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Old 01-25-2010, 07:48 AM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
6,749 posts, read 5,677,316 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
I think you are falling in the oh-so-common argumentative trap of thinking that everyone thinks like you do. When I write, I have already composed the grammatical sentence in my mind, and then type it. As I recall, Mickey Spillane sat down at the typewriter and wrote an entire novel in a week, at about 40 words per minute, with no white-out. His editor probably corrected some misspellings and typos, and maybe brought some grammar into conformity with the style guide of the publishing house. But he, like me and I guess unlike you, had a complete and grammatically correct sentence in mind when he hit the shift key for the first letter. For some of us, it is second-nature thinking in complete grammatically correct sentences. How on earth do you speak in complete sentences, if you are not thinking in complete sentences? I have no trouble at all imagining Stephen King doing that, too.


I think it goes back to the different 'types of thinkers.' Visual thinkers tend to have vivid images as thoughts; more analytical thinkers don't have such vivid imagery. At least that's what I've been told in speaking with the more analytical types. I've spoken with a few people who tell me they never really have images as thoughts at all. That really shocked me—to not ‘see’ something in your head. Personally, I tend to be very image oriented in thought--spatial, geometric. My memory is the same way: I remember images very well, or processes, or concepts; but I have a very hard time with rote memorization at times (which is why I pick up grammar in language so quickly, yet it’s a nightmare for me to remember vocabulary).

I think both (along with other) types of thinking have strengths and weaknesses. I can certainly think analytically, but it has always been visual by default with me. I've also talked to quite a lot with both types of writers. The analytical types certainly make better technical writers.

As for the question about speaking in complete sentences. That's a good question! I don't really know what to say. With me, I don't so much think of the words themselves or the mechanical structure. Again, it's more of an image of whatever it is I'm getting at (at least most of the time) and then the words just sort of come out. Admittedly, those words sometimes don't form complete sentences (tongue-tied). That's when I actually have to start thinking about the specific mechanical process of forming a sentence. This is a very interesting topic for a thread of its own.
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
38,756 posts, read 39,297,963 times
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Chris, the difference you describe is very vivid to me. When my wife and I travel, she learns to understand foreign languages very quickly, but never learns to speak them, whereas for me it the opposite. I ask the questions, and then I nudge her and ask what the reply was, and then I ask the next question. I think that is because she is a visual thinker and I am an analytical thinker. I never think in images.

It's interesting to think about how Germans think. They can talk for a minute or two before it is necessary to decide what verb to use. There is a story about the interpreters at an international conference. They have a panic button to use when the German is speaking. When they press the button, a light goes on which means "Gimme a verb!!!"
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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Linguistically speaking, there is no one correct way to speak any language.

The rules are only set for societal purposes, and it's usually the form of the language set by the elite and powerful that determines what the "right" form is.

Language changes constantly. For the layperson truly interest in linguistics, I suggest this book:

Amazon.com: The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language (9780060520854): John Mcwhorter: Books

I found it fascinating, and return to it from time to time.
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:55 AM
 
28,005 posts, read 22,233,589 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TKramar View Post
It isn't out of the ordinary to see "teh" on a post. I ignore it. It's more annoying in stores, on homemade signs, where a word is misspelled.
Down the street from me is a deli with a sign in its window advertising "Break Fast Sandwich's".

I personally have less tolerance for badly written English than I do for misspoken English.
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:10 AM
 
2,030 posts, read 1,981,792 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Down the street from me is a deli with a sign in its window advertising "Break Fast Sandwich's".

I personally have less tolerance for badly written English than I do for misspoken English.
Mispellings on businesses or in business correspondence are unforgivable. I've seen a parking lot which said 'enterance' and similar mistakes. In Uganda about 99% of the 'dairies' are spelled 'diary', so all Ugandan call it a diary and they've no idea it's incorrect. Business there commonly have spelling mistakes in English, but that's understandable, it's their second language, not first.
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Eastern Kentucky
1,238 posts, read 1,735,427 times
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As far as I am concerned, a language has one purpose-to allow people to communicate with each other. As long as the people who are using the language can understand each other then the language has served it's purpose. As for the spelling and grammer, when we toss the ph in elephant and put in an f, and toss the "this is that except for when..." it will make more since.
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:59 AM
 
2,190 posts, read 1,479,453 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Chris, the difference you describe is very vivid to me. When my wife and I travel, she learns to understand foreign languages very quickly, but never learns to speak them, whereas for me it the opposite. I ask the questions, and then I nudge her and ask what the reply was, and then I ask the next question. I think that is because she is a visual thinker and I am an analytical thinker. I never think in images.

It's interesting to think about how Germans think. They can talk for a minute or two before it is necessary to decide what verb to use. There is a story about the interpreters at an international conference. They have a panic button to use when the German is speaking. When they press the button, a light goes on which means "Gimme a verb!!!"
How wonderfully symbiotic!

When I was first learning French, I could figure out how to put sentences together correctly and get my message across. My problem was that I couldn't understand the responses. I was self-taught, and my teacher didn't provide me with any conversation practice. LOL. It took me several years of intensive conversation classes to develop the level of proficiency that I have now, and I don't have anywhere near native proficiency.

I think that this may be a problem with some people who don't develop proficiency in their own language. Studies have shown a high correlation between language usage levels and socio-economic groups based on the length and nature of the utterances that children hear. Children need to hear people "think out loud" in order to help shape their own thought patterns.

The most ominous part of the story is that neurobiology research also indicates that the young brain begins to prune away unused parts in the late preschool years. The implication is that when young children don't hear high-level language by the time they start school, their ability to learn it may be permanently hampered.

I believe that one of the reasons that the United States consistently wrestles to gain footing in international measures of educational achievement is that most other countries consider preschool education to be in the interest of the state more than in the interest of the parents. In other words--it's school, not day-care.

On the other hand, the American mindset sees public P2-4 education as another entitlement provided at public expense so that moms can go shopping or go back to bed and watch tv. Instead, it is an investment to make sure that young children have a schedule, a healthy diet and medical care, and appropriate socialization experiences. Hopefully, the investment will pay off with students who have the physiological and psychological prerequisites to profit from their public school experience and become tax payers rather than tax consumers.

What we need to acknowledge is that the consequence of not having a place for children to go is continuing to have neglected, unhealthy kids show up for kindergarten with the vocabulary of a 2-year-old toddler. Children of non-English-speaking immigrants who work long hours are actually growing up unable to speak in either language due to lack of time spent with adults who talk to them--their only exposure to language is on tv.

That is the circumstance that we have now. If we keep doing what we're doing, we'll continue to have problems teaching American children their own language.
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:25 PM
 
28,005 posts, read 22,233,589 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yankinscotland View Post
Mispellings on businesses or in business correspondence are unforgivable. I've seen a parking lot which said 'enterance' and similar mistakes. In Uganda about 99% of the 'dairies' are spelled 'diary', so all Ugandan call it a diary and they've no idea it's incorrect. Business there commonly have spelling mistakes in English, but that's understandable, it's their second language, not first.
I have more tolerance for the errors on Chinese menus. They are not only learning a language, but an alphabet.

However, I'm appalled at how many good restaurants have errors on their menus. That is the first thing your customers are going to see, and you couldn't be bothered to have someone proofread your menu before you had it final printed? Or demand that the menu-printing service do so before you paid the bill?
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:36 PM
 
28,005 posts, read 22,233,589 times
Reputation: 25870
Quote:
Originally Posted by masonsdaughter View Post
As far as I am concerned, a language has one purpose-to allow people to communicate with each other. As long as the people who are using the language can understand each other then the language has served it's purpose. As for the spelling and grammer, when we toss the ph in elephant and put in an f, and toss the "this is that except for when..." it will make more since.
English has been influenced by its long history, and the etymology of a word shouldn't just be tossed aside because someone just doesn't like the way a word is spelled, in my opinion. Further, spelling a word the way it's supposed to be spelled aids English readers when trying to identify a word in another language from whence that word came.

It's torture to read something in the business world or a setting like a restaurant when someone can't be bothered to spell correctly. It screams out that the writer is lazy and clues you in to the fact that they don't read much, either.

On forums such as this one, it's less formal and typos are not so important as long as you can figure out what they meant, which is why I won't say anything about the last word in your post.
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:53 PM
 
133 posts, read 164,842 times
Reputation: 141
I just came home from the mobil gas station/mini mart.I could not believe that the mobil supplied sign said,...full servece oil change.???
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