User Tag List

123 Last

Results 1 to 10 of 72

  1. #1
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Enneagram
    1w2
    Posts
    5,514

    Default Correcting Grammar

    I found this article about correcting other's grammar.

    These are the two viewpoints on why you should/shouldn't correct someone's grammar.

    Barry Leiba, a technical researcher at IBM and author of the delightful blog "Staring At Empty Pages," said there are "exactly four" situations where it's all right to correct someone's grammar: (1) when you're an English teacher correcting a student, (2) when you're coaching a nonnative speaker who's asked for help, (3) when someone else has asked for coaching, or (4) when someone puts the equivalent of a "kick me" sign on her back.
    As business guru Alan Weiss, Ph.D., explained, when we let people get away with grammar goofs, we don't have their long-term interests in mind.

    This is called operating in the other person's self-interest, Weiss said. It's not an easy thing to do when you're correcting the grammar of someone who can fire you. But, as Weiss put it, "ethics are not situational."

    "It's like being partially illegal or partially pregnant," he said. "There isn't any such thing as partially ethical."
    I agree with the person who says you should only correct someone's grammar in narrowly defined situations. Obviously you understood what the person was trying to communicate if you can correct them. There are many other (and less embarrassing) ways to advance someone else's best interest. Why decide to have someone else's best-interests in mind while only correcting their grammar?

  2. #2
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INFP
    Posts
    3,698

    Default

    Does #3 include the grammar gaffs of self-professed "grammar police" posters?

    I would add a further category for when it's okay to correct someone's grammar - that being with a person you know fairly well who is frequently involved in public speaking. In which case you are acting in their best interests by attempting to remove possible obstacles to their perceived credibility. You'd probably restrict this to people who make only occasional and consistent mistakes, otherwise you'd just undermine their confidence.

  3. #3
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INFP
    Enneagram
    6
    Posts
    24,060

    Default

    I think the self-professed grammar police, if they also have atrocious grammar themselves, have basically outfitted themselves with virtual "Kick Me" signs. It totally counts, IMO.

    Edited to add: I would add that it's also okay to make a good-natured wisecrack based on somebody's mistake. Strictly speaking, that might not fall under the category of "correcting grammar," though.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  4. #4
    Reigning Bologna Princess Rajah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    ENTP
    Enneagram
    7
    Posts
    1,774

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Edited to add: I would add that it's also okay to make a good-natured wisecrack based on somebody's mistake.
    Agreed. Or I'm screwed.


    I... suppose. Yeah!

  5. #5

    Default

    Generally, I agree with the first viewpoint. It is nearly impossible to correct another's grammar without coming off like an officious prig. That said, more than a few times I have, upon hearing someone say supposably, found a way to phrase my reply to include the word supposedly, hoping it will rub off.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Posts
    408

    Default

    I generally appreciate it when people correct me if it means I'm learning something I didn't know before. (And if they don't interrupt me to do so.) If I say something glaringly wrong and my friends don't point it out, it's like they're letting me walk around with lettuce in my teeth or a big smudge on my nose. I like words and I want to use them correctly.

  7. #7
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    FREE
    Enneagram
    594 sx/sp
    Socionics
    LII Ne
    Posts
    42,333

    Default

    It is just a balance, to me, and depends on the situation. If it's an important matter or if someone makes a consistent mistake that will undermine their credibility (or the credibility of who they are representing), I'll correct them. If it's just about me being anal and there's no reason to correct it, I won't.

    (Except of course for the posts where I quote someone -- because I just HAVE to correct all the misspellings. I can't help it: It's genetically wired that way. And occasionally if someone has been pissing me off, I will correct their grammar just to irritate them. Simple pleasures...)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Posts
    189

    Default

    I have a few non-native English speaking friends I may on occasion correct. They'll sometimes ask me how to say something even before they attempt it.

    For native English speakers I may only correct their grammar if there's a possibility of confusion from what they said. Such as knowing which pronoun corresponds to whom or say verb tense in knowing if an action did or didn't already happen. Unless it's something that person is going to be repeating, I generally don't see the need to correct someone's grammar. Putting someone on guard I think can be detrimental to communication as much as poor grammar. The person won't speak freely if at all, closing off talking as well as listening. That person who will become too self conscious to hear you because he or she is thinking too much of what will come out of his or her mouth next.

    It doesn't happen too often now but there have been times at work where I'll be in an office as someone's writing an e-mail and reading it aloud while typing. I'll jump in with alt ways of saying things even if not asked to do so first. Although I guess you could say the reading aloud is asking.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Opivy1980's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Posts
    138

    Default

    The only time when correcting someone's speaking grammar is when in a professional situation, I work in collections, and I have people call in with just the worst speaking and ghetto trash talk I can barely stand, someone needs to tell these people that Ebonics is not appropriate in a business situation, it makes them sound stupid, same with thick Southern accents, and foreign people who call in and can barely string to words together.

    As far as writing is concerned if there is no proof reader available or copy editor then it is appropriate to correct grammar, however I had professors who would love my ideas and knock me down an entire letter grade because I had some run on sentences, and missing some commas, my response to them was "that is what copy editors are for, when I get published then I'll care." I at least got them to raise my grade from a solid to a minus higher.

    So I would say basic grammar is important such as knowing what a word means and how to spell it before using it, but as far as what a gerund is, if you're not an English major or a writer, who really cares?
    Question everything especially yourself.

    Opivy1980

  10. #10
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Enneagram
    1w2
    Posts
    5,514

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Opivy1980 View Post
    The only time when correcting someone's speaking grammar is when in a professional situation, I work in collections, and I have people call in with just the worst speaking and ghetto trash talk I can barely stand, someone needs to tell these people that Ebonics is not appropriate in a business situation, it makes them sound stupid, same with thick Southern accents, and foreign people who call in and can barely string to words together.
    Dude, you sound ignorant and high-strung. Do you think you don't have an accent or use a certain type of vernacular English? Have one of these
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

Similar Threads

  1. Grammar correcting. Helpful or irritating?
    By MDP2525 in forum The Fluff Zone
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 02-15-2012, 12:04 AM
  2. [INTP] INTPs and Grammar
    By MerkW in forum The NT Rationale (ENTP, INTP, ENTJ, INTJ)
    Replies: 49
    Last Post: 02-17-2008, 07:06 AM
  3. Replies: 69
    Last Post: 08-10-2007, 12:05 PM
  4. Improving one's Vocabulary, Grammar and Spelling?
    By Noel in forum Arts & Entertainment
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-05-2007, 08:18 PM
  5. Grammar Girl
    By Haight in forum Arts & Entertainment
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 05-12-2007, 11:33 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO