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Why I do this

We're midway through the third week of classes, and I got this email today from a student in my freshman writing class:

"Just so you know, I'm now going crazy just reading through the simplest forms of writings. I can't go through Twitter or Facebook without seeing sentences I want to shorten or re-create.

"I'm not sure if this was your goal or not, but if it was you have succeeded."

He'll never be the same again.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 16th, 2015 06:53 pm (UTC)
'Words that say things and stuff' v. 'language that communicates meaning effectively': once you know the difference, it cannot be unseen!

I wish this insight could be bestowed on those people who write signs. There is a notice in the bathroom of my local railway station which says something like, 'Please would toilet users ensure that they dispose of sanitary products and nappies in the bins that are provided for this purpose. Thank you for your co-operation'. Every time I see it, I want to take that sign-writer aside and demand of them what is wrong with a nice, simple 'Please dispose of sanitary products and nappies in the bins provided'. Furthermore, I'm not sure I like being addressed (indirectly) as a 'toilet user' (yes, we are all 'toilet users' - one hopes! - but it comes across like a passive-aggressive insult).

Mind you, this is the same railway company that regularly announces the following: 'Customers wishing to alight at request stops should ask the conductor on the train to arrange for the train to stop to allow them to leave'. How about 'If you wish to alight at a request stop, please inform the conductor'?! ...I get the feeling that perhaps whoever writes this stuff is being paid by the word.

Well done you for training young minds to avoid doubleplusgood duckspeak! :-)

[Edited to eradicate the inevitable typo that must creep in when dispensing judgement on other people's language skills!! >.<]

Edited at 2015-09-16 06:57 pm (UTC)
Sep. 16th, 2015 10:50 pm (UTC)
"Does it sound like something you'd say?" is what I ask students when their writing is overcooked. And I know exactly what you're saying about signs. In our university's basketball arena, there's a big sign over the place where fans buy hot dogs and soft drinks at halftime. The sign says "concession's." If female fans drink too many soft drinks, then they go downstairs to the "womens" room. I'm not making this up. (And for sure there's a mistake in my message, which I won't see until after I hit "post comment.")
Sep. 20th, 2015 01:54 pm (UTC)
Ouch! That ("concession's") is known as the "greengrocer's apostrophe" over here (as in, 'Banana's, £1 a bunch', often seen where fruit and veg is for sale, usually written very elaborately with marker pens).

In the category of "I don't think you meant to say that", here's one I just spotted:

"A computer software was officially ranked ”international grand master” after playing with itself for merely 72 hours." (Seen on Google News, but perpetrated by the Manila Bulletin.) Wow, apparently chess really can be satisfying, even without an opponent!!
Sep. 20th, 2015 11:19 pm (UTC)
That last paragraph has thousand's of possibility's for tasteless remark's—so many that it's impossible to even start.
Sep. 17th, 2015 06:26 am (UTC)
If you step through social media it's no miracle that one's sense for language gets that much addressed that you want to rewrite or slap people in the face... 95% of people need what is called "Duden" here for their respective languages.
Sep. 18th, 2015 12:45 am (UTC)
Duden. I'm stealing that one. Thanks!
Sep. 17th, 2015 03:51 pm (UTC)
Sep. 18th, 2015 12:45 am (UTC)
We aims to please.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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