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  1. #1
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    Grammar in the Forums

    Over the years, I’ve noticed a strong trend of consistent grammar errors in posts on this forum. In the interest of improving the readability and overall quality of posts, I present the following list of common grammar mistakes and accompanying proper usage:

    Their/There/They’re

    Their: Indicates possession. Example:

    Overclockers who use cheap power supplies will see their machines wreathed in smoke.

    There: Indicates location or placement. Example:

    Where there is smoke, there is a cheap power supply.

    They’re: Contraction of “they are.” Example:

    Company X makes cheap power supplies. They’re the best source for loud popping noises.

    Its vs. It’s

    Its: Indicates possession. Example:

    The power supply was so badly blown its capacitors looked like overcooked stuffed mushrooms.

    It’s: Contraction of “it is.” Example:

    I don’t know where I left my case, but I’m sure it’s around here somewhere.

    Two/To/Too

    Two: A number between 1 and 3.

    To: A preposition, it links together words and phrases. Example:

    I am going to Best Buy to laugh at the imbeciles.

    Too: A word that means “also.” Example

    Everyone is going to Best Buy to laugh at the imbeciles and I want to go too!

    Your vs. You’re

    Your: Indicates possession. Example:

    Your computer really needs a new power supply. Smoke is not cool.

    You’re: A contraction of “you are.” Example:

    You’re going to be spending a great deal of money on new equipment unless you replace that $10 power supply.

    Affect vs. Effect

    Affect: To act on or impress the mind or move the feelings of. Example:

    Overclocking has badly affected his ability to interact with normal people.

    Effect: Something that is produced by an agency or cause. Example:

    Overclocking has had the effect of stunting his social development.

    Then vs. Than

    Then: A function of time. Example:

    I overclocked my computer using a cheap power supply, then it blew up.

    Than: A comparative adjective. Example:

    My computer is faster than your computer.

    I hope members find this useful.
    Last edited by hafa; 12-21-10 at 02:30 PM.
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  3. #2
    oakstave's Avatar
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    Funny, I thought I was the only person who thought these things.

    OK, here's more:

    "As of yet" is just wrong. Of course I'm speaking as of now.

    "Unique" needs no modifier. That's what the word means. Very unique, quite unique and totally unique, just mark you as dumb, although certainly not unique.

    "No other option" and "No other alternative" are wrong. The words 'Option' and 'Alternative' already imply otherness. You have no option in this. The alternative is to be wrong.

    "Momentarily" means 'For a moment' not 'in a moment'. The English word for 'in a moment' is "Presently".

    One that really drives me crazy is the use of "ironic" to mean a coincidence of some kind. Irony has nothing to do with coincidence. Irony is when something occurs that is the opposite of the expected result. If a son dies in a car accident like his father, that's not ironic, it's coincidence. Now, if a man learns to drive because he thinks riding his bike on the road is too dangerous, and on the first day he gets his license he dies in a car wreck... THAT'S irony.

    Great stuff! People love it when you correct them.

    (Thanks to my college english teacher, and George Carlin for making this post possible.)
    Last edited by oakstave; 12-21-10 at 04:19 PM. Reason: grammar ;)
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  4. #3
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    Lets not forget these all too common gems...

    Brake = like whats on your car, or used to slow down.
    Break = the act of breaking something, or making it not work.

    regardless = proper.
    irregardless = double negative/not proper.

    Accept = to take in.
    Except = to exclude.

    Accel = gradually faster.
    Excel = distignuish one self.

    laptop = duh?!
    labtop = really?

    loose = my shoe laces are loose. (opposite of tight)
    lose = You are going to lose in chess. (opposite of win)

    weather = Think rain, sun, tornados.
    whether = used when making a choice

    As far as the 'option' thing. I would imagine that could be different depending on the context its used in. Saying, there is 'No other option' alludes to the fact that there were options and now thre are none. It sets a time on it???

    EDIT: But note this is in EVERY forum I have been to. My only hope is that these people that make these mistakes dont do it on their resume. Im far, FAR, from perfect (as Im sure you can tell in this post!) but those things are fairly simple to have under your belt IMHO.
    Last edited by EarthDog; 12-21-10 at 03:28 PM.

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  7. #5
    oakstave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EarthDog View Post

    As far as the 'option' thing. I would imagine that could be different depending on the context its used in. Saying, there is 'No other option' alludes to the fact that there were options and now thre are none. It sets a time on it???
    I think that's how it started, but it's grammarically incorrect. And when you think about it, you don't lose any meaning by dropping the 'other'. Essentially, it's belaboring the point in a grammarically incorrect way.

    In other words people say "I had no other option" when what they mean is "I have no (good/new/appropriate/untried) options" OR, "I'm out of options/alternatives."

    Edit: I once heard someone say that the Thesaurus ruined the English language, and I'm inclined to agree. Words don't mean the same thing as other words, and they are not interchangable. Each word has a unique definition, which adds context and texture to the sentence. Each word has a history, is derived from another source, and adds to the wonderful complexity of communication. Learning to speak well isn't just about following some arcane rules made up a long ago, it's about being able to communicate your point to each other with precision, grace and specificity. People who can't speak well are like people who don't hear well, see well, or walk well. It's a disability.
    Last edited by oakstave; 12-21-10 at 04:05 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EarthDog View Post
    Lets not forget these all too common gems...

    Brake = like whats on your car, or used to slow down.
    Break = the act of breaking something, or making it not work.

    regardless = proper.
    irregardless = double negative/not proper.

    Accept = to take in.
    Except = to exclude.

    Accel = gradually faster.
    Excel = distignuish one self.

    laptop = duh?!
    labtop = really?

    loose = my shoe laces are loose. (opposite of tight)
    lose = You are going to lose in chess. (opposite of win)

    weather = Think rain, sun, tornados.
    whether = used when making a choice

    As far as the 'option' thing. I would imagine that could be different depending on the context its used in. Saying, there is 'No other option' alludes to the fact that there were options and now thre are none. It sets a time on it???

    EDIT: But note this is in EVERY forum I have been to. My only hope is that these people that make these mistakes dont do it on their resume. Im far, FAR, from perfect (as Im sure you can tell in this post!) but those things are fairly simple to have under your belt IMHO.
    Tee hee. I had to.
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  9. #7
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    Notice its only apostrophes or w/e. Im lazy, not grammatically challenged as bad as some of the examples posted!!! hahah!

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  10. #8
    What I haven't figured out is why some people get so anal in forums... regarding grammar? Yes I understand people make typos and grammer errors but does this really change your life? Thankfully with the Net people from all over the world can talk smack togther, I mean discuss subjects of interest.

    English is not the first language of everyone who participates online. Some people are lazy and don't care to learn or check grammar. Some people are dyslexic. Some people have vision issues. Some folks are braindead. Some people flunked English class...

    I don't lose sleep over online grammer but I see the grammar police do.
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  11. #9
    Premium Member #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by EarthDog View Post
    Notice its only apostrophes or w/e. Im lazy, not grammatically challenged as bad as some of the examples posted!!! hahah!
    Although you've declared a distinction for this instance, the casual observer will be unable to distinguish the difference between lazy, inept, uneducated or incapable. The point remains that bad grammar, regardless of its cause, reflects negatively on the author and impedes clarity and understanding.
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  12. #10
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    @beenthere - Heh, I dont think anyone (at least not me) are losing sleep over these issues. They are items children should know really. To be quite honest when I see people butchering these things, it takes a small bit of credence away from the post. My thinking is if one cant get these basics right, how do I know that person knows what they are talking about? I do understand that I wouldnt ask my mechanic how to take care of my lawn, but if he wasnt talking with marbles in his mouth or butchering the english language, I may be more apt to listen if he offered that advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by hafa View Post
    The point remains that bad grammar, regardless of its cause, reflects negatively on the author and impedes clarity and understanding.
    What he said!!

    So who wants to take the red pen to my paragraph above?

    EDIT: The words mentioned by a couple of us are people using the wrong meaning of the words. We arent grammar nazi's, but apparently we think that using these words incorrectly are just 'face palm' worthy. as a former recruiter, I cant tell you how many resumes I looked at and were pushed to the back of the line because of the **** poor word usage observed. When I met these people, their spoken word wasnt much different in a lot of cases.
    Last edited by EarthDog; 12-21-10 at 04:14 PM.

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  13. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    What I haven't figured out is why some people get so anal in forums... regarding grammar? Yes I understand people make typos and grammer errors but does this really change your life? Thankfully with the Net people from all over the world can talk smack togther, I mean discuss subjects of interest.

    English is not the first language of everyone who participates online. Some people are lazy and don't care to learn or check grammar. Some people are dyslexic. Some people have vision issues. Some folks are braindead. Some people flunked English class...

    I don't lose sleep over online grammer but I see the grammar police do.
    You'll never see me correct someone's grammar in a post about a bricked video card. But if someone starts a thread about grammar... What did you expect to read in this thread?

    Your point is well taken though. If I suspect I'm speaking with an ESL person, I automatically cut slack.

    However, I HATE text-speak. I actively ignore threads that start with: "Winders is teh suxxor PLZ HLP ME!"
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  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    What I haven't figured out is why some people get so anal in forums... regarding grammar?
    It really makes reading more difficult or confusing trying to interpret what people are "trying to say" and form discussion. It is similar to reading leetspeak and attempting to have a conversation. That example is a bit extreme and it usually isn't as difficult, but I've seen some horrendous posts. I read over all my posts a few times to make sure my comments make sense and are mostly correct grammar wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    English is not the first language of everyone who participates online. Some people are lazy and don't care to learn or check grammar. Some people are dyslexic. Some people have vision issues. Some folks are braindead. Some people flunked English class...
    This is an English based board, so we expect the user base here to be able to use it effectively.
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    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    What I haven't figured out is why some people get so anal in forums... regarding grammar? Yes I understand people make typos and grammer errors but does this really change your life? Thankfully with the Net people from all over the world can talk smack togther, I mean discuss subjects of interest.

    English is not the first language of everyone who participates online. Some people are lazy and don't care to learn or check grammar. Some people are dyslexic. Some people have vision issues. Some folks are braindead. Some people flunked English class...

    I don't lose sleep over online grammer but I see the grammar police do.
    Please see my previous post.

    I always make exceptions for those whose first language is not English. There is no excuse, however, for those who know better or are capable of learning and understanding.

    The internet and texting have had a significant detrimental effect on the English language. I believe that these forums represent a higher standard and created the original post to reflect and reinforce this belief.
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    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    What I haven't figured out is why some people get so anal in forums... regarding grammar? Yes I understand people make typos and grammer errors but does this really change your life? Thankfully with the Net people from all over the world can talk smack togther, I mean discuss subjects of interest.

    English is not the first language of everyone who participates online. Some people are lazy and don't care to learn or check grammar. Some people are dyslexic. Some people have vision issues. Some folks are braindead. Some people flunked English class...

    I don't lose sleep over online grammer but I see the grammar police do.
    If someone posted "how do i make my cpu a good overclock?" I ignore it. It annoys me that if someone won't put in the effort of making a well formed grammatically correct question or statement, I'm not going to waste my time helping them when they can't even help themselves.
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    I see so many little mistakes, and tend to do a double-take when I'm reading posts with poor construction, it slows down my reading a little, but I can't help it. I taught myself to watch for all the common (affect/effect their/they're...) mistakes long ago and always get them right unless I'm writing very quickly.

    It's really hard to get people to make the effort to check themselves and learn the differences and rules. Chances are most people just want fast answers to their boot issues or their overclock instability or "is this a good watercooling component list?" and they figure "hey it's the internet, I don't care, and I don't care if you care, I just want answers"

    Good collection of common mistakes in here, though.
    A more subtle one that bugs me is "everyday" vs. "every day". "everyday" is like "commonplace" while "every day" means literally "every day"
    I see that one everywhere.

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  18. #16
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    ^^ @ WS -

    Problem with that though is the ESL. One doesnt know if that is the case without at least clicking and looking at the location.

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  19. #17
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    Great thread, hafa.

    I'd like to add:

    $1 is the proper way to describe an amount of currency, not 1$.

  20. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by EarthDog View Post
    ^^ @ WS -

    Problem with that though is the ESL. One doesnt know if that is the case without at least clicking and looking at the location.
    If ESL is the case, I will most certainly try to interpret and help them. If it is someone that just wants instant gratification, they can move onto different pastures.

    Most of the time is obvious when dealing with an ESL case, when it's someone that is blasting "your" "its" and "there" all over their post, it just strikes me as someone that is lazy. If they are too lazy to learn proper grammar, I am too lazy to respond.

    I think it is because I have a high standard when conversing with people in real life. When I see poorly written responses on the internet, where you can see and edit your response before saying it, it immediately throws flags up and I prejudge people for it. Strikes me that people just have the mentality, "Fudge it! It's the internetzzz IDC!!"

    Ah hell, it all could be because my mother is a teacher.
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    Once you've mastered the language it's perfectly acceptable to butcher it to make a sentence more readable, or entertaining IMHO.

    For instance, I use 'cause for 'because' at times, but never 'cuz'. One marks you as someone who knows the proper word, but chose not to, and other marks you as someone who was dropped on their head at a young age.... Or perhaps SHOULD be dropped on their head. Adding capitals for emphasis isn't correct, but can add the emphasis in the right place to make the sentence easier to read.

    I agree with the comments above regarding use of language while applying for a job; Learning to speak well is an investment in your vocational future.

    Edit: As a side note, attention parents: When you name your child, try printing their name on a job application and see how it looks. Imagine an employer saying: "We have two qualified applicants: Kurt Smith and Skye High Philips." Guess who's getting the job?
    Last edited by oakstave; 12-21-10 at 04:40 PM.
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