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  1. #1
    Member Caligula's Avatar
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    Exclamation College: And The Future of Spelling and Grammar

    Not to sound incredibly pretentious, but...

    I am currently attending a private four-year liberal arts college. When I was a senior in High School, I couldn't wait to go to college and meet intelligent, like-minded individuals. Everyone always told me that the friends you meet in college are the friends you'll have for the rest of your life.

    Speaking now after my first semester, I am very disappointed. Most people here don't know the difference between your/you're or when to use I/me. Their spelling is often atrocious. I found that my essays in high school are better than the average "college level" essay. As someone who values grammar/spelling, I wonder why this is.

    I don't equate grammar/spelling with intelligence (Hell, Albert Einstein was dyslexic) but this is so prominent that I am absolutely appalled. Wasn't your/you're and their/there/they're something we learned in middle school?

    Do people just not care? Is the fault of the school system? Texting? Will the standards change for what's considered "correct?" Should Callie switch colleges? What do you think?

    I am open to the idea of changing the rules (i.e. make all spellings the same,) however while these rules are in place shouldn't we follow them? (The SJ in me speaking.)

    Edit: I know I'm not perfect. Feel free to ironically point out errors.
    Last edited by Caligula; 01-25-2011 at 12:46 PM. Reason: Clarity.
    Living is never a waste of time.

  2. #2
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    I'm really confused about why you think good spelling and grammar is equivalent to "intelligent, like-minded, and interesting people". I think you are being incredibly pretentious in this regard. But to be fair, that stuff bugs me too. I just don't write people off if they aren't grammar experts. You need to loosen up about 1000% if you want to connect with those interesting people.

    In my experience, adequate grammar and spelling seems to correlate with extensive reading as well as inborn talent, education (both quality and quantity) and intelligence. Gen Y seems particularly bad at spelling due to texting/internet lingo, but I think that's caused by laziness rather than incompetence, for most.

    edit: 5$ on intp. intj?
    -end of thread-

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Callie, are you an English/Lit major?

  4. #4
    Senior Member ScorpioINTP's Avatar
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    It's not limited to just college. It goes far beyond that. I don't think the OP is being pretentious. This is stuff you learn in grade school and middle school. I find it reflects poorly on someone if they constantly get things like you're/your, our/are, hear/here etc. It doesn't necessarily mean the person has no intelligence, but this is basic stuff and when you graduate college you are expected to be able to communicate effectively. They aren't doing themselves any favors. Send out a resume/cover letter with language like that and see what it gets you. I think it comes down to education mostly and I guess that is why people are always complaining about our education system. I'd guess this is way more common in America than other industrialized nations too (and maybe something to do with the stupid English language).

    It doesn't mean you can't be friends with people or that they are bad people, but its a valid observation the OP makes. More people go to college now than ever too and I'd guess the standards have slipped a little.

    FWIW I was not an English major either and I didn't read that much growing up. I hated reading and was a jock. I went to decent schools though.

    I actually thought this thread was going to have something to do with cyber talk/texting and how people carry it over into RL.

    Mind telling us which school this is? I'm curious (PM if you don't want to post here)
    Type 6w5 sp/so/sx I think..I have not fully explored this and just discovered it.

  5. #5
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    People need to read more. There is no teaching "correct" spelling and grammar (which, because language is living and developing, doesn't really exist even theoretically never mind pragmatically).

    All the research shows that teaching "correct" spelling and grammar makes no difference a student's ability to produce it, and in fact, teaching grammar and spelling decreases their writing skills as a whole because they're paying attention to style to the detriment of the message.

    The only way to better this skillset is through reading.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
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  6. #6
    Member IntrovertedThinker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caligula View Post
    I am currently attending a private four-year liberal arts college. When I was a senior in High School, I couldn't wait to go to college and meet intelligent, like-minded and interesting people. Everyone always told me that the friends you meet in college are the friends you'll have for the rest of your life.

    Speaking now after my first semester, I am very disappointed. Most people here don't know the difference between your/you're or when to use I/me. Their spelling is often atrocious. I found that my essays in high school are better than the average "college level" essay. Not to sound incredibly pretentious, but I wonder why this is.

    Do people just not care? Is the fault of the school system? Will the standards change for what's considered "correct?" Should Callie switch colleges? What do you think?

    Edit: I know I'm not perfect. Feel free to ironically point out errors.
    Most likely, it's the school system.
    Public schooling is going down the drain.

  7. #7
    Member IntrovertedThinker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    People need to read more. There is no teaching "correct" spelling and grammar (which, because language is living and developing, doesn't really exist even theoretically never mind pragmatically).

    All the research shows that teaching "correct" spelling and grammar makes no difference a student's ability to produce it, and in fact, teaching grammar and spelling decreases their writing skills as a whole because they're paying attention to style to the detriment of the message.

    The only way to better this skillset is through reading.
    I disagree. I learned a lot more about spelling and grammar through instruction than through reading (although, reading no doubt does help a person familiarize themselves with the appropriate spelling/grammar in any given situation, as you see the proper usage in an actual valid context).

    For me, when someone explains "your" and "you're" by pointing out what linguistic function they serve (such as "your" to mean possession and "you're" to mean "you are") it really helps conceptually understand the difference, even without the contextual situations learned through reading that enforce this understanding. So for me, instruction really did help me to cognitively, rationally understand when to use this or that phrase or word in it's correct functional context.

    Therefore, I think it's ultimately proof of a failing educational/school system with standards that are ever lessening every year. I give my high school education 5/10, for instance, while collegial study has been about 7 - 8/10. Yet, collegial study relies on skills you were supposed to have gained from high school/middle school—many skills many schools fail to truly teach to their students. So in my experience, college has been wonderful; it's just the lack of pre-collegial skills which bug me—and that's probably because of a faulty public school system.

  8. #8
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    I'm aware that I often mistake using "your" instead of "you're" (rarely is it the other way around.) The biggest thing for me is communication and getting the message across. A few errors aren't so bad, but multiple errors are.

    Learn about your particular community (your major.) You may find that some majors are more relaxed when it comes to spelling and grammar. I am also quite sure creative writers would be more relaxed when it comes to their writing.

    I'm quite sure you would go crazy seeing something like these on your list of "grammatical errors."

    • TheFutureOfSpellingAndGrammar
    • theFutureOfSpellingAndGrammar
    • TheFutureOfSpellingGrammar
    • theFutureOfSpellingGrammar
    • FutureSpellingAndGrammar
    • futureSpellingAndGrammar
    • SpellingAndGrammer
    • spellingAndGrammer
    • SpellingNGrammar
    • spellingNGrammar
    • FutureSpellingGrammar
    • futureSpellingGrammar
    • SpellNGramm
    • spellNGramm


    And really, in this case, it work wonders for IT/programming. In some cases, you'll get pissed off having a syntax error somewhere around your programs for forgetting a semicolon. Even worse, an error that doesn't show up.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Doesn't the title of this thread have a grammar mistake?

    "College: And The Future of Spelling and Grammar"

    Either the colon is unnecessary or the first "And" is superfluous.

  10. #10
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    I think that the majority of people you're interacting with are simply less intelligent than yourself regarding such things, because they don't read as much. People who care about such things often get higher grades, and are more likely to become writers.

    As long as people with poor skills in spelling and grammar do not become writers or editors, we will be fine. Why do you think books are always reviewed by editors? They're the people who actually understand grammar and spelling. It's still important for image, even if a lot of people don't pay attention to it. There are quite a few people who notice other people's errors and look down on them for it, even if they make several errors themselves.

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