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Re: digression

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On 20 Oct 2004 at 14:31, Andrew Kester wrote:

> Finally, noobody on this list has perfect grammar, so why don't we
> ease up. Many of the listees are on their second or third languages.
> We are typing quick emails to a list, not legal documents or
> textbooks. It shows a sign of weakness in a discussion/argument to
> pick on somebody's grammar, personally attack them, etc. To me these
> are equivalents of giving someone the hand and saying "whatever".

Andrew, I agree with you that proper grammar isn't critical in list 
discussions and I also agree with the need to cut non-native english 
speakers some slack.  

On the other hand, based on the frequency with which I encounter poor 
grammar incorporated into technical documents, reports, and other 
communications, I often wonder if lazy writing in one format carries 
over into another.  Seeing the number of list members who don't know 
the difference between there/their/they're makes me wonder how many 
of them have made the same mistake on their drawings, specifications, 
etc.  I believe people should try to write clearly and correctly no 
matter what medium is being used, if only to encourage good writing 

Also, I see nothing wrong in correcting somebody's grammar/spelling 
in the spirit of constructive criticism.  After all, everybody 
benefits when somebody improves their communication skills.  However, 
I agree with you that attacking somebody's grammar while avoiding the 
content of the post just increases the signal to noise ratio.

Of course, having made the above case, I wouldn't be surprised if 
I've made at least one egregious grammatical error that's completely 
escaped me.  Let the nit-picking begin!


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