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'[OT] Pedantic nitpicking about English usage'
2010\07\13@170113 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Marechiare wrote:
> I wrote (couse I love English :-)

If you're going to be this pedantic about other people's use of english,
someone is going to pick apart what you wrote too.  In only 33 characters
you managed to mess up 3 times.

First "couse" isn't a word.  Sometimes, particularly when spoken, something
similar would be short for "because".  That short form when written should
be 'cause.  "Couse" is just wrong, at least in this part of the world.
Perhaps its one of those color/colour things, but I think not.

Second, since ":-)" is clearly a emoticon, you left out the closing
parenthesis.

Third, there should be a colon at the end.  Obviously you do know this since
you later wrote:

> You reacted (do you love English?):

If you're not familiar with the phrase "People that live in glass houses
shouldn't throw stones", look it up.


The point here is not really about your poorly written line, but twofold:

1 - Picking apart other people's use of language at this level on a
   international list is pointless at best, and possibly insulting.

2 - You're hardly a judge of good english usage, not that we need one
   anyway.

This is a technical list used by engineers, not a writer's club.  If someone
proclaims that a 100 Ohm resistor with 30 Volts accross it will dissipate
90mJ, by all means correct them loudly and clearly.  I wouldn't mind
(although the admins might) if you preceed that with "Wrong, moron" and
appended "Duh!".

However, english is not anyone's proclaimed area of expertise here, nor the
domain of this list.  Anyone can make a occasional spelling or grammar
error.  I know I do, and I see plenty of others doing it.  Let's not noise
up the list with this silliness, especially when the offense is as mild as
what you complained about.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2010\07\13@185519 by RussellMc

face picon face
>  If someone proclaims that a 100 Ohm resistor with 30 Volts accross it will dissipate
> 90mJ, by all means correct them loudly and clearly.

Yes - that obviously should be 90mJ  / 10 ms


                     R

2010\07\13@201922 by Marechiare

picon face
Thank you pointing out my typo in "couse". That really helps me.

Interesting, my intention was not to "Pedanticly nitpick about English
usage" when I posted that link on dangling modifiers. The idea was, as
always, very simple - to help a person improve his language. Frankly,
I don't understand why you and some others are getting so defensive
about that my post with just one short line - a link to wikipedia
article. There were no any attack/nitpick at all. Guys, let's live
friendly lives! :-)


On Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 12:01 AM, Olin Lathrop
<spam_OUTolin_piclistTakeThisOuTspamembedinc.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2010\07\13@213926 by RussellMc

face picon face
> ...Frankly, I don't understand ...

And, there's the rub.
Understanding is vital in such cases. Really.

> ...why you and some others are getting so defensive
> about that my post with just one short line - a link to wikipedia
> article.

The large majority of people* who are on the "receiving end" of such a
post, and the majority* of people who read it, will see such an effort
as a taunt or similar. It may be that if you were on the receiving end
of such a "missive" that it would not bother you, but that just makes
it the more important that you accommodate other people's 'weaknesses'
& peccadilloes. A bit of explanatory comment, softening what otherwise
can easily come across as a Sabres-at-dawn gauntlet-slap across the
face, might go a long way to making such offerings less offensive.

The admin comment that you found excessive was primarily unrelated to
the manner of delivery of the above missive - it related to noising up
the PIC tag.

> There were no any attack/nitpick at all. Guys, let's live
> friendly lives! :-)

Indeed.
In internet text communications "The medium is [at least an important
part of] the message". Friendly living requires more care than we
might randomly put into something.



  Russell

* Based on my extensive experience of human nature and what happens in
internet "chat" situations.

2010\07\13@221524 by ivp

face picon face
> Interesting, my intention was not to "Pedanticly nitpick about English
> usage" when I posted that link on dangling modifiers. The idea was,
> as always, very simple - to help a person improve his language

I can appreciate that. I got off-side with a couple of people at the
weekend who I occassionally look things up for on the web. They
both have 'puters but have not learned how to do the email and surf
(yeah, I know)

My offer to teach them, at least some basics, was received less
enthusiastically than expected. "Help me to help you" was the intent
but I think both took it as "I don't want to look things up for you
anymore if you can't be bothered". One is very busy and sees "learning
the internet" as just too hard. The other I suspect thinks he's too old
for all this new-fangled stuff

But how old is the web now ? It didn't arrive yesterday

I met someone a few weeks ago who won't go on the web because
"it's all porn. That all the guys at work talk about"

Joe

*
*
**********
Quality PIC programmers
http://www.embedinc.com/products/index.htm

2010\07\14@010948 by ivp

face picon face
> (do you love English?):
> Guys, let's live friendly lives! :-)

I, for one, love the intricacies and evolution of that bastardised language
called English. IMHO it offers subtleties and nuances that I understand
are not available in many other languages

For example -

"December 5, 1821 - David Brook, a carpenter, is walking home from
Leeds along the Middleton Railway in a sleet storm when he is run over,
being dismembered with ultimately mortal results, by the steam engine of
a coal train. This is the first case of a person being killed in a railway
collision. Shortly before his demise, Mr Brook was told of this impending
honour. He remarked "Well, I'm chuffed to bits"

And -

"These are no mere fairy tales", he intoned grimly (also "Hey, you in the
back of the boat", he growled sternly)

Oh, and there's Shakespeare too I guess

Joe

*
*
**********
Quality PIC programmers
http://www.embedinc.com/products/index.htm

2010\07\14@011307 by John Gardner

picon face
- eh?

On 7/13/10, ivp <.....joecolquittKILLspamspam@spam@clear.net.nz> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2010\07\14@013142 by John Gardner

picon face
> I met someone a few weeks ago who won't go on the web because
> "it's all porn"....

Damn. I knew I was missing out...

2010\07\14@013835 by RussellMc

face picon face
The lowest form of humour, mainly puns

>> ... run over, ..by the steam engine of

>> chuffed   ...

aka train

>> to bits"

aka dismembered etc

>> ...  fairy tales ... grimly

Brothers Grim, fairy tale tellers par excellence.

>> back of the boat = =  stern(ly)

>> Oh, and there's Shakespeare too I guess

Indeed there be.
But ye'll be needing to know the old ways of speaking the mother
tongue to really get his drift, oft enough, I'll be bound.
(pathetic attempt at ...)

There's some very clever stuff buried therein.

We sought out (Macbeth/Macduff's)  Birnam Wood* in Scotland.
There is, they say, but one tree left. It was very large and looked
suitably old.
Photos were taken.
Mayhaps the others all went to Dunsinane?
It was amazingly impressive meeting that tree, even though it was only
a story that was being remembered.

                      http://bit.ly/BirnamWood


                 Russell

2010\07\14@035205 by ivp

face picon face
> The lowest form of humour

Well, so they say. But who are "they" ? I suggest it takes a good
(literal and social) vocabulary to make a clever one. It does seem
to be The Age Of The Pun though

C'mon "chuffed to bits". Two for the price of one, not a penny extra

>> Oh, and there's Shakespeare too I guess
>
> Indeed there be.
> But ye'll be needing to know the old ways of speaking the mother
> tongue to really get his drift, oft enough, I'll be bound

An old Goon Show staple. Enquiring if eg the prisoner is tied up

"Is he bound ?"
"Of his health, I know naught"
"Let's have some prune juice on standby just in case"
(asides of "Stop feeding him hard-boiled eggs you idiots" etc)

To be serious for a moment, I find humour a very good tool for
determining someone's character. And in a program I watched
recently (Why Maths Doesn't Add Up, an attempt by maths
prof Marcus Du Sautoy to broaden comedian Alan Davies' sums
horizon into the Universe) it was said by an analytical psychologist
that those with a humorous bent often have a lateral thinking bent
also

> There's some very clever stuff buried therein.

It's a pity Will is often dumbed down to be more user-friendly, or
even just dismissed. The original can be hard work, but I did kind
of appreciate it at school, although not much

2010\07\14@082018 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Marechiare wrote:
> The idea was, as
> always, very simple - to help a person improve his language. Frankly,
> I don't understand why you and some others are getting so defensive

Because its irritating and rude.

2010\07\14@093550 by Marechiare

picon face
>> The idea was, as always, very simple - to help a person
>> improve his language. Frankly, I don't understand why
>> you and some others are getting so defensive
>
> Because its irritating and rude.

(its => it's)

No, it most certainly is not.

---
Man: Ah, Is this the right room for an argument?

    Mr Vibrating: I told you once.

    Man: No you haven't.

    Mr Vibrating: Yes I have.

    Man: When?

    Mr Vibrating: Just now.

    Man: No you didn't.

    Mr Vibrating: Yes I did.

    Man: You didn't

    Mr Vibrating: I did!

    Man: You didn't!

    Mr Vibrating: I'm telling you I did!

    Man: You did not!!

    Mr Vibrating: Oh, I'm sorry, just one moment. Is this a five
minute argument or the full half hour?

    Man: Oh, just the five minutes.

    Mr Vibrating: Ah, thank you. Anyway, I did.

    Man: You most certainly did not.

    Mr Vibrating: Look, let's get this thing clear; I quite
definitely told you.

    Man: No you did not.

    Mr Vibrating: Yes I did.

    Man: No you didn't.

    Mr Vibrating: Yes I did.

    Man: No you didn't.

    Mr Vibrating: Yes I did.

    Man: No you didn't.

    Mr Vibrating: Yes I did.

    Man: You didn't.

    Mr Vibrating: Did.

2010\07\14@124916 by RussellMc

face picon face
Hat: Admin casual off duty beret (it's 4:45am and work calls)

> >> ... Frankly, I don't understand why
> >> you and some others are getting so defensive

> > Because its irritating and rude.

> (its => it's)

> No, it most certainly is not.
> ---
> Man: Ah, Is this the right room for an argument?
>     Mr Vibrating: I told you once.
>     Man: No you haven't.

etc ...

Let's see if logic works.

1. You seem to be missing the point of your own illustration.
Olin, "and other(s))", HAVE in fact (ie electrons were disturbed and
Google et al hold essentially irremovable records) given an opinion on
the subject. This can be demonstrated logically and step by step with
documentary evidence.
If your email client is in working order (as it seems to be) then you
too will have a record of this, and a copy will be in the PICList
archives.

So the "Having been told" aspect seems to be fulfilled by what would
'normally' be considered to be a reasonable test.

Whether what you have been told is 'true' is not at this stage the
point. It's the fact of having been told.
That is, as above, reasonably established.

2. The proposition "That it's not annoying to people" seems hard to
argue with any hope of success.
That people have reacted with annoyance "seems"to demonstrate this.
Your not understanding WHY people are annoyed should not blind you to
the fact that they ARE annoyed, or that annoyance may reasonably be
expected in such cases.

You have acknowledged  the fact that people are annoyed by what you wrote.Viz -

> >> ... Frankly, I don't understand why
> >> you and some others are getting so defensive

You could argue that "getting defensive" and "being annoyed by" etc
are not the same thing.
Unless you are a lawyer or similar then the prospected of the argument
being seen as reasonable in "normal" situations would seem slim.

3. Perhaps you missed the "assertion"/ possibly vain attempt to explain :-)

"            The large majority of people* who are on the "receiving
end" of such a
post, and the majority* of people who read it, will see such an effort
as a taunt or similar. It may be that if you were on the receiving end
of such a "missive" that it would not bother you, but that just makes
it the more important that you accommodate other people's 'weaknesses'
& peccadilloes. A bit of explanatory comment, softening what otherwise
can easily come across as a Sabres-at-dawn gauntlet-slap across the
face, might go a long way to making such offerings less offensive."

and the explanation of the basis on which this claim was made.

4. But, to answer the problem that you and "Mr Vibrating" and "Man"
seem to have.

Please be informed that IMHO,AE

 "People typically** find such approaches to informing them annoying.
If you wish to inform rather than to troll then it is usually better
to add a bit of explanation. And list rules, established for reasons
perhaps inscrutable, require that such informing and explaining be
done, if at all, using the [OT] tag. Failure to observe such tag
observance is liable to attract the bad cop's wrath.

Note FYI that a certain amount of trolling may be found acceptable in
[OT] but that the bad cop has his limits and he's a wee bit tetchy of
late. If you wish to make his day then, by all means, lay on. If not,
then stopping somewhere about here is probably a really good idea.
Please note that this is not a threat of any sort on my part. Just a
helpful warning. If I just step back and take my hand off the
dead-man's-handle*** the 'automated' systems  will cut in sooner or
later".

5. If you genuinely love "English" and want to learn more about its
usual and not so usual applications then you've come to the right
place (or one of them), and we could have a fine old time together. If
you, rather, enjoy flame wars, invective and their ilk, then you will
almost certainly find other fora more conducive to your journey.



                      Russell


*** http://bit.ly/DeadMansSwitch

* Please refer to prior post where the basis for this material was explained.

2010\07\14@130445 by Alexandros Nipirakis

picon face
> Man: Ah, Is this the right room for an argument?
>
>     Mr Vibrating: I told you once.
>
>     Man: No you haven't.
----etc cut for brevity --- >

Monty Python's Flying Circus?

2010\07\14@131548 by Rolf

flavicon
face
Russell.

I think, that you missed a step of logic in this point, notithstanding
it being 4:45am for you, I think it is important to identify the fact
that cause and effect have not been established in this case.
Specifically, there is no indication that the annoyed state of 'some'
piclist members is caused by the language content of the mail.

I am under the distinct impression that, for at least some people, an
'annoyed state' is perpetual, and that it is just waiting for an excuse
to manifest.

In other words, there is a distinct difference between being annoyed,
and expressing that annoyance. Further, the cause for the expression may
be wildly different from the cause of the actual annoyance. As an
analogy, it's sort of like 'throwing up'. Sometimes people throw up
because they see something gross and the gag reflex goes too far. Other
times people throw up because they have been on chemo therapy for a few
days and they moved their head. In the first case you could say that the
up-chuck was caused by the gross situation. In the second case, the
cause is the chemo, but the trigger of the effect is the head movement.

I think it needs to be established first whether the annoyance was
caused by the allegedly poor English, or whether there is a latent
annoyance waiting for a opportunity to pounce. This is significant
because, in this case it is very important to establish the WHY rather
than the just ARE. Taking that point further, with a list membership in
the thousands, it is inevitable that some members are latently annoyed,
and we know the old adage: you can please all the people some of the
time, and some of the people all of the time, but not all the people all
the time.

Rolf

On 14/07/2010 12:48 PM, RussellMc wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2010\07\14@162501 by RussellMc

face picon face
Some reordering of flow:

On 15 July 2010 05:14, Rolf <rolfspamKILLspamtuis.net> wrote:
> Russell.
> I think, that you missed a step of logic in this point, notithstanding
> it being 4:45am for you,

Probably several :-)

> Specifically, there is no indication that the annoyed state of 'some'
> piclist members is caused by the language content of the mail.

Probably true re state of mind, but

> I think it needs to be established first whether the annoyance was
> caused by the allegedly poor English,

No. Nobody has suggested this.
The ebb & flow of the thread appears to have lead to confusion re what
was said to be annoying.

It was NOT the manner in which English was used which was said to be
annoying, but the comment on the usage.
Nobody has claimed to be complaining  that the language is annoying.
The critiquer said

         >> The idea was, as always, very simple - to help a person
improve his language.

I can only guess at what "as always" means in this context.

>  I think it is important to identify the fact that cause and effect
> have not been established in this case. ...
> ... in this case it is very important to establish the WHY rather
> than the just ARE.

I did not seek to establish cause and effect - in the original post of
mine, which I cited, I stated it as a maxim and explained the basis of
my understanding.

I was intentionally dealing with "just are".

ie I asserted that if you provide an otherwise contentless post with
a web reference to a page pedaling pedantic prosody, in response to a
technical  post where the fine points of language usage was highly
irrelevant to the technical points, then you will in a significant
proportion of cases annoy the original poster.

I noted that I based my "just are" assessment on my nearly 20 years of
internet experience and 'somewhat longer' experience of human nature.

Summarised: "If you [ bring to someone's attention by quoting a web
page | pedantically & rudely get in someone's face] (choose one) re a
point of linguistic construction that would stunning fail the Ret
Butler "Frankly my dear ..."  test for just about every English
speaker you could meet, then you can expect annoyance.

> > ... it is inevitable that some members are latently annoyed,

My point was that if you act in a manner that near universal internet
and human nature based experience shows that most people would
consider rude then most people will consider it rude. The actual or
claimed intentions of the poster will make little difference to the
perception - the medium is a large part of the message. See my next
response to this post for a more succinct example :-).


           R

2010\07\14@165117 by RussellMc

face picon face
Promised example:
NB: All these are irrelevant and/or incorrect or correct but lacking in merit.

__________________

> ...  notithstanding

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typographical_error

___________

> Specifically, there is no indication that the annoyed state of 'some'
> piclist members is caused by the language content of the mail.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hysteron_proteron

___________

> I am under the distinct impression that, for at least some people, an
> 'annoyed state' is perpetual, and that it is just waiting for an excuse
> to manifest.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

_______________

> I think it needs to be established first whether the annoyance was
> caused by the allegedly poor English, or whether there is a latent
> annoyance waiting for a opportunity to pounce.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

_________________

2010\07\14@171353 by Rolf

flavicon
face
Which, I thought, was mostly my point too... man, people can violently
agree sometimes ... ;-)

My particular point is not directed at the 'general' and 'most people'
cases... most people will not take offense if you are not a native
English speaker and yet speak broken English regardless, whereas most
people will take offense if you call them an idiot (in any language). I
am directing my point to the former 'trivial' case, not the latter
'universal' case.

All I was trying to say is that some people are just plain irritable,
and 'trivial' things set them off. Like, who gives a toss about typo's
or poor grammer, or top-posting vs. bottom posting, or 'dumb questions',
or some such.... ? And, if a person is so inclined to take offense at
such things even though clearly not directed at them, then it is
inevitable that they will find 'annoyance' in all sorts of minor
misdemeanors. And the ulcer will just be one of the less-trivial ones.

I mean, honestly, the subject line is "Pedantic nitpicking about English
usage". The best value I can get from a thread like this is to laugh at
the miserable souls who take this sort of thing so seriously. Perhaps I
can also share my amusement in such a way that people realize that there
are more important things in life, like learning the real meaning of the
word "Equivocation". I never figured that one out.... till now.

There is a certain amount of entertainment value ...

Oh, I see you are nit-picking my post in another mail.

I do like the fact you know the right words for concepts.... hang on,
are you trying to befuddle me with eloquence....? Sort of does not work
with me. I have a friend who is similarly vivacious with language, and
I've learned long ago that it can just be a crutch to avoid inspection
of the actual content value of the duscussion, and it's value is purely
evanescent (with me at least).

Regardless, I do enjoy your mastery of language. It's worth trolling
this just to get a response....

Oooh... I remember the word.... grandiloquence. That's a cool one.

Rolf

On 14/07/2010 4:24 PM, RussellMc wrote:
> My point was that if you act in a manner that near universal internet
> and human nature based experience shows that most people would
> consider rude then most people will consider it rude. The actual or
> claimed intentions of the poster will make little difference to the
> perception -

2010\07\14@181408 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Rolf wrote:
> All I was trying to say is that some people are just plain irritable,
> and 'trivial' things set them off. Like, who gives a toss about typo's
> or poor grammer, or top-posting vs. bottom posting, or 'dumb
> questions', or some such.... ?

Wow, you're on quite a roll.  Clearly you do, as you've written on some of
these topics at length in the past, but I guess we were supposed to be
distracted by the noise and forget about that.

This is a lot like my saying "Rolf clearly has <insert your favorite
demeaning mental ailment here>.  Now watch, he is going to protest as anyone
with <xxx> of course would."


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2010\07\14@200811 by ivp

face picon face
> I am under the distinct impression that, for at least some people, an
> 'annoyed state' is perpetual, and that it is just waiting for an excuse
> to manifest

I'd say I'm not so much annoyed** as disappointed by how quickly
"standards" slip. As with so many things in life, they are debased
by inattention to or waiving of subtleties and details

For example, using PICs in a literary context, the mnemonics are
just the words. I would like to be a 'Shakespeare' programmer,
but will likely not rise above a Harold Robbins generally, perhaps
a Pinter on occassion. Because IMHO you can't always achieve
elegance without detail, something I wish I had more time to put
the effort into

Joe

** I will admit to annoyance at the grating over-use of "actually"

*
*
**********
Quality PIC programmers
http://www.embedinc.com/products/index.htm

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