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Is ATS proof of the dumbing down of America?

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posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 07:41 PM
Pserolny I dno't mnid the odd msikate as lnog as I get the ponit, and thtas the olny raeosn I'm raednig the psot. I gesus ohetr poelpe look for mroe than jsut an opnioin wihcih I cna't ralete to wehn you cosnedir its a fourm.


Your feeling sleepy... very sleepy... now look into my eyes

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 07:57 PM
reply to post by maus80

Typing errors have a lot to do with speed but no, many Americans do not have a good grasp of spelling. Language is a socially learned skill, meaning your accuracy depends a lot on how well you were taught. I was fortunate enough to grow up in the early 80s, when phonetical spelling was prohibited in classrooms.

When the Clintons took over in the 1990s, just as the Internet was allowed into schools, phonetical spelling and socialized learning replaced rote learning as the official teaching model. Here in Florida that meant that students were put into groups, given textbooks or Web sites and told to teach themselves. You can imagine what happens when students try to teach each other to read. The use of Internet/text shorthand is so bad now in local schools that some teachers accept misspellings as a legitimate "alternate" language similar to ebonics.

Thanks to the Internet, everyone is a journalist or blogger now, reinforcing errors with every misspelled word. You also can thank an increasingly illiterate newsmedia since many editors and reporters cannot read or write above an eighth grade level, which is the real reason that most Internet sites and newspapers are written at that level. I worked for many years at a newspaper with employees and correspondents who could not write in complete sentences or spell many of the words pointed out in this thread correctly, including top editors. The fact that many papers have developed alternate versions of sentence structure to hide the rising level of newsroom illiteracy is only compounding the problem.

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 08:01 PM
an azmanig tihng aubot our mdins is taht we can raed smeohitng slelped trlbirey & SLTIL get the pniot.

The laziness of some posters is still annoying. Not their problem, however...

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 08:02 PM
Truly would like to know if some people can't easily interpret the above post. It was just like reading a properly structured posting, to me. Actually it was possibly easier to read. Flowed right through it. Just seemed more natural and real, then the robotic-like format of perfectionist writers.

Not trying to knock anyone, just trying to explain the way I process.

edit to add that it's now the first and third above posts. Originally was referring to the one three posts up.

[edit on 26-10-2008 by unityemissions]

[edit on 26-10-2008 by unityemissions]

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 08:03 PM
reply to post by ItsTheQuestion

My mind did not understand "slelped trlbirey" at all
So much for that theory Gestalt.

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 08:04 PM

Usually when a critic focuses on the spelling or grammar, the reason is that he or she does not like the poster or the message. If these kinds of errors disturb you, you probably should take a look at what you're really angry about.

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 08:08 PM
reply to post by volitionawareness

PERFRECT....I am assuming you were meaning to say "perfect"... I understood exactly what you were trying to say anyway.

Here is what I know in regards to myself, I multitask, usually I am working on multiple items at a time and I do make mistakes. That is called being human, and the OP getting upset at his own mistakes being pointed out to him is a bit childish in my opinion.

My thinking is that you don't have to be a perfect speller etc to be intelligent (misspelled and had to correct). I have known many people in my life who were not given the great opportunity (typo corrected) of our lovely educational system, and were still very intellectual individuals.

Not everyone has the same communication style, and honestly think how boring it would be if everyone spoke, typed (typo), communicated in the same way. Besides I think (typo) that it is interesting to see the many varied ways that people interact with each other.

I am sure someone else can find lot's of mistakes in my posting.

Personally I think only a computer could perfectly create a sentence every single time without mistakes, and only then if the programmer has done a perfect programming job. Or should that be "a perfect job at programming?"

Either way, I enjoy the many varied ways that humans have of expressing their thoughts, opinion and emotions, makes life interesting.

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 08:28 PM
I believe people on the net just let their spelling and grammar slide, When I have to compose a letter in the real world I go back over it and read it two or three times and check it for mistakes. I would not say it has to do with the dumbing down of America as I see people from many countries do the same thing.

My wife is a professor at a local university and when she writes a paper or an article she is so anal retentive about grammar and spelling it is amazing but when she is just gossiping with other professors on line she lets it slide a bit as do the others

Another thing to remember is each distinct language has its own grammar so someone who does not speak English as his or her native language may not apply the same grammar as we do.

What irritates me is when you are having a debate or heated discussion online and some idiot cant back up what they are saying so they turn into a damn grammar Nazi and try to insult you by bring up your mistakes trying to draw attention away from the subject.

[edit on 26-10-2008 by DesertWolf]

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 08:34 PM
were not dum we jus git cot up w/are thots and cant consintrait on speling and grammer as much as weed like too its semple relly you tipe wat you are thincking about without realy reading what youv typd after words why dont you understande this grammer and stuff dont madder it is just fancie stuff that isnt improtnt to life wats relly importint is wat youssay too the preson knot how you say it you git what i am saing

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 08:53 PM
link favourite is "should of" instead of "should have" or "should've".

Poor English writing skills (for English speakers) calls into question whatever you're trying to say. When you have something to say...write it correctly if you want to be taken seriously.

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 08:55 PM

Originally posted by unityemissions
Truly would like to know if some people can't easily interpret the above post. It was just like reading a properly structured posting, to me. Actually it was possibly easier to read. Flowed right through it. Just seemed more natural and real, then the robotic-like format of perfectionist writers.

Not trying to knock anyone, just trying to explain the way I process.

edit to add that it's now the first and third above posts. Originally was referring to the one three posts up.

You say "More natural then", so I want to call you out I guess. Do you truly not know that the word is than, or is it something else? How did these words come to be switched around in usage?

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 08:56 PM
reply to post by mdiinican

true.. I can remember people using short terms or weird slang words back before in the internet when I ran a Bulletin Broadcasting System.

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 09:02 PM
reply to post by maus80

I don't believe a person's intellect or message should be judged by how well-practiced their grammar is.

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 09:05 PM
Seeing thread titles along the lines of ' What fashions will Aliens wear ? '
is, to me, more indicative of dumbed-down than poor spelling and/or grammar.

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 09:19 PM

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl 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.

Or rather...

According to a researcher (sic) at Cambridge University, it doesn't matter in what order the letters in a word are, the only important thing is that the first and last letter be at the right place. The rest can be a total mess and you can still read it without problem. This is because the human mind does not read every letter by itself but the word as a whole.

Apparently, spelling is not that important to the human brain...

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 09:32 PM
Everything I’ve read in this thread could be lifted up and placed at any point in history where language started to evolve. Like I said in my earlier post, I truly think some people’s perceptions of ‘dumbing down’ is the English language changing. Take a look at the writings of the early 1900’s or earlier, there are words there that have no meaning to us now. Slang that is so archaic we have to cross-reference it to understand the meaning. The Internet is doing for English what literacy and print books did for old English…it changed the evolution of the language as the internet is doing now.
In fact, English might be splitting into two different languages. Think that sounds crazy? It has already happened to English on a smaller scale, as well as other languages. You have low German V. Formal German. There is Pidgin, which from my understanding is a mix low and broken dialect simplified for communication. (Creole is an example kind of, along with Hawaiian pidgin). It just stand to reason that the net with it diversity is going to spawn different language styles. And yes, some of the styles are ‘lazy’.
It doesn't surprise me that some people take umbrage to other's linguistic styling though, each generation has a superiority complex about how much better/ harder/inclusive their schooling was in comparison with the next new standard. The fact is information has sometimes a limited life span, and what was relevant ten years ago, is mute today.

Chillax peeps---Ignore posts you don’t understand, give people the grace to be who they are. Chances are good that someone will understand their post, even if you don’t.

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 09:36 PM

Originally posted by Anonymous ATS
reply to post by maus80

I don't believe a person's intellect or message should be judged by how well-practiced their grammar is.

Excuse me, but isn't your participle dangling?

Just teasing.

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 09:40 PM
reply to post by swdecord

You're right .. spelling is not that important to the human brain

If God had intended merely to create creatures which spelled correctly ... gee ---- people would be citing the Oxford Dictionary as the ultimate authority in all things (particularly here in ATS) rather than the Bible

Intelligence is not defined by 'the ability to spell correctly'

Yet it appears this thread *IS* using spelling ability as the criteria re: intelligence -- and is citing poor spelling as evidence that the US is dumbed-down

Intelligence or lack of determines survival potential

Ever hear of someone dying of starvation because they couldn't spell ?

Americans shouldn't be here if that's the case, because many of America's founding fathers and pioneers were illiterate.

Yet they managed to raise families and livestock. Managed to establish agriculture. Managed to erect magnificent buildings which still stand today.
And all this was accomplished despite their poor or non-existent spelling ability.

Doubt the founding fathers would have entertained theories such as 'human and reptillian dating' however. And had their children done so, they would most likely have decided their children had too little work and way too much time on their hands

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 09:49 PM
I don't think it is as much of a non-issue as some here make it out to be.

Imagine if our traffic signs, airport abbreviations, doctor's prescriptions, directories, legal documents, etc., were all subject to the same sloppiness. One letter transposed in a chemical formula could mean disaster. Math would be impossible.

To me, it's a product of bad education, or a lack of effort on the part of the author. I can't say that the internet is the cause since I never communicated as much with strangers via text as I do now.

I guess we could always chalk it up to a broken keyboard, eh?

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 09:53 PM
I haven't read through this entire thread yet. (Been reading all day!)

However, I must add my frustration to that expressed by OP since I observe the same thing, though not just on ATS. I admit it's hard for me to resist the temptation to correct Internet misspellings all the time, especially the kind that seem to demonstrate that a person has never written or read the word (only heard it spoken). I know that I myself have been guilty of doing this in my second language, out of a lack of sufficient reading and writing. That being said, I don't have any glaring examples of this phenomenon on hand, but if I wanted to I could keep a list. Prefix-switching (as in mis- and un-, or en- and in-) is a particular pet peeve of mine! I want to call out each and every person who does it and show them how they have mangled the word in question, but I resist so as not to be a know-it-all.

And, yes, I know I slip up on grammar now and then or create monster run-on sentences. Part of that is simple burn-out from so much online research, which makes me too tired sometimes to bother perfecting what I write. In addition, I do lazily coin words now and then, but I do it consciously so I figure there is little harm done.

I have also been taught that language evolves, by way of my college freshman linguistics course years ago. Despite that, I still feel it is a noble and worthwhile thing to promote and safeguard the integrity of our language. The scary thing is I'm starting to spot these kind of errors in mainstream news articles. I should start emailing *them* when I catch those mistakes because there is really no excuse for that! Alternative news articles probably have them, too. Imagine the state of our language when many wrong spellings become common spellings. Maybe some words happen to have evolved that way over time, but it saddens me nonetheless.

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