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Poor English


conrad 10 10.9k 116
12 Feb 2013 3:24PM

Quote:I fully accept non English speaking members may have difficulties with our language


Oh, well, I don't know, sometimes a foreigner who's put some effort into learning proper English has less difficulty getting it right than a native speaker.

For instance, although some of the UK participants in this thread were quick to point out mistakes in the first post of this thread, none of them seem to have noticed the missing hyphens. Wink ( Hint ... and that's just one of them. )

But it's a common problem, and not restricted to English speakers - in the Netherlands it's just as bad, so many people don't seem to really know their own language. And so, yes, on Internet forums quite a few posts need deciphering. I don't think that problem will go away, not even if you point it out in a forum post. Smile

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Carabosse e2
11 39.7k 269 England
12 Feb 2013 3:30PM
Indeed - and it should be pointed out Conrad is the EPZ Glossary Editor! Smile
conrad 10 10.9k 116
12 Feb 2013 3:34PM
A somewhat hidden Glossary nowadays! Unless you turn on the jargon buster in the Reviews section, that's a rather nice feature.

Btw, I haven't had any good suggestions for additions to the Glossary for some time, so if anyone has any, they'd be most welcome.
oldblokeh 3 922 United Kingdom
12 Feb 2013 3:40PM

Quote:
But it's a common problem, and not restricted to English speakers - in the Netherlands it's just as bad, so many people don't seem to really know their own language.



Never start a sentence with a conjunction. There should not be a comma before the "and".
wizardsmagic 10 43 England
12 Feb 2013 3:42PM
The funniest (or not) example I have seen of this, was on a recent Facebook page. It was a BNP rant about johnny foreigner coming over here and claiming benefits. The standard of English on the comments was so poor that some of them were unreadable. Surely if these people are so adament about keeping Britain British they would learn how to write their own language properly.
Carabosse e2
11 39.7k 269 England
12 Feb 2013 3:43PM

Quote:Never start a sentence with a conjunction.


That is somewhat old hat. In government circles, several years ago, instructions were issued to that effect.

Whereupon officials eagerly started using "And" and "But" to start practically every sentence! Grin
conrad 10 10.9k 116
12 Feb 2013 3:55PM

Quote:Never start a sentence with a conjunction. There should not be a comma before the "and".


I'd say that both of these statements would normally be good advice, but they're not rules - at least not undebated or uncontested ones.

Just for your information, you may want to read this . (Pay particular attention to this part: "Some teachers warn that beginning a sentence with a coordinating conjunction is wrong. Teachers will typically tell you this because they are trying to help you avoid writing fragments. Other times teachers give this advice because their preference is that a sentence not begin with a coordinating conjunction. What you should remember is that you break no grammar rule if you begin a sentence with a coordinating conjunction. ")

In language matters, so many things are debatable. Take "It is I" or "It is me", the debate about these two options seems to be never-ending.

But it keeps linguistics interesting... Grin
keith selmes 11 7.1k 1 United Kingdom
12 Feb 2013 3:59PM

Quote: it has been common practice to begin sentences with a conjunction since at least as far back as the 10th century.

From here, http://grammar.about.com/od/grammarfaq/f/butsentencefaq.htm
conrad 10 10.9k 116
12 Feb 2013 4:08PM
The tenth century? I'm impressed. Thanks for the link!
oldblokeh 3 922 United Kingdom
12 Feb 2013 4:16PM

Quote:
I'd say that both of these statements would normally be good advice, but they're not rules - at least not undebated or uncontested ones.



In the example in question I'd say that it was advice that it would have been better to follow. The "But" started a sentence in a new paragraph that did not appear to be clearly linked to the intended statement, separated as it was by a parenthetical clause.
chris.maddock 13 3.4k United Kingdom
12 Feb 2013 4:21PM
There's nothing wrong with starting a sentence with "but" - provided it's not the first sentence in whatever is being said/written, because it needs context. It is usually used like that to refute or offer an alternative to something that has already been said/written.

A similar thing that I see frequently on some forum sites with people opening a new thread and their very first word being "So", that one really grates on me. It must be to do with the way they usually talk, because I rarely see "But" used in the same way.
conrad 10 10.9k 116
12 Feb 2013 4:27PM

Quote:In the example in question I'd say that it was advice that it would have been better to follow. The "But" started a sentence in a new paragraph that did not appear to be clearly linked to the intended statement, separated as it was by a parenthetical clause.


Well analysed, thanks, and I appreciate the linguistic insight - however, what I wrote got my message across, and in that respect I thought it worked well.

I try not to break any real language rules, but I have to admit to sometimes being creative in my use of language - more creative than some stricter linguists. I suppose it's the interpreter in me, as an interpreter I have to be more creative in constructing sentences than as a translator - and I like being an interpreter much more than being a translator. Smile
digicammad 11 22.0k 37 United Kingdom
12 Feb 2013 4:42PM
I find it also helps if you put a space line between paragraphs. Wink
RogBrown 7 3.0k 10 England
12 Feb 2013 4:44PM

Quote:Surely if these people are so adament about keeping Britain British

Adament???
arhb e2
7 2.5k 68 United Kingdom
12 Feb 2013 4:48PM

Quote:Never start a sentence with a conjunction.

That is somewhat old hat. In government circles, several years ago, instructions were issued to that effect.

Whereupon officials eagerly started using "And" and "But" to start practically every sentence! Grin



If we copied everything that lot did and said, we'd be in a right mess.....

Ah, it would appear that we do Sad

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