Does illiteracy bother you?

Lacieann - posted on 08/15/2011 ( 58 moms have responded )

141

16

13

Do you think it's rude to correct someone's spelling, grammar, punctuation and/or diction or do you find it helpful? Why do you think so many adults choose to remain ignorant (barring an actual learning disability like dyslexia)? Do you feel (as I do) that many people equate a desire to be smart as a desire to "be better" (in the negative, uppity, sense) than those around them. Do you feel that there is a stigma associated with being literate, or good at math? Why is it so acceptable for someone to say "Oh, I'm terrible at math." like they're proud of it?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/16/2011

21,273

9

3058

I don't equate poor grammar or spelling errors to illiteracy. Being illiterate means being unable to read or write....most likely through lack of any formal education. I am a terrible speller, that does not make me illiterate.

Cynthia - posted on 08/17/2011

900

34

76

I don't get many chances to correct someone's spelling or grammar because I am the one that usually gets them wrong. I am dyslexic, I read backwards and i have to study very hard to learn anything. I actually don't mind being corrected. I even lean from it when it is pointed out in a mean or negative way. I'm always studying, always trying to better myself. I worry for my sons. I pray that they are smarter then me. i wonder how can they be with me as their teacher. my son is only in 1st grade and already I know it is only a matter of a few years before I wont be able to help him with his homework. i pray about this all the time. i would give anything to be able to read and communicate in writing correctly. the ability to write and read is so valuable, it is a priceless tool that most take fro granted.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/16/2011

21,273

9

3058

Well, you really should expect that at school, but this is FAR from school, so people should relax.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/16/2011

6,435

12

72

I have way too much fun doing this to my husband. I also want to try it on some people who start threads on CoM because some of them have such horrid grammar I can't even tell what they're asking about!

Don't get me started on pronouciations. I live in Canada but I'm from the states. They pronounce Mazda Mahzda and I didn't know there were 2 different ways to say Calgary until I met my husband! His family all say Cal Gary like the city is 2 words instead of 1

Ez - posted on 08/16/2011

6,569

25

237

I have a Communications degree. So yes, I do struggle to understand how people don't grasp simple spelling, grammar and sentence structure. That said, this is an informal mother's forum with women from all over the world. English is quite often not even their first language.



I would never correct someone on here. I absolutely do think it's rude (unless it's clearly done in jest like Jodi did up there ^^^). We all make the odd typo, spelling or punctuation error when posting so fast (I'm assuming everyone posts as fast as I do, in between doing 74455 other things). I also tend to post in a much more conversational tone, that may not necessarily abide my strict grammar rules, and many others do too. Again, this is not a university essay. As long as I can read it (note... a page long block of text is NOT readable!), I'm good. If I can't read it, I just skip it. But I would never embarrass someone by pointing out their errors on here.

58 Comments

View replies by

Becky - posted on 08/18/2011

2,892

44

93

Megan, I live in Calgary, and we say you can tell whether you're Calgarian or not by how you pronounce it. A Calgarian will pronounce it "Calgry."
Minor spelling and grammar errors don't bother me. If a post is so full of them you can't even understand it, that does annoy me, but I won't correct it. I think it's rude to correct someone else's grammar. Although I do do it to my husband.
Actual illiteracy, as in not being able to read or write at all, yes, that does bother me. But not because I blame the person who is illiterate. It bothers me that they never had the opportunity to learn to read and write, and it bothers me because really, that leaves a lot of doors closed to them. If I knew they were given every opportunity and actually were just lazy, well, that would bother me too, because so many still do not actually have that opportunity.

[deleted account]

Cynthia i like your post but i have to say.You may learn either way but nobody has the right to EVER point anything out in a negitive or mean way.



Do you or have you gone to adult learning classes in your area, do they have any?.Its a great way to meet others who share this same issue.To speak to them and to then better your reading etc in a good learning enviroment.It would help so much as an extra to what your doing now.

Its never to late to get professional help.Thats if your not already getting some.



Just because you have this issue my friend, don't ever allow others to think they can treat you disrespectfully.

Lora - posted on 08/17/2011

101

10

6

Illiteracy does bother me especially when in this day and time there are so many ways for people to learn. I have dyslexia, and it has interfered with my learning. But I've always found other ways of learning the material. In fact I went to nursing school and graduated nursing school. I don't think there is any reason for anybody in this country to be illiterate. We have so many opportunities still today. I think that people who are illiterate want to stay that way. People should say "Oh I'm great in math" and keep there mouth shut and not say "Oh I'm terrible at math."

Lacieann - posted on 08/17/2011

141

16

13

I know! I always end up reading things like your welcome and I do a double take, and am like, my welcome?

Stifler's - posted on 08/17/2011

15,141

154

604

I read the contraction as 2 words aswell and that's why the you're/your thing annoys me sooooo fucking much. I have the overwhelming urge to say 'your what?' or when they use an apostrophe for a plural "photo's",.. THE PHOTO'S WHAT?

Lacieann - posted on 08/17/2011

141

16

13

Thanks for all the thoughtful responses.



I think my biggest pet peeves are your instead of you're and there or their instead of they're. That's most likely because I read contractions as two words instead of one. So I read "it's got" as "it is got" Or some one writing should of instead of should've or should have. There are a few more things that really bother me, "all the sudden" being high on the list.



When someone's speaking though it's annoying when they won't pronounce the last sounds in a word, like runnin' instead of running. That can be more of an accent thing though so it's more easily forgiven. I don't mind slang if it has ' in the appropriate places, or is spelled out like "gunna" I hate the one letter substitutions if someone's not on a phone. If English isn't someone's native tounge then I hold nothing against them, I'd hate to have to try and write something in Japanese or Spanish and be corrected by someone thinking I was dumb or lazy. And unless it's something utterly atrocious I wouldn't correct it on CoM either, and if I did it would be in a private message, unless it's something silly like Jodi did. ^_^



I know I have my issues, I still mix up specially and especially. I also insert an "n" into words like closet, so it comes out closent. I don't even know why I do that, no one else I know does. ^_^

Rebecca - posted on 08/17/2011

0

0

1

I do get annoyed with poor spelling, grammar, etc. but don't usually correct it although it might depend on the particular situation, who I am correcting and why. I wouldn't mind being corrected if I had been incorrect.
Some people may feel being smart equals being better in the sense I think you mean. I don't personally think that but I do think that there is, in general, no need for such a low standard in literacy as is found in some places. I have actually struggled to read some things because of people's literacy being so poor. Barring that sort of thing, I don't think it matters in some situations but it does in others.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/16/2011

6,435

12

72

I'm extremely annoying about spelling and grammar even though mine isn't always up to par. I write fanfiction and I usually rant about the bad spelling and punctuation of someone's story before the actual plot or story itself. I also did it a lot at work. A co-worker and myself would always correct our supervisor's memos that she'd leave in the breakroom because they were riddled with spelling and grammatical errors.

I complain about my hubby's bad spelling on YIM and he says: But it's just YIM, I say yeah but I have to read it.

Stifler's - posted on 08/16/2011

15,141

154

604

This is at uni in high school we had Very Low Achievement, Low Achievement, Satisfactory, High Achievement and Very High achievement. We never had A, BC etc.

Stifler's - posted on 08/16/2011

15,141

154

604

High Disctinction, D is Distinction, C is Credit, P for pass and F for Fail.

Lacye - posted on 08/16/2011

2,011

31

164

Emma, what's an HD? All we have here is A, B, C, D, and F as grades in school.

Stifler's - posted on 08/16/2011

15,141

154

604

You can go from a HD to a D for 3 spelling errors. That's how important spelling is so I hate when people are like who cares etc. But yeah who really cares on the internet.

Caitlin - posted on 08/16/2011

1,915

5

172

LOL Emma. My husband came home last year shaking his head because he received the instuctions for one of his university courses and they actually specified that papers written in text speak were not accepted and that use of smileys will cause you to lose marks. It's a sad day when that has to be written down in university!

Stifler's - posted on 08/16/2011

15,141

154

604

At uni people used to complain if they got marked down for spelling errors and incorrect grammar or punctuation. Really? You're at university!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/16/2011

21,273

9

3058

LOL Emma, that is awesome....

"He is in the bush"
"Which bush?"

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/16/2011

21,273

9

3058

Text talk, and all caps, and long paragraphs without a break are the only things that will make me not read a post or a thread. Otherwise, if I can make out what you are saying or getting at, fine by me.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/16/2011

21,273

9

3058

That is definitely slang for pussy here, hairy and all...it is a bush.

Stifler's - posted on 08/16/2011

15,141

154

604

I don't mind on CoM as long as I can understand what they're talking about. Posts with no paragraph spaces are very hard to follow.

Caitlin - posted on 08/16/2011

1,915

5

172

On COMs I don't really care. I try to make sure my posts are understandable, but usually i'm yelling at the kids off and on (not really yelling, but warning them not to kill each other) and such, so things get lost a bit, and if I lose my train of thought, things can get very interesting. I also can't otuch type, my fingers don't do what they are being told by my brain, but I still manage a pretty high WPM, but it means I don't pick up typos on the screen as I am typing, and I hate the small box they have here for replying, so I don't usually bother proof reading my posts.

It bothers me when people speak improperly. I have issues with lazy spelling and constant shortening of words in person. My husband is always mixing up "less" and "fewer" which is one of those things that REALLY bugs me and I ALWAYS correct him, because I want our children to be able to use the correct form. I make an occasional mistake for sure, and my typing isn't great.

I also realise that a lot fo the women aren't english on here, and some even post from their mobile devices, which is why they use a shortened form sometimes, but I can't stand inserted slang and posts like that because things have such different meanings in different places (LIke the "in the bush" comment. :p). FOr quick social chats on COMs, I wouldn't correct anyone, I think i'd only correct my husband and close family to be honest, most of my friends are educated enough to speak properly, but if it were a case of illiteracy, I would feel pretty bad for those people, because there is a huge stigma that comes attached. I have on the other hand known 2 people who were functionally illiterate who were very eloquent when they spoke, so it's not really an excuse for when you are talking.

Stifler's - posted on 08/16/2011

15,141

154

604

I say ain't just for funnies like "this town ain't big enough for the 2 of us". not many people really say it here

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/16/2011

21,273

9

3058

LOL, I guess it is universal then Emma! But you also say "in the bush" right? I like it in the bush, that is how it would be taken over here.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/16/2011

21,273

9

3058

LOL, I suppose it just really depends on WHERE in Boston he is from! Do you know? See, I am not actually FROM Boston, even though I lived there for a few years. I am actually from Cape Cod.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/16/2011

21,273

9

3058

My accent is not very thick any more though. I lived in Missouri for 10 years, and people would pester me to repeat words just to hear my accent. That got old...also, I may take OUT my R's, but they add them needlessly...words like wash are pronounced warsh.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/16/2011

21,273

9

3058

BAHAHAHAHAHA Sherri, you would not like to hear me talk! Boston all the way! You Pahk youh Cah...etc.

Lacye - posted on 08/16/2011

2,011

31

164

On forums like this, not so much. There are so many women from different backgrounds and different amounts of education that it doesn't feel right to me to be judging their grammer or anything else.

However, if I do know you and you sit there and just purposely use bad grammer even though you do know better, yeah I'm probably going to say something. I won't be rude about it the first few times but if it keeps on (and I have said this before) I would tell the person that they can talk to me when they relearn the correct way to say what they mean.

I can't say anything about spelling because I have never been the best speller in the world. I suck at it. However, I will go back and check to see if I have spelled something wrong and if I have then I'll try to correct it.

I guess the main reason why I feel this way about grammer is because of my dad. He was always the type of person that if you were going to talk to him, you spoke correct English. When I was younger, he would correct me all the time, which isn't a bad thing really. Even when I write a text message, I usually use correct grammer as much as I can.

Stifler's - posted on 08/16/2011

15,141

154

604

I also just shake my head and don't correct them. But it really annoys me when people spell simple words wrong or use "your" when they mean "you're". It seriously bothers me that anyone is illiterate in this day and age.

[deleted account]

I think it's incredibly rude to correct someone's spelling and to assume that they are simply to lazy to spell properly. As Ashley said, people come from all sorts of backgrounds. If it's a friend of mine who is comfortable with me, yes I probably would point out a mistake, but on CoM? No, that's simply patronising.

Sarah - posted on 08/16/2011

1,499

10

41

Horrible grammar bothers the heck out of me...not so much on COMs, but when I see it from people I actually know on FB or whatever.



I just cringe when I see something like, "I should have went to the store earlier." Or, "Yesterday I seen this lady walking by..." Wow. Really?



Anyway, I don't correct people for their grammar, spelling, or punctuation mistakes, because I don't want them to feel dumb or embarrassed. I just shake my head & let it go.

[deleted account]

If your correcting to be a help to the other person and say it with respect.Its fine although many can still feel odd about it, so it has to be someone they trust.



My mother went back to adult learning classes.Shes doing great.She can manage her day to day things.Paying for bills, signing a form etc.



Its a pitty there was not much help when she was a young girl.I understand the struggle of being very uneducated as i have lived it with my mother.I to had learning problems but thankfully for me i had a huge amount of extra learning.I went from bottom of my class for the first 3 years of school to top of my class.I excelled from there.



Speaking for myself i have a soft spot for those who struggle with this issue and want to make a change.Its not easy and many do feel ashamed.Its okay to want to better your education.I wish more people had a little more respect for those who are not as well educated as others.

Its not just because there lazy and want to be dumb as many think.Thats the most rude and presumptuous thing to think let a lone say.

We all come from different backgrounds, different educational backgrounds.I just feel we need to always respect that.



As for COM.If i can get the gist of the post etc.I will try my best to type back a comment to help that person out as much as i can.Then continue on.I would never correct anyone on COM.Its not my place.

Mrs. - posted on 08/15/2011

1,767

6

30

Not so much here.

Although, I find it very hard to understand or follow if periods and paragraphs aren't used. The one long paragraph, scroll length with one long sentence - it is like teflon posting. Nothing in it sticks with me.

Lacieann - posted on 08/15/2011

141

16

13

Better to be a smart a$$ than a dumb sh*t.

A favorite saying of mine.

Jodi - posted on 08/15/2011

3,562

36

3907

"Thanks Jodi, the correction has been made."

Lol ;P Just for the record, I was being a smart arse (just clarifying that).

I will have a real response for your post, but right now am doing about 10 things at once, so am still pondering.

Lacieann - posted on 08/15/2011

141

16

13

Equate a desire to be smart to a desire to be "better than" others? I'm not sure I even understand this.



I have a friend who told me about an experience they had when growing up, that another person asked them something along the lines of "Why you wantin' to be all educated" I type this to read like the person spoke. The context of the conversation was implying that my friend was trying to "show up" or "one up" her peers by continuing her education.



Other than trying to clear that up I agree with most of what you're saying Kelly. Thank you for your thoughtful response.

Lacieann - posted on 08/15/2011

141

16

13

I totally understand pregnancy brain, I'm much more forgetful than I used to be.

I do find myself making assumptions of people based on how well they express themselves, both when speaking and with the written word.

I find it particularly annoying/hilarious when people(Americans like myself) are talking about immigration issues and they can barely write the language they want others to speak.

I just wish I knew when it became unimportant to know how to express yourself. Even our politicians, the people we want to lead us, mess up their history and word usage.

[deleted account]

Is it rude to correct someone? Depends on the context. I would not correct someone on here, because we are all moms and 90% of us are either typing as fast as we can before we have to run off and take care of a little one, or balancing a little one on our lap trying to type amidst little fingers vying for the buttons on the keyboard. I expect short sentences, typos, and mistaking Their, There, and They're to happen.
Now, in real life, if someone is asking my opinion of a speech or letter, yes, I'd correct them, but while I would probably cringe when I hear errors, i can't imagine myself correcting someone's grammar unasked. The only exception would be a teen or a child speaking improperly, because they are still learning.

Why do so many adults choose to remain ignorant? I don't know for sure, but I don't think they "choose" to remain ignorant. I think they probably just cannot grasp proper grammar. Many of them grew up around people who do not speak properly and it is so ingrained in them that they cannot change it. The generations they grew up with, who taught them to speak that way, probably did not have access to proper education.

Equate a desire to be smart to a desire to be "better than" others? I'm not sure I even understand this. I do not think that being smart makes a person "better than" another person any more than having a big house makes a person better than someone with a small house. The size of a person's vocabulary is no more important than the size of a person's house in determining what kind of person that person is.

Stigma to being literate? No, there is a stigma to being Illiterate, but there is nothing bad or even perceived to be bad about literacy or intelligence. Even in grade schools, where the intellectuals were almost always outcast, intelligence is being welcomed and embraced.

I think it is okay to say "I'm horrible at math" if one truly is horrible at it because it shows that we have confidence to embrace our faults, and that we have the intelligence to work around our weaknesses. Someone who is horrible at math may be incredibly strong in Literature or History. It also shows the person to whom they are speaking that they know they are not perfect, so there is no need to strive for that--it puts our defenses down. Note that it is fine to say "I'm horrible at math" but how would you perceive some one who said "Oh, I'm horrible at everything," or "I'm horrible at anything academic" ? It is no longer acceptable because it leaves no room for strength or intellect.

Jodi - posted on 08/15/2011

3,562

36

3907

Um....*barring* is the word you are looking for I think...... :D



I wouldn't normally pick you up on it, but I just thought in the context of the post.....

Nikki - posted on 08/15/2011

5,263

41

574

I believe there is a stigma, especially on the Internet in forums such as this. I don't take a great deal of notice any more when it comes to small mistakes with spelling, grammar and punctuation however all this new shortened text or text slang drives me insane. It just looks nasty.

I am the last person to be lecturing anyone on spelling and grammar, I used to be very articulate, have immaculate spelling, grammar and punctuation but ever since I got pregnant my brain works differently. It sound weird but I got a really bad case of baby brain and it's never come back. For that reason I appreciate when people pull me up if I am making mistakes because I hate the fact my brain doesn't work the way it used to and more than anything I want that ability back.

I am always paranoid that others look at my writing and think that I am stupid. I wouldn't say that my need to "be better" is a negative at all, it's not that I want to be better than anyone else but I have a big belief that communication is power therefore people who are very articulate get more of what they want in life. Well that was my experience in anyway.

I really feel for those with learning difficulties and I would never judge or make fun of someone because of this. Unfortunately we encounter a lot of people these days who are just lazy and I think it can be hard for others to distinguish between a legitimate learning disability and laziness.

Do I think it's rude to correct people in general? Well it all depends on how it is approached. If it is in a nasty and condescending way then of course it is not appropriate, but if it is handled tactfully then I don't see the problem with it. Everyone wants to grow don't they?

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms