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Advice A little help for those who may want it . . .

Discussion in 'General chit chat' started by Sky, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. Sky

    Sky Top Poster

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    Hi everyone,

    When I was a kid I was very good at spelling – a gift I suppose, just like some people are good with numbers. My writing skills however, were absolutely terrible - I thought grammar was married to granddad.

    A few years later after I had left school, I decided to do something about it. So after I left the Royal Navy in 1975 I went back to school (college, then later Open University) in order to improve it.

    I am now fascinated by language and have a working knowledge of several; French, Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese and Japanese to name a few (not fluent in any of them though). The only reason I mention this is because I think English is the hardest to learn.

    Anyway, getting back to my point – I thought it may help to have the following on the forum somewhere, so here you are.

    Not used to writing? Never needed to? Don’t worry – here’s a little help if you want it.


    No one should give anyone a hard time for making spelling or grammar mistakes as we all do it, but you would be more confident in your posts if you at least try to follow a few basic rules.

    Six simple rules for making your posts easier to read:


    1. Don’t use ‘text talk’ – it will just make you come across as stupid.
    2. Try to spell correctly; all phones, tablets and computers have a spell-check facility so use it.
    3. Split long paragraphs into smaller ones if possible, rather than leave it as a huge block of text – this is by far the hardest of all posts for anyone to be able to read.
    4. The use of full-stops and commas will make a huge difference to the reader (it’s best to use one space after a comma and two after a full stop). If you’re not sure where to put them; a rough guide is to read it out loud and put them where you need to pause for breath.
    5. Always read what you’ve written before you post it to the forum – that catches most mistakes.
    6. When referring to yourself; use I (capital) as opposed to i (lower case).

    If you want to improve your writing skills a little further, then please continue reading, but if not don’t worry about it – the ones above are the important ones.

    Ten of the most common mistakes in writing (you can avoid them if you practice).

    1. ‘Should of’, ‘could of’, ‘would of’ – the word ‘of’ should be ‘have’.
    2. ‘There’ is for over there, ‘I put it there’ or ‘there are none left’.
    3. ‘Their’ is for when it belongs to someone – ‘Leave it alone, it’s theirs’.
    4. ‘They’re’ is a shortened form of ‘they are’.
    5. ‘It’s’ is only ever used when short for ‘it is’.
    6. ‘Its’ indicates something belonging to an item or thing that is neither masculine nor feminine (his or hers).
    7. ‘To/too/two’ – ‘To’ is used as a verb; ‘to take’ or ‘to give’. ‘Too’ means ‘as well’ or ‘also’. ‘Two’ is the number 2.
    8. ‘Invite’ – this is a verb and should only be used to ask someone to do something or go somewhere.
    9. ‘Invitation’ is a noun and is what you give someone – like a Wedding Invitation.
    10. ‘You’re/Your’ – You’re is a shortened form of ‘you are’ and ‘your’ is belonging to you.

    Not really important, but one more worth mentioning is 'etc.'. A lot of people write 'ect' instead and leave it at that. It should be etc. - with the dot because it's an abbreviation of et cetera.

    I had to study the old fashioned way with books, pen and paper – it is so much easier now with computers and the internet. Search engines will help you immensely, but beware of the American influence on our great language (e.g. invite instead of invitation) – they seem determined to destroy it in my opinion.

    Obviously, this is only the tip of the iceberg, but if it only helps one of you it was worth me writing it.

    If you’re not sure of something, just look it up – the answers are out there . . .
     
  2. Pugwash

    Pugwash Post apocalypse

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    I think there is probably a link between spelling and writing ability and the amount and quality of reading people do. We grew up without a tv so read constantly. If you see words often enough, (the correct spelling) it must stick.
    Like you I lament the Americanisation which seems to be overwhelming us in many areas. Every time I hear a new one my heart sinks. I am no anti American. Some things American are fine. Snap On tools for one. I couldn't live without them. I don't even dislike how Americans speak. Obama was a joy to listen to even when I disagreed with him as are many others.
    I don't think I have read anything on here I can't decipher and lots of really good posts have a fair smattering of slips but I know what you mean.
    Most of my output is driven by the fact that I am a narrow minded, impatient, intolerant old git. Not really. Except for the narrow minded, impatient, intolerant old git part.
     
  3. garyjm

    garyjm Posting Addict

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    Great and valued post Sky. Brings back so many thoughts and prompts about 'life and learning'.
    At the age of 20 I had to pass my O level English to get my access to Uni, I struggled but eventually got there. I had maths, physics and tech drawing O levels but always struggled with English! Our language.:)
    After almost 10 years living in eastern europe and before that 5 years in Africa I often forget my mother tongue. English.
    Your post is like a 'wake up call'. English.
    Благодариа.
    oops that means thanks.:D
     
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  4. Scott

    Scott Registered User

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    There was a lad on here last year or the year before and he wrote huge posts in a lurid blue text,
    no grammar or line breaks either...

    It made my eyeball itch trying to read it
     
    mike-carter, Pugwash and Sky like this.
  5. Pugwash

    Pugwash Post apocalypse

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    I don't know if anyone else has come across it but there is a brilliant book called F•••ing Apostrophies by Simon Griffin, which is both informative and really funny (if you like that sort of thing). I think you would really like it Sky. I don't think it's helped my punctuation much but it is funny.
     
    Blackmax, Scott and Sky like this.
  6. Kevin2306

    Kevin2306 Donator

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    Hand writing is another issue these days, everything seems to be typed!
    I was lucky enough to be given a superb quality fountain pen for christmas, ive made a concerted effort in work to ise it as much as possible and my scrawl is becoming legible.

    Kev
     
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  7. Sky

    Sky Top Poster

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    Overall, the writing skills I've seen on this forum have been very good and I've been impressed more than a few times. :):up:

    Some of the other forums I've used though, have made me feel like I was in some kind of 'special school' for delinquents (can we say that any more?).

    Sadly, our education system lets so many people down - I was one of them and it's worse now than it was. I went to a good infant and junior school, but a terrible secondary school where the average teacher's IQ was around 70 and their degrees came in Jamboree Bags. :eek:

    Apostrophes - now they are so simple, but probably 80% of UK adults don't know how to use them. I must admit to having 'adjusted' a few menus and Specials Boards in pubs and restaurants in my time. :rolleyes:

    When it comes to handwriting, I'm afraid I must put my hands up and say that mine is illegible - even to me. If I have to use a pen for any reason, I have to write in block capitals. :oops:
     
  8. Ganton Gunner

    Ganton Gunner Super Duper Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    I had a go at Fancy Hand writing once.
    Unfortunately I ran out of room on my hand after only one paragraph.
     
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  9. monsta41

    monsta41 Donator

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    Look at the forms you have to fill in whilst applying for anything, they all tell you to write in block capitals, thats why kids don`t learn proper handwriting nowadays
     
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  10. Scott

    Scott Registered User

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    Well.... that and the fact that most of the dumb f'kers these days can't write anything without using a crayon
     
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  11. Ganton Gunner

    Ganton Gunner Super Duper Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    The Primary school I attended left a lot to be desired.
    They taught us to just spell as you say it.
    wen i went to sekondry skool i had to lern to rite properly as my spelin was rubish and literacy skills non existent.
    What made it even Worse was I was short tongued and went to speach therapy for many years :(
    so spell as you say was a Absolute nightmare for me.
    The to me was D and so on, fortunately speech is fine for me now but if I pay attention I do still notice even at this time of my life I pay attention to my pronouncing to make sure I say things correctly.
     
  12. Pugwash

    Pugwash Post apocalypse

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    My hanwriting has gone the other way. It used to be good but now that I can't remember anything for more than ten.... what was I on about? I have to write everything down. Next day I look and..... what the f•••• is that about?
     
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  13. Sky

    Sky Top Poster

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    My younger brother went through the same as you Pete. One school teaching the old way and the new one teeching im to spel foneticaly. :confused:

    Poor b****r never recovered and still can't spell - not that he's ever been interested in learning to. :rolleyes:
     
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  14. Ganton Gunner

    Ganton Gunner Super Duper Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    I am determined to make sure my granddaughter grows up with a good education.
    I am also determined she will learn how to shoot :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  15. Pugwash

    Pugwash Post apocalypse

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    See what I mean about the memory? I forgot the 'd'. If I wrote how I speak. Oh dear. It would be a problem.
     
    Ganton Gunner likes this.
  16. Sky

    Sky Top Poster

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    Well I'm a dodgy Cockney, so I'm sure you'd think the same. ;)
     
    Ganton Gunner likes this.
  17. mikeyhall1

    mikeyhall1 BRIT SEALS - M & M Products - TbT

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    Thanks Sky, great post which I’m sure many will find value in.
     
    Sky likes this.
  18. Sky

    Sky Top Poster

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    Cheers Mike. :up:
     
  19. mike-carter

    mike-carter Major Poster

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    A dodgy Cockney? Elaborate please. I see you're on the I.O.W, a bleedin' million miles from Bow Bells. But then I'm a Cockney living in Geoffrey Boycott country.
     
  20. mike-carter

    mike-carter Major Poster

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    I fully agree that this frigging text speech is annoying. There is another thing that puzzles me, why the hell can't people use punctuation marks? Sometime you need a double or treble take to make sense of it.
     

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