They want you to hurry up and understand. They don't really want to take the time to make themselves clearly understood or to educate you. It translates to sloppiness and laziness in thought and word. Just as the body can not live on a diet of fast food without suffering ill effects, the mind can not thrive with "sound byte" information as it's only source of input.

posted on Jan, 25 2008 @ 03:39 PM

Good to understand by your posts that you are thinking...adding up the stacks of numbers and coming to the realization that the numbers do not quite add up. Nor do you find satisfaction with the totals. Good work!!

You are musing..not amusing. Keep it up!!

I am afraid I must make haste to shove off to work and as a result commentary is not going to be on the menu with the time constraints. the spirit of bathroom humour...her posts are noted and "commentary" will also have to be postponed.

Hold down the fort folks,

posted on Jan, 26 2008 @ 02:34 AM
Bathroom humour and drivell passed to the public by the media.

THe guys in my crew often read the newspapers when coming into work.
They know my views on most of what passes as newsworthy or good informations.

What passes for news and information today in the media has often consisted of the lives of what I call todays "Fab Four." (after what the media took to calling the Beatles)

Todays Fab Four consists of Lindsay Lohan, Nichole Riche, Paris Hilton, and Brittany Spears. For some reason the media is fascinated by what these train wrecks do with thier lives and try to pass it on to us as news.
That lowest common denominator thing.

The guys in my crew also know that I cannot stand this drivel and whenever I enter the conference room they will delightfully blurt out..." Did you hear about Brittany??"....or whatever train wreck is in the news today.
This immediately brings out in me the resultant sign with my hands of the "T" time out sports signal accompanied by a verbal "Stop...stop..stop."
I often give them my opinion on these women in that they need enemas five times a day. Also that the problem with these women is that they would get to liking it and start a new fad in America and make Fleet millions of dollers in new sales. A gullible public would make this the new fad to be copied. retrospect I would like to add that the media also needs enemas five times a day if they think this drivel is news and information.

And that is my contribution to the OPs thoughts and bathroom humour for today.

When you have a social structure so sick that these four train wrecks pass for news and informations how do you expect proper english skills to take any kind of priority.


posted on Jan, 26 2008 @ 03:47 AM
You know, that’s why ‘God’ is merciful. ‘He’ gave us a computer wherein there resides a software programming which allows us to utilize the almighty spell-checker; thus, we avoid the pitfalls of making errors in grammar and spelling. (This goes the same for the finance folks who are pretty much helpless at year end without their spreadsheets for reporting).

Furthermore without the internet, we would indeed be watching televised programmings hours on end like a couch potato spud instead researching the endless resources available online as in the olden days liken to sitting at the library full of dusty books with musty smells from old librarians. The collection of shiny compact disks, unfortunately, replaces a roomful of priceless antiquities befit for well deserved bibliophiles.

So don’t loose hope, ‘rawsom’, some of us Americanized whippersnappers are good to go with this English language. Each person will overcome this shortcoming of expression through written communications: This was something I too had to learn on my own and in a hard way, which is so far so good, IMO.

[See? I tried to type smart here, too!]

posted on Jan, 26 2008 @ 07:59 AM
reply to post by orangetom1999

What I find amazing is that the people who complain the most about the news covering the 4 people you mentioned, are the ones who are usually the most informed about them. How do you know they need 5 enemas a day? How do you know they are trainwrecks? Why would you even comment about them if you don't want to see it in the news?

People like you only add fuel to the fire!

If you don't want to hear about it on television, change the channel. If you don't want to read about it in the paper, turn the page! Most of all, if you want to see them go away, ignore them!

Fads do fade away once people quit talking about them!

posted on Jan, 26 2008 @ 09:10 AM
reply to post by Enthralled Fan

Enthralled Fan,

Thank you for your post. I am not the most informed about them except by the guys at work who are wont to speak of it.

I do infact ..change channels when I see this stuff promoted. Not just for the "Fab Four" but also other non newsworthy headlines so wont to pass for news and informations today.
For example I can recall Matt Drudge making an opinion that the girl who disappeared in Aruba....that Greta Van Suster would be talking about that case for another two years. That is pretty much what happened. I did not consider her disappearence to be nationwide news among all the other events happening. I see this fingerprint happening alot on the media.
It was the same with that pregnant woman who was murdered out in California that held the news media spellbound for more than a year. Neither did I think that nationwide news.

I am simply not intrested in most of what passes for headline news today.
I find most of it to be fluff..filler.
The point here is that my life is not so droll and idle that I must spend time concerned or being bombarded by what these people are doing in their lives. Nor being insulted by the media as to what they think constitutes news and informations.

Like some other posters here, I watch little television anymore and when I turn to news and information...what do I get...drivel about the "Fab Four."
Like others ..I have learned that you can sometimes get news and information a couple of days ahead on line before it hits the local news and informations media...national too at times.

THe Fab Four are not news and informations..they are filler/fluff and of the lowest common denominator. LCD.


posted on Jan, 26 2008 @ 10:09 AM
I'm not into homeland or nationality ego, but sometimes I feel urge to tell people - especially to those from USA - that there are alternative ways of doing and organizing media without full goverment control. What's good about it is that it forces commercial companies to make their ads and such less intrusive. This system proapbly doesn't work in very large countries.

We have two national tv-channels and around five or six radio-stations owned by our goverment. They have pretty much no control on what is displayed on those channels, except normal age restrictions (11, 13, 15, 18). There are however things that are controlled by goverment on these two channels. Those things are: absolute ban of commercials or in-product placements, control of budget in a way that goverment doesn't pay their bills if they make mistakes, standards used to send broadcasts are pretty much defined by this company (without any commercial interests), requirement to have representatives from all parties among leadership (this is controlled by commercial media by critic. Very strong critic about independence and influence of whoever persons).

Also, unversities have a Lot to say about what is aired and what not. There have been good documents about terrorism from within religion, about good things in islam, islam in general and at some point they aired very critical documents about what happens if islamic people start to move into europe (Turkey wants to join EU, but nobody wants their citizens to be able to move within central, northern or western europe). If we put even one clearly commercially tie dup professor or expert in any documentation, all hell breaks loose in media, usenet newsgroups and forums on web.

What comes to parodies and humor in general, anything is allowed as long as purpose is not to insult but to enterntain. We can publish anything we want, as I understand is allowed in USA as well.

There's a lot of critic going on against goverment controlled media, but the idea is not in controlling what is aired but restricting things that DO make some source of information dependant of any commercial entity or individual. In Finland, it works, and as far as I know, BBC of great britain is well laid in exactly same manner as well.

I'm not 100% certain that every subject of information is neutral, nor am I naive enough to believe that, but this system comes a long, long way towards being trustworthy. In our reported history of goverment controlled mediachannels, there has been exactly ONE time any news item broadcasted was not real. This happened about 10 years ago, and there has been at least 70 years of broadcasts from that source. Neutrality as well is controlled quite tightly, and it is not even allowed to say that some political party is better than other. Not by that channel, they will have to stand up for themselves in specially arranged broadcasts.

We have our own gossp-magazines as well, and a lot of people do read them and like to continue reading them, but serious stuff is never, ever personalized into any single leader (expect in low quality magazines but everybody knows not to trust when reading them. wanting is another matter).

A few times a year, many magazines tell that they do not want american style broadcasts, news items or anything like that in our coutry. Even media is against it, as owners actully want to get some real, good and neutral news for themselves as well. In Finland, CNN, Fox News and some others are considered rubbish.

The problem in large numer of citizens is that even minority groups can get millions of supporters, which then allows them to advertise themselves as somebody who has "6 million people are against x, please join us". This creates a dominoeffect that sometimes will bring up new and propably idiotic views into public interest, and sometimes it goes through all barriers, becoming reality. This cannot happen in a small country, unless there really are about 100k supporters, which is still realtively a larger number.

Please take no offence, whoever you are, reading this post.

[edit on 26/1/08 by rawsom]

[edit on 26/1/08 by rawsom]

posted on Jan, 26 2008 @ 10:39 AM
When Heath Ledger died, one of my co-workers came in quite visibly upset and announced with all due solemnity that "Heath Ledger died." I have no idea who Heath Ledger is but I gathered that he was some big name celebrity. I replied, "Did he ever call you, or write you or remember your birthday? Did he ever send you a post card to let you know he was thinking of you? Honestly, why do you care?" If he were particularly gifted in his craft one would, of course, miss the loss of talent but to act like your mother died is a bit much.

You can't make people care about truly important issues but if all you offer them is fluff then the only choices of things to care about is the more "important" (translate: drama type) fluff. Dubya can't string an intelligible sentence together when reading it from a teleprompter which should be newsworthy: Leader of The Free World Illiterate. That tidbit is treated like a joke while the "joke news" (Britaney shaves her head) is treated as newsworthy. It's a crazy, mixed-up world, brother. I just practice hanging onto my sanity and wait for the insane to fall of its' own ineptitude. The voice of reason will once again be sought out.

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