Return to the Hot Topics Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Poor Writing Skills 2

Posted by jodik 5 (My Page) on
Thu, Nov 14, 13 at 17:52

Robin's thread was just so much fun I thought it might be nice to take it for another spin around the block, just for sits and giggles... anyone else game?

I think the English language, as it's been Americanized, and in spite of the many rules we learned in school, gives us a lot of leeway to express ourselves, each quite differently.

I'm reminded of becoming used to the writing style of one author, reading their book series... and then switching to a new author and having to get used to a whole new style...


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Though this doesn't fit in with the theme of poor writing skills - it takes real skill to write this awfulness so beautifully. (or "so awful beautiful" to satisfy Hay)

To wit, the 2013 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Writing Contest winner.

"She strutted into my office wearing a dress that clung to her like Saran Wrap to a sloppily butchered pork knuckle, bone and sinew jutting and lurching asymmetrically beneath its folds, the tightness exaggerating the granularity of the suet and causing what little palatable meat there was to sweat, its transparency the thief of imagination." (Chris Wieloch, Brookfied, WI)


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

I wish to stand in defense of big words and reasonable rhetoric. English is spoken by a billion or more people and has many dialects mostly mutually intelligible to other English speakers. The language, in fact, is the lingua franca of science, commerce and popular culture. Vocabulary of English and its numerous dialects is vast and pliable in spite of efforts to formalize meanings, spellings and grammatical constructs.

Polysyllabic words are often very precise in meaning and may convey wider ranges of meaning in the context. And many words that have similar meanings are themselves loaded with more precise meanings or intentions or implications.

I might travel to the next town, or I might journey to the next town or I might trek to the next town, or I might slog my way to the next town, etc. My point is that there are many ways to get from here to the next town and even more ways of expressing, in precise words, how that transit is accomplished/done/executed/completed/attempted/delivered/covered/etc.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

"Entrants are invited "to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels" ��" that is, deliberately bad."

Here is a link that might be useful: Bestest Mostest Awfullest


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Well, Duluth... it certainly does invite a particularly peculiar visual, doesn't it?! Good gracious, talk about description! ;-)

Take names, for example, Marshallz... you can spell and pronounce them any way you like, and it's perfectly acceptable.

I just like using a variety of words, instead of using the same ones over and over... so I occasionally consult my trusty dictionary and find something new to learn and use. I think it's kind of fun, actually.

When you think about where the American spoken brand of English comes from... well, who's to say what's completely right or wrong? The parameters are fairly out there...


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

I have been trying to think of a different word for manties to provide some variety when I mention them here...


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Um... big boy panties? ;-)

But seriously... think of the words each new generation and its advances spawn... "normalcy", for instance, was coined by a President, I believe... and has been used ever since. But prior to that, it wasn't even a word.

And with technology and other things advancing so quickly, new words and terms are coined fairly regularly.

The abbreviations of texting and messaging used to drive me nuts... mainly because it was more like a puzzle one had to solve in order to respond intelligibly... but today, it's all part and parcel of having to deal with time, space, and cell phone package/cost constraints.

Poor grammar doesn't bother me as much as poor spelling... though, even that isn't really a big deal when we're talking about communicating via today's technology. I think that as long as our kids are taught language and writing skills, beginning at home and continuing in school, and they are made aware of the proper ways to communicate, using popular methodology as it evolves is quite alright... as long we keep teaching and learning as a species.

Either GW or my browser has a feature which underlines misspelled words in red, alerting me to that fact... and I can either correct them, or not.

I'm sure my writing mistakes are plenty. I have a comma fixation, I know... among other things. What other mistakes do I continually make that you may notice more than others ?

What's the one thing you find yourself doing more than anything else, with regard to writing mistakes that you just can't help?

For the record, I really don't take notice of others' writing errors or skill level... it's more of a conversation, I think, and though I do notice the individual style of posters, mistakes I don't really notice... unless they stand out like an emergency flare!


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

I typically let errors ride, inserting the true meaning automatically, unless it is indiscernable or makes me laugh. Ride away was funny to me. So was a sign in a town in which I lived, they had SASUGE biscuits. Hand painted in red paint (you could see the brush strokes!). ha! I just had to smile at their sign as I drove past. I don't eat biscuits with or without sausage. I might have it in between English muffins with a piece of cheese and an egg every once every three months, with some delicious o.j.

Ditto on polysyllabic words. Perspicacious is an interesting word, but only perspicacious people use it. Or it is used about them. So it always ellicits a visceral response when I hear it or see it written.

Made up words are very interesting, e.g. wellness, which cannot be described more succinctly. Or, made up words can be irritating, e.g. "to google", as in "I am going to google that question". No. Google is a search engine. You use Google to search. But ya just gotta git over it. Such is life. A word catches on or it doesn't. When it does, look out! I'm unlikely to really every tolerate nouns made into verbs, such as google, or bike (um, it's "I am going bicycling in the mountains.", not "I'm biking to work tomorrow." or "I biked over here.". Ick).

This post was edited by rob333 on Fri, Nov 15, 13 at 7:57


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

"Though this doesn't fit in with the theme of poor writing skills - it takes real skill to write this awfulness so beautifully. (or "so awful beautiful" to satisfy Hay)

I'm a little confused. Do you mean definition 3 or definition 4?

Full Definition of AWFUL

1: inspiring awe

2: filled with awe: as
a obsolete : afraid, terrified
b : deeply respectful or reverential

3: extremely disagreeable or objectionable (awful food)

4: exceedingly great ---used as an intensive (an awful lot of money)

--- aw·ful·ly adverb
--- aw·ful·ness noun


Usage Discussion of AWFUL

Many grammarians take issue with the senses of awful and awfully that do not convey the etymological connection with awe. However, senses 3 and 4 of the adjective were used in speech and casual writing by the late 18th century (it is an awful while since you have heard from me---John Keats (letter)) (there was an awful crowd --- Sir Walter Scott (letter)) (this is an awful thing to say to oil painters --- William Blake). Adverbial use of awful as an intensifier began to appear in print in the early 19th century, as did the senses of awfully corresponding to senses 3 and 4 of the adjective. Both adverbs remain in widespread use (a sad state of affairs and awful tough on art --- H. L. Mencken) (the awfully rich young American --- Henry James) (decided to play it so awfully safe ---A. M. Schlesinger b1917).

Me, I could care less, but maybe we should ask Jillinnj, the authority on these issues, to settle this for us.

""In English," he said, "A double negative forms a positive. In some languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative."

A voice from the back of the room piped up, "Yeah, right."

Anyhow, we can't use words like awesome, (remember?), so I guess we should not be using awful in any case. (No, not that case, in case you're wondering)

Hay


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

I'll ask you again Hay (it was on the other thread),

don't you mean you COULDN'T care less?

As it is, you keep saying that you do care. How else could you care less? There is an ability to go below the level of care you have? So why not just say you care?


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

I use Google Chrome as my browser, so I don't know if it's Google or this site, but, if I type Google without the capital G, google, I get a spell check indication.

Hay


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Capital G for Google when it's the site you're describing, as in the proper noun. Lower case when it's a verb that has been created, to google. Didn't catch that distinction? I was being pretty specific!


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Gosh, Hay is getting Hay-ed by Google.com.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

I like the word "awesome"... or its other slang synonyms... such as "sweet", "groovy", etc... and I've even been known to use the word "sick" to mean a particularly excellent thing, as the youth of today is wont to do. I don't use it here, though, in that capacity; I'm not sure everyone would understand that meaning... as in, "that sports car is sick, dude! Scope out the options!" or "man, those skateboard moves were totally sick!"

Another word is "tight"... which could be used in place of "sick" or "awesome".

I try to keep up with the kids so I don't sound too old. ;-)


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

I'll ask you again Hay (it was on the other thread),
don't you mean you COULDN'T care less?

I'll ask you.

What does "awful" mean?

What does "yeah, right" mean?

What does "yeah, yeah" mean.

That's language for you. The last thing you could ever say about language is that it's consistent and reasonable.

Thank goodness it evolves. Else we'd all be talking like Chaucer.

I'll answer you again:

It's a Manual of Style.

Hay


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

I thought it was sich, spelling was different than the word sick? Shows how much I know!


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

"Capital G for Google when it's the site you're describing, as in the proper noun. Lower case when it's a verb that has been created, to google. Didn't catch that distinction? I was being pretty specific!"

Even when I write very clearly the message doesn't always seem to come across. Do I have to repeat everything for you?

"I use Google Chrome as my browser, so I don't know if it's Google or this site, but, if I type Google without the capital G, google, I get a spell check indication.

I'll try again.

My statement was just stating that someone or something out there doesn't like it that I write google without making the "g" a capital "G". No matter how I'm using the word.

But I'm going to ignore the underlying red mark under google and hit submit anyhow.

Is that clearer?

Hay


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

So basically, you do care. Why not be more succinct?

They'll evolve to understand g with googling/to google. They just haven't caught up yet!


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Robb, sorry I have been challenging your dislike of big words. I'll try to do better and stick with tiny mon o sy llab ic words. :)


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

I was agreeing. The ditto was to you marshall.

;)


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

"Why not be more succinct?"

Why not be succinct?

Hay


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

because you were trying to be succinct, but it needed more!


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

"terse" is the proper "one sound word" choice


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Me and millions of other computer people (hee, hee) google (verb) every day, and don't plan on stopping. We could care less what the prissy ones say is correct.

So there! : )

I really do think some posters on this forum are a bit hung up on "correctness." We all know language changes--according to "usage." If Merriam Webster hasn't caught up to "google" as a verb, well, Merriam Webster just needs to start scrambling and catch up with the common usage of the rest of the world!

About "could care less"--we know intellectually that that doesn't make sense, but the simple fact of "usage" is that Americans everywhere use "could care less," not "couldn't care less." It's time for Merriam Webster to simply declare "could care less" as an American idiom and leave it at that. That way those of you who like to appear linguistically superior can say it the "right" way, and the rest of the world can say it idiomatically.

Usage changes the meanings of words. Take the older usages/meanings of "nice" and "want." Nice used to mean sharp, precise --as in a fine sharp edge and often used to indicate a precise use of language. Today it means vaguely that everything is all right or sentimentally sweet even--isn't she nice! And "want" used to mean "to lack" something--I want a screwdriver meaning I lack one--but today it means "to desire" something--I desire a screwdriver. Of course, if I lack one, I might very well desire one, but they used to make a very "nice" (as in precise) distinction between those two conditions. Now we collapse them together and have pretty much forgotten the first one.

I personally like the older, more precise meanings for those words, but if I use them that way nowadays, at best, my listener will probably miss the precise meaning I am going for, but if you like to read old novels (pre-20th century), it is very helpful to know the older meanings since they observed them and sometimes their usage doesn't quite make sense to a modern (uninformed) reader.

Correctness can be helpful and practical, but I can't see why some people are so hung up on it. Popular usage changes language and keeps it alive and growing. After all, if we just outlawed popular usage in the name of "correctness," we would all still be speaking Old English. Anyone tried to read Beowulf recently? That "correct" English (for its time period) sounds nearly like a foreign language today. See the terrible results of common usuage? It has led to "googling" used as a verb. Oh the horrors of incorrect language!

Kate : )


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

"terse" is the proper "one sound word" choice. Perspicaciously speaking.

Uff da (two syllables with a variety of nuance).


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Sorry, I could care less isn't even considered mainstream (I love defintion #2).

;)

Yea, I realize I just hafta suck it up when it comes to converting nouns into verbs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Urban dictionary


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

I'm not talking about dictionary recognition, rob. The average person on the streets says "could care less"--not "couldn't." That is "usage" -- whether the dictionary acknowledges it or not. I don't think all the rulers in the world slapped on knuckles will probably change that common usage.

I take it, rob, that you are not an e. e. cummings poetry fan. He is famous for creatively breaking all the rules:

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did

How do you feel about dancing your did? Especially when there aren't even capital letters or periods used?

Kate

Here is a link that might be useful: cummings, anyone lived in a pretty how town

This post was edited by dublinbay on Fri, Nov 15, 13 at 11:44


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

When you think about "could care less", you can actually make an argument for it communicating the same meaning as "could not care less". It implies "I could (try to) care less, but it's just not worth the effort"


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

I do wonder, if because of texting (red underlined) and tweeting, whether or not our vowels will disappear. I envision future archeologists digging through libraries and wondering what are those cursive pen designs on paper (handwriting) and when and why did their alphabet go from 26 letters down to 21.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Urban dictionary is not a real dictionary (one not used in scholarly pursuits). It's a compendium of vernacular that hasn't made into a true dictionary yet. It merely translates current day sayings to those who don't know what phat means, for instance.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

By troth, it must have been so irksome to talk like Chaucer in Chaucerian times....


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Yes, my dear, we all know what an urban dictionary is.

Thank you anyway for the (unnecessary) explanation.

Kate : )


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

I completely agree with Kate. Language is a living, fluid thing, subject to changes. I try not to get hung up over those who flout grammatical rules, but once in a while spelling errors on signs put in public places irk me.

As a lover of calligraphy, I hate to see the day when cursive writing disappears. My late grandfather's handwritten letters filled with flourishes seem almost like works of art to me.

I don't mind long words, often will use them myself. Not to impress, but because I consider myself a wordsmith, being a writer, just loving certain rich sounds.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Awe, that's so cute!!

My pet peeve of today.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Aw, you misunderstood. I am not giving Urban a lot of credence, was the point. Twasn't a definition. But even by such low standards, and I assume you never checked the link! or you might've understood,

everyday Americans who speak slang think it's idotic [sic] to say I could care less and not one agreed it was "common usage"

So you may accept it all you like. But I don't. And you surely can't count it as mainstream as it's not even accepted on what is the second rung for acceptance. Oh well. Still too drippy to be included into the stream.

__________
But the bigger point was, Hay, I'm poking attcha. I'm "haying" you back. I hear ya. Let's making hay into mainstream!

;)


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

By troth, it must have been so irksome to talk like Chaucer in Chaucerian times.... I just checked that book that you recommended out of the library...The Story of Ain't. It looks good!


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Fri, Nov 15, 13 at 17:39

Could care less is a mistake for the established phrase couldn't care less, and not an individual word taking on additional or different meanings over time. It is the same as a spelling mistake or any other error of usage.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

But that doesn't change the fact that for the average person on the streets, "could care less" is what he/she will say and by it mean "couldn't care less." In other words, to the average person on the streets it communicates what he/she means.

As my grandfather used to say, take a Dutchman [referring to himself] for what he means, not what he says. (He was rather proud of his attitude.)

As you probably guessed, that grandfather was not the one that owned, published, and edited a newspaper. Don't remember the newspaper grandfather expressing any thoughts on the subject, however.

Myself, I don't really care a lot one way or another, but some people on this forum get really exercised about this linguistic habit.

I also have no problem using the "myself, I"--partly because it is a proper way of giving emphasis to myself as speaker, and partly because it is a left-over Irish construction brought over to American by my Irish immigrant ancestors.

But some people here get rather exercised over that linguistic construction also.

I think such worries are kind of a waste of time in everyday conversations--which is what this forum usually is.

Kate


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

And so it can be said I can be more confused by these diverging diversions


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

So we could argue about what a dictionary is? The Urban dictionary is real, perhaps a tad more ephemeral in it's meanings than other dictionaries but still it is real.

Nice also used to mean discriminating, as in picky. So it goes. Who would ever think that insipid used to mean vapid instead of bland? language changes and idioms change. We need to get with the picture. Now what on earth do you think that related to?


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

JG, you'll like it I suspect. The idea that in truth a dictionary does not rule language but actually the reverse is obvious once thought, but still surprising. Though English may be unique in this, among major modern languages - I know that the Romance languages have rule-making and upholding bodies, they are much more prescriptivist, and indeed the prescriptivist notion in English is a Latin import.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

"Could care less is a mistake for the established phrase couldn't care less, and not an individual word taking on additional or different meanings over time. It is the same as a spelling mistake or any other error of usage.

Good point. Misspelling a word is a sure sign of ignorance.


armour
armoury
behaviour
candour
clamour
colour
demeanour
endeavour
favourite
flavour
glamour
harbour
honour
humour
labour
neighbour
odour
rancour
rigour
rumour
saviour
savour
savoury
splendour
valour
vapour
vigour

Hay


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Hay, the Francophobe, or is that Anglophobe?


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

"I thought it was sich, spelling was different than the word sick? Shows how much I know!"

You could be right, Robin... I haven't looked it up, and have only really used the term in speech form... so... I'm not entirely sure.

Ah, Woodnymph... I used to have such beautiful penmanship... back in the day, I wrote many a letter by hand, keeping in touch with cousins and other family and friends that way, and would carefully choose my stationary and ink color, preferring a fine point pen as a left handed writer. I used to love writing letters.

For some reason, since the advent of the head injury I sustained in the accident I always mention, I can't seem to pen as fluidly and steadily as I once could. My writing is like horrid chicken scratch today, and I'm almost grateful for technology and the typewritten word! I really miss the pretty cards and stationary, the different colored inks in today's pens... and even the chance to try to find a stamp at the post office that goes with the envelope. But something isn't firing properly, and there's lost coordination... or something like that.

Personally, I like to use a dictionary and thesaurus in combination... for a better idea of meaning, and a broader choice of words.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Hay, you forgot "cheque" and "theatre."

Jodik, I, too, miss the days of writing long letters. I used to collect pretty stationary, cards, fountain pens, inks, etc. I even taught myself calligraphy.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

More of my spelling "errors" - just if you're interested.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cdn/Am differences in spelling


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Ooh... calligraphy! Though I never really delved deeply into it, I used to enjoy beginning the first word in a paragraph, in a hand written letter, with a fancier script... or addressing the letter using slightly fancier print.

Being a "leftie", fountain pens were just awful! There's a tendency to drag the hand across the page as one writes, smearing ink everywhere... and unless one learns to hold the hand just so, which I never did, it could get rather messy! I was thankful when ball point pens became the norm, and fine point became available!

I will say, though, I'm rather proud that I created my own wedding invitations using blanks, and though I didn't write them by hand, I did choose a lovely script, a matching border design in a lovely Victorian style of floral, and put them together myself at home. It was so much fun... even if I did use a computer and printer! :-)

I do enjoy that sort of crafty thing, and I like the written word.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

I purchased a calligraphy kit when I was in my late twenties and taught myself, but I didn't do it long enough for it to stick.

That's one way to make money that most anyone at home can do--I have received three invitations in the last month and all of them were addressed by a calligrapher and they get paid well.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

That is good to hear, Demi. My daughter and husband do calligraphy. I need to encourage my daughter to keep up with the methods. My 7-year-old has expressed an interest in it as well and he certainly has the exacting nature for it. His penmanship is exceptional. At some point, I hope to get some Spencerian practice books just to improve my own penmanship. They are offered by many homeschool curriculum businesses.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Is it just me, or does anyone else notice that a lot of males tend to write rather illegibly compared to females? Not all, of course... don't get me wrong! Some guys have very nice penmanship.

But I can clearly recall my brother once writing a book report in high school, and he asked me to proof read it for him. I couldn't even READ it, let alone look for errors! He might as well have had a chicken with inked feet run across the paper! And it wasn't just his poor handwriting I noticed, but that of lots of male fellow students... and today, lots of adult males.

So... what's up with that? Why are females often better at penmanship than males?


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Sewing exercises when young and later practicing the putting on of makeup. :)


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Jodik, If I recall, it is related to the dominant side of the brain. While my daughter's calligraphy is great, her everday handwriting is less so (and spelling does not come easily to her). My son with excellent penmanship seems to be related to his perfectionist personality. There could also be a case made for penmanship being started too early with boys. The parts of the brain responsible for that often develops later in boys and by the time they have caught up, they have probably accepted their handwriting is not going to catch up and move on to other things.

I have also read of studies going over the difference in which boys and girls were complimented in the classroom. Girls were often complimented on neatness whereas the boys were complimented on intellectual strengths.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

The right/left brain thing, BTW, has been shown to be not real, or at least massively overblown in popular thought.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

jodik, I went and looked after you wrote that and I was dead wrong! It is sick and not sich.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

I thought that the good vs terrible handwriting had to do with the presence of "fine" muscles in the hands--girls supposedly having more of them which is why they tend to write more neatly and boys having more of the "strength" muscles." Don't know if that is true, but I'm sure that little girls' fabled "neatness" has to do with the praise they traditionally got for minor things as opposed to the boys being praised for major things (good idea, Mac!). I don't think little girls are naturally neat, but it may be easier for them to do certain tasks due to their "fine" hand muscles.

Marshall, really--girls' sewing skills? What century are you hanging around? I was the last girl to be taught sewing skills and when I discovered at age 20 that it was easier to buy ready-made, I never sewed again except for occasionally replacing a lost button.

Kate


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Well, it's interesting, anyway... regardless of why there's often a difference between male and female in this respect.

It's not sewing, Marshallz... my husband sews better than I do! ;-)

Really, Robin? Cool... I just never bothered looking it up because it's mainly something one would say, as opposed to using in written form.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Ahhh, my bit of droll humor hit wee nerves. I stopped sewing when I no longer needed to replace buttons, darn socks or hem my own pants.

The fine motor functions in hands is determined by sex? I guess I need strong hands to wield cudgels and whips.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

"The fine motor functions in hands is determined by sex? I guess I need strong hands to wield cudgels and whips."

My BIL the orthopedic surgeon will be perplexed.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Exactly, elvis.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

The good news is that you can get the womenfolk to thin the carrots from now on ;-0


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Don't worry, Marshallz... just because I comment on stuff doesn't mean I take it in bad humor. I'm easy! :-)

I grew up as a Daddy's girl, a tomboy who played sports and stuff with two brothers and a bunch of neighborhood boys... while my husband grew up with Mom, Grandma, and three sisters. To this day, I get along better with males than most females... though there are a select few women whom I consider my dear friends, though they tend to be more like me and not the general social norm in females.

I've never really been the Susie Homemaker type, and my Old Guy, as we're fond of calling him, can sew, cook, knit, quilt, crochet, and do a plethora of things traditionally reserved for the female of the species, while also being accomplished at most things men traditionally do, with the singular exception of carpentry.

Oddly enough, he has very nice penmanship... as does our middle child, a son... while our eldest son chicken scratches like so many others! ;-)

Surgeons may be adept with medical tools, but I'm sure you've seen many a prescription and signature that only a pharmacist or an expert in handwriting could read!


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

"Surgeons may be adept with medical tools, but I'm sure you've seen many a prescription and signature that only a pharmacist or an expert in handwriting could read!"

Bingo. There's a reason for that, jodik. Or so the female gynecologist I used to work for told me ;-)


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Bingo. There's a reason for that, jodik.
*

Yes, she is right.

There is a very good reason for physician's signatures to be almost illegible.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

"with the singular exception of carpentry."

Is 'singular exception' another of those redundancies?

Also, FYI, it just takes such undiluted manliness to do carpentry....


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Or they could be emphasizing it is the ONLY exception (not unlike my more succinctly).

It's possible.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

it just takes such undiluted manliness to do carpentry....

My father tried to teach me some of the basics . . .

One of my problems -- besides being scared spitless of using a skil saw, or whatever you call those rotary-blade saws -- is aligning the drill perpendicularly to the wall (or whatever surface). Maybe it's the astigmatism in one eye, but when drilling the hole is always at an angle. (I can guess level perfectly when eyeballing a horizontal surface.) I once saw an attachment for a drill that would make each hole perpendicular but foolishly didn't buy it at the time. I kick myself each time I pull out my trusty drill for a project that needs a precision drill hole.

With the fine muscles in my hands, I'm a whiz at changing drill bits, and know when to use a countersink bit.

Pardon the off-topic rambling, but it's really hard to work this into a real-life conversation.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Nancy-what you need is a small level-they make a tiny stick on one for drills, but if you have a torpedo level you just balance it on top.

I am of the girls are given lots of positive feedback for being neat club rather than girls have any inherent knack for tidy writing and I have know several men who are proud of writing poorly-that being a girly sort of thing is my thinking.

Getting back to words I finally remembered what for me is the biggest cringe worth mistake and that is substituting incredulous for incredible. I have seen this horror right here on hot topics more than once and had to bite my keyboard. Coming from some one like me(hopelessly spelling impaired) it is weird and petty but I cant help it. You would think I could be more forgiving of flaws in others.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Well, it shouldn't take a genius pharmacist to check a DEA number, so a doctor's signature neatness shouldn't matter. My signature is hard to read, but I'm not a doctor... though I play one in my kennel. ;-)

Oh, and just as an aside... it's not illegal to perform certain medical practices and procedures on your own animals or those of your friends... as long as you aren't charging for the service, and you know what you're doing so you don't get sued, it's all good... or it should be, from what I recall.

My motto is... measure twice, cut once... and if you can read simple plans, or basic blueprints, and you can handle some of the necessary tools, working with wood in the basic sense isn't that difficult. I've made rudimentary items with wood, and I've not really had any problems. I'm actually kind of proud of the grave marker I made for my beloved bulldog using pickets from an old fence.

I think it's more a case of... he made some mistakes at carpentry at one time or another back in the day, and so he's convinced himself it's just not his forte'.

But I've never met anyone else so adept at anything mechanical, electronic or technical, electrical, pneumatics, hydraulics, large or small machinery and motors, welding and cutting, soldering, troubleshooting and problem solving, repair and manufacture, you name it... honestly, I've not had to call any kind of repair or service person since I've met him. He's often nicknamed MacGuyver! Give him a paperclip and a chewing gum wrapper, and he can fix anything! ;-)

I might be just a little prejudiced... but seriously, he's incredibly talented and knowledgeable.

Hmmm... singular exception... never thought of it as redundancy... it's more like saying "really, really good at" whatever it is... :-)

Nancy, those little laser levels are nice to have. We have three different styles, somewhere... haven't seen them in a while. They're buried in a toolbox somewhere... which shows you how often we do wood projects! ;-)

Ramble away... I love when threads expand and turn into neat little conversations with tangents... I feel right at home! :-)


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Thank you, Patricia and Jodi.

Now that we're in the era of ordering from the internet, I can search for a drill level without receiving the vacant-eyed stare from the Sears clerk.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

I was being sarcastic, of course. Nevertheless, I have five daughters and not one ever showed the slightest interest in carpentry. I don't know why, it's odd with me being extremely hands-on in general.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Perhaps its one of those generational skip things PN-my father cut off the tips of 3 fingers while using a jig saw to trim a door opening. I could never figure out how. My father was not hands on but had gotten impatient with my brother who was supposed to trim out the door. I could never get anyone to tell me exactly what he was doing that he could wack off his fingers on door trim with a jig saw! Wouldn't that take perseverance?

As for 'singular exception', you could have more than one exception. Singular would emphasize that there is only one.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

That does seem hard to believe. Segue to some carpentry humor:

Guy shoots himself to the bone with the nail gun, goes to the emergency room with the nail jutting out.

Doc says, "Jeez, why didn't you stop hammering?"

yuk-yuk.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

My father was proud that he spent his working life in carpentry and had all his digits intact. But he did have a fear of heights -- very particular about scaffolding -- which I have inherited. I'm probably worse; don't know how I would do on scaffolding. I'd have to have something for balancing, even touching the wall of the building would do.

Certainly wouldn't have very good writing skills up at the fourth story.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

People have varying fear of height, it's true, but IME being on staging is something one can get used to over time as well. I don't have a strong fear of height (as opposed to a strong respect for the possibility of falling, which increases by the square of the height) but I remember when I started out being more concerned about being on staging than I am now. However, I'm much more careful about the mechanics of it as I get older, I discard old planks and posts ruthlessly.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Oh, don't you hate that, Nancy? You'd think the clerk in a specified department store section would know the items they carry and where they're located, at the very least... or that they know how to look it up and see if they have what you need in stock. But, no...

In fact, I happened to catch my husband's side of a phone conversation yesterday, as he tried to locate and price a specific power supply for a desktop computer. You would have thought he was asking to buy a part that hadn't been invented yet! Good grief!

Finally, after about 4 calls and much internet searching, he found someone who could help him, knew what he was looking for, and they actually had it in stock! But it was like pulling teeth... so many hired store personnel just don't get paid enough, I guess, to learn much about their job, or how to help the consumers who pay their salaries.

Pnbrown, I guess our kids will either explore certain interests or they won't... whether they grew up with them or not. Take my kids, for example... they grew up around a working kennel, breeding some of the best bulldogs the US had to offer at the time... and not one of them has an interest in carrying on the bloodlines or learning what their father knows.

I've also spent time working in tool and machine shops within the course of my life, and there was always a machinist or two missing a digit or more, or partial fingers. There's usually at least one guy in every shop without all 10 full fingers!

I'm not afraid of heights, myself, though I do feel more comfortable if I trust the person holding the ladder, operating the bucket or lift, and I know who put together the scaffolding, or how safe the roof or area I have to climb onto is.

We just took down a rather tall willow tree the other day that was growing a little too close to a building. The trunk was starting to rub against the gutter and cause damage when it got windy. So of course, I'm the guy elected to climb in the bucket of the tractor with the strap to tie to the tree, in order to direct its angle of fall when it was cut. We couldn't fell it into the road, and I didn't want it landing in my garden beds... but I trust my husband to carefully lift me up so I could tie off the strap... and the tree fell perfectly, exactly where we wanted it to.

The neat thing is... now I have some willow wood and branches to craft into garden furniture! It's really the wrong time of year to harvest it for such a project, but it is what it is... it had to come down before winter.

Personally, and you can call me old fashioned, but I prefer the old hammer and nails to a nail gun. I know the jobs go quicker with guns, but they're dangerous... and even though heights don't bother me, that doesn't cure clumsiness! I've got all 10 fingers... full fingers... and I'd really like to keep them... and I'd really like to NOT shoot myself in the foot with a nail! ;-)

Even though my husband doesn't think he'd be good at carpentry, his nephew is a carpenter... so we're covered! :-)


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

I can do rough carpentry but never had much interest in doing projects in wood (or tin-smithing, at which I used to excel.) I've always hated cars but learned over the years to do most kinds of repairs. I've been doing work involving natural science and applied natural sciences (ie gardening and farming) the second have of my life. That/those, I love and am surrounded by books and boxes of related stuff, such as seeds purchased and seeds saved.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

I am terrified of heights but have actually been in one of those incredibly high bucket things-the huge ones that go up several stories during the installation of a public art project. Sort of like flying through narrow mountain valleys in a small plane..you assume you are going to die so you might as well enjoy the view while you can.
In my experience it is the trim nailers that are dangerous. With any nailer you have to actuate the mechanism by pressing with the tip and only a dope puts their hand or body part on the other side to be damaged when the nail shoots through but the nails in a trim nailer can bend and turn and since you frequently are holding the piece-you get snicked-ouch.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Operations that involve continuous and rapid repeat firing of the gun are where most accidents happen, because the trigger is always depressed and the chance of hitting something unintended is higher - like on a cold day nailing off a floor I shot the end of my boot. The nail went between the tips of my toes.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

YIKES


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Time to get that nail gun some maintenance. Sort of like using a chop saw with a dull blade-it is going to fling.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

I would like to hear the nail-almost-got-my-toes story, please. Use poor writing skills so that you are on topic. Seriously.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Ain't nothing more to the story, cuz, almost hurt meself but got lucky.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Thankx anyhowz.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

I think you could probably list a lot of my husband's talents under the heading of industrial maintenance engineer, specializing in the field of plastics manufacture. Of course, that's not where it stops... he has this bit of OCD that will not allow him to let any inanimate object beat him. So, if it CAN be fixed, he WILL fix it... and if needs parts that we can no longer get, he will manufacture his own parts, fix the existing parts, or find a way to make it work.

I've never seen him give up on a project... not in all the time I've known him. Computers, coding, and technology is something that has interested him since its inception.

Patriciae, I haven't really haven't had a chance in life to develop a fear of heights... when I was still a teen, I was on a working dairy farm, milking 80 head of Holstein cows, taking care of calves, breeding and raising domestic rabbits, and helping farm 800 acres of corn, soybeans, and hay, oats... and all that included climbing 60+ foot silos to break frozen equipment loose in winter, or to shovel silage by hand into a feed bunk from a shorter silo that didn't have an electric auger. There was no time to be afraid... the animals had to eat, and somebody had to climb to make sure they did!

Then, after I bought my first house, we couldn't afford to have someone come and do a tear-off and complete re-shingle of the garage and house... guess who was up on the roof nailing shingles? This gal! With a roofing hammer and nails!

Life is never boring! It hasn't been for me, so far, anyway! ;-)


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

I bet Hay's not fond of hearing that he couldn't caress.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Bet he couldn't care less.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

I agree; he could care less.


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

I don't know where alexr's post was coming from, Hay. Guess he misses you. ;-)


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

In the other thread, Duluth and I were debating whether one should use "cheap" or "cheaply" in a sentence like, "it's all about selling things cheaply".

I argued for cheap as in selling it at a cheap price.

Duluth argued for cheaply as in "how" they were selling the article. Cheaply.

So, for fun, I asked a pro.

" Hay says:
November 12, 2013 at 3:27 pm
I was listening to a program on Monday night. At about 4 minutes into the segment, the person being interviewed was talking about labels and bargains and then he said, “But, if that label has any tiny little tweaks on it, it means that you’re getting something that they always planned to sell cheaply…”

Wouldn’t “sell cheap” be a better expression, given the choices. I think “selling cheaply” would mean the seller has low overhead or something like that. But he’s really talking about the price, I think. The price is cheap.

I was debating this with some friends and couldn’t remember the exact sentence so I paraphrased it to, “It’s all about selling things cheaply.” Would that change your answer?

Reply
Jane says:
November 19, 2013 at 5:34 pm
This is an example of the gray area that sometimes exists between adverbs and adjectives. For instance, we don’t say “they sold it shortly”; we say “they sold it short” (unless by “shortly” we mean “soon after”). We recommend “cheap” in this case. There is additional information implied in the sentence: something they always planned to sell [at a] cheap [price].
In your paraphrased sentence, we would still write “cheap,” but “cheaply” is certainly justifiable.

Reply"

I think she's saying that my use is more better.

Hay


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Better more Haymore-isms, doncha think?


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

Could be, but I think your use is "worser". I will pretty well stick to my guns when a word actually tells me how something is done rather than merely implying it.... as you hold the original example had the implication.

But that' s me. I never taught English grammar (or anything else for that matter) - just studied it in all its glory for years. Also never was one to go all Edith Prickley (remember SCTV?) about things... remembering "she had all the style of Jackie O. and all the charm of Jackie Mason." Think we have a few of those here.

edited to remove a possible redundancy.

This post was edited by duluthinbloomz4 on Sat, Nov 23, 13 at 16:02


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

I agree on the principle that a sales clerk's authority over grammar carries less weight than the say of a wordsmith. But perhaps more than a Dancing Master. :)


 o
RE: Poor Writing Skills 2

"just studied it in all its glory for years."

I was the absolute best at diagramming sentences in the eight grade. Still good after all these years. ("Good" referring to my implied ability to diagram, in case there's any doubt. )

To be fair, my source says that it's a gray (shouldn't that be grey?) area, so we'll call it a draw.

Hay


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Hot Topics Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here