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Author Topic:   Smart People?
pelican
Member (Idle past 3060 days)
Posts: 781
From: australia
Joined: 05-27-2007


Message 1 of 131 (459590)
03-08-2008 6:37 PM


The following paragraph demonstrates correct spelling is not paramount to good communication, if the reader can read it.

More Brain Stuff . . From Cambridge University .

Olny srmat poelpe can raed tihs.
I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

Many many times my spelling has been corrected by other members. I realize correct spelling is important to some, even to the point of obsession. However, if the word is recognizable and in context, what is the big problem?


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Percy, posted 03-09-2008 9:22 AM pelican has responded
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 Message 5 by Chiroptera, posted 03-09-2008 11:00 AM pelican has responded
 Message 6 by tesla, posted 03-09-2008 5:42 PM pelican has responded
 Message 48 by ThreeDogs, posted 03-11-2008 11:50 AM pelican has responded
 Message 81 by Hyroglyphx, posted 06-15-2008 5:49 PM pelican has responded
 Message 83 by Alasdair, posted 06-15-2008 9:22 PM pelican has responded

  
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Message 2 of 131 (459649)
03-09-2008 8:54 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18308
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 3 of 131 (459651)
03-09-2008 9:22 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by pelican
03-08-2008 6:37 PM


A few things.

First, in your example all the correct letters are still present, just in slightly jumbled order.

Second, search facilities, like the one at this board and Google, do not find misspellings.

Third, most people learn from experience that lower quality writing and spelling often accompany lower quality thinking.

Fourth, spelling is easy by using either Google Toolbar (has a spellcheck button) or Firefox (automatically checks the spelling inside a textbox). There's really no excuse.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
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RickJB
Member (Idle past 3065 days)
Posts: 917
From: London, UK
Joined: 04-14-2006


Message 4 of 131 (459655)
03-09-2008 9:47 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by pelican
03-08-2008 6:37 PM


I would argue that the example above requires that an exemplar of each word exists as a "correct" form. The example is readable because we make mental references to these correctly spelled exemplars.

In order to ensure clarity in expression it is best to use the exemplar spelling.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by pelican, posted 03-08-2008 6:37 PM pelican has responded

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Chiroptera
Member (Idle past 11 days)
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 5 of 131 (459663)
03-09-2008 11:00 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by pelican
03-08-2008 6:37 PM


For one thing, it takes considerable more time and thought to read that passage. Maybe someone who is functionally illiterate, so even correctly spelled passages take time and effort to read, won't notice, but those of us who are literate do notice a big, big difference in how easy it is to read a passage like that.

Also, if you were going to give a public talk, would you dress in a torn t-shirt and cut-off blue jeans? Or would would try to dress appropriately out of respect for your audience? It's the same principle here. I remember a former poster who never capitalized, but assured us he did when he wrote his technical papers. In other words, we weren't worth the same amount of effort as his academic peers. Personally, I felt insulted by that.

In fact, I feel insulted when anyone realizes that their spelling and punctuation are bad but they don't see the point of trying to improve. What these people are telling us is that we just aren't worth the effort to communicate with effectively.

Added by edit:

By the way, since both former members who made a conscious decision to not capitalize are now gone, I hope that any new members thinking that they can get away with it will be suspended until they at least try to shape up. I can understand being bad at grammar, spelling, and punctuation, but, as I said, to be purposely bad at it and/or to not even try to improve is disrespectful to those with whom you are trying to communicate.

Edited by Chiroptera, : No reason given.

Edited by Chiroptera, : typo


...Onward to Victory is the last great illusion the Republican Party has left to sell in this country, even to its own followers. They can't sell fiscal responsibility, they can't sell "values," they can't sell competence, they can't sell small government, they can't even sell the economy. -- Matt Taibbi
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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tesla
Member (Idle past 2132 days)
Posts: 1198
Joined: 12-22-2007


Message 6 of 131 (459745)
03-09-2008 5:42 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by pelican
03-08-2008 6:37 PM


lol

Because of perception of the human mind on what "intelligent" is.

That's why it matters. Like dressing. A poorly dressed man can be much more intelligent than an idiot in a $2000.00 suit. But when both give a presentation, Subconsciously the observers will be more subjective to the well dressed man as opposed to the truth value, Unless the truth value has already been verified by other well dressed men as to the knowledge of the poorly dressed man.

IMO of course.


keep your mind from this way of enquiry, for never will you show that not-being is
~parmenides
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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pelican
Member (Idle past 3060 days)
Posts: 781
From: australia
Joined: 05-27-2007


Message 7 of 131 (459753)
03-09-2008 6:19 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Percy
03-09-2008 9:22 AM


Third, most people learn from experience that lower quality writing and spelling often accompany lower quality thinking.

This is absurd. Thinking has nothing to do with literacy.

There's really no excuse.

Isn't this just from your judgement? This is the point. Is it so important when there is nothing lost in communicating ideas?
In my experience accurate spelling does not improve communication.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Percy, posted 03-09-2008 9:22 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Chiroptera, posted 03-09-2008 6:27 PM pelican has not yet responded
 Message 9 by AZPaul3, posted 03-09-2008 6:28 PM pelican has responded
 Message 10 by Taz, posted 03-09-2008 6:32 PM pelican has responded
 Message 14 by Percy, posted 03-09-2008 6:44 PM pelican has responded

  
Chiroptera
Member (Idle past 11 days)
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 8 of 131 (459755)
03-09-2008 6:27 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by pelican
03-09-2008 6:19 PM


Thinking has nothing to do with literacy.

This is so not true. This board itself is a very good example. Most of the poor writers on this board are very sloppy thinkers, in some cases even lunatics, while the better writers tend to write very factual and logical posts. There are exceptions, of course, but I see a strong correlation between ability to write correctly and clarity of thought.

I also see this in the math classes I teach in regards to handwriting. Students with good handwriting also tend to write the steps to their work in an organized, clear fashion and are more likely to get the answer correct. Students with sloppy handwriting also tend to be disorganized in their work and often get the wrong answer...unless they can look it up in the back of the book. There are exceptions, but this seems to be the main trend.

Good writing, both handwriting and proper spelling and punctuation, seems to be associated with clear, logical, organized thinking.


...Onward to Victory is the last great illusion the Republican Party has left to sell in this country, even to its own followers. They can't sell fiscal responsibility, they can't sell "values," they can't sell competence, they can't sell small government, they can't even sell the economy. -- Matt Taibbi
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AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 3798
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 9 of 131 (459756)
03-09-2008 6:28 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by pelican
03-09-2008 6:19 PM


Third, most people learn from experience that lower quality writing and spelling often accompany lower quality thinking.

This is absurd. Thinking has nothing to do with literacy.

I agree, it is absurd. However, we are dealing with humans here and perception is 90% of the reality.

Absurd or not, sloppy mechanics conveys the perception of a sloppy mind to one's audience.


This message is a reply to:
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Taz
Member (Idle past 1366 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 10 of 131 (459757)
03-09-2008 6:32 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by pelican
03-09-2008 6:19 PM


pelican writes:

This is absurd. Thinking has nothing to do with literacy.


Oh my god! I think you've got something there. And I've been paying my taxes for our public school system for nothing! We should get rid of the school system all together and save ourselves a few tax dollars!

Isn't this just from your judgement? This is the point. Is it so important when there is nothing lost in communicating ideas?
In my experience accurate spelling does not improve communication.

This is an online forum. Unlike real life, we have absolutely nothing to go on except your words. And since we have absolutely nothing to go on by except your words, everytime you get sloppy with your words result in a loss of communicating idea somewhere.
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pelican
Member (Idle past 3060 days)
Posts: 781
From: australia
Joined: 05-27-2007


Message 11 of 131 (459758)
03-09-2008 6:33 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by RickJB
03-09-2008 9:47 AM



I would argue that the example above requires that an exemplar of each word exists as a "correct" form. The example is readable because we make mental references to these correctly spelled exemplars.

Yes this could be true if the mind is trained in this way. You may see a word incorrectly spelled and immediately image the correct spelling of the word. But how would someone who does not have all the correct spellings (eg, like the person who wrote it) read it?

In order to ensure clarity in expression it is best to use the exemplar spelling.

Isn't it the words themselves that ensure clarity? I understood the example I gave perfectly, did you?


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pelican
Member (Idle past 3060 days)
Posts: 781
From: australia
Joined: 05-27-2007


Message 12 of 131 (459762)
03-09-2008 6:40 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Chiroptera
03-09-2008 11:00 AM


Patience is a virtue

For one thing, it takes considerable more time and thought to read that passage. Maybe someone who is functionally illiterate, so even correctly spelled passages take time and effort to read, won't notice, but those of us who are literate do notice a big, big difference in how easy it is to read a passage like that.

Absolutely, it does take more time and effort to read and it is not as easy! In truth it only takes a little patience and a lot less judgement and frustration!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Chiroptera, posted 03-09-2008 11:00 AM Chiroptera has responded

Replies to this message:
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Chiroptera
Member (Idle past 11 days)
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 13 of 131 (459765)
03-09-2008 6:44 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by pelican
03-09-2008 6:40 PM


Re: Patience is a virtue
Okay. So you've asked why spelling, punctuation, and grammar matter. And we've answered you. But you've already decided that it doesn't matter, so there. That's fine as long as we're not pretending we're having an actual discussion.

Edited by Chiroptera, : typo


...Onward to Victory is the last great illusion the Republican Party has left to sell in this country, even to its own followers. They can't sell fiscal responsibility, they can't sell "values," they can't sell competence, they can't sell small government, they can't even sell the economy. -- Matt Taibbi
This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by pelican, posted 03-09-2008 6:40 PM pelican has responded

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Percy
Member
Posts: 18308
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 14 of 131 (459766)
03-09-2008 6:44 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by pelican
03-09-2008 6:19 PM


pelican writes:

This is absurd. Thinking has nothing to do with literacy.

No one is saying that the ability to think is a function of one's degree of literary ability.

All that's being said, and putting this in "apples to apples" terms, is that given equivalent exposure to education, those who are best able to master the intricacies of writing and spelling are usually also best able to master the intricacies of many other things.

Thus it is only natural that there exist a tendency for the best writing to be accompanied by the best thinking.

There's really no excuse.

Isn't this just from your judgement?

Well, yes, of course it's my own opinion, but you only quoted part of what I said, which was that given the existence of spellcheckers from both Google and Firefox, there really is no excuse.

In my experience accurate spelling does not improve communication.

If you peruse the messages nominated in the Post of the Month threads, I'm guessing you'll find extremely few regnant (look it up) with poor spelling. Let us know.

--Percy


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Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 3107 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 15 of 131 (459782)
03-09-2008 7:59 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by pelican
03-09-2008 6:33 PM


grammar vs thought
I read the passage perfectly well enough and pretty well as fast as I read anything else, quickly. After reading a few words without difficulty, I sort of read on, under the presumption that I would not encounter any difficult concept and since there was not one in there, that made getting it read for certain probably easier than some "random" paragraph posted onto EvC.

I think, thinking especially in science, HAS altered 'position' relative to language in general and it's grammar as a rule, precisely as Poincare said below:


Click to enlarge

quote:
Science and Method, Henri Poincare, Barnes and Noble Books, 2004(1908)

The difference between the ~pre-1900 science and grammar and the thought that changes this position(due in part to Russell) as it is logically written is readable between the blue and yellow highlights below.

Click to enlarge

quote:
Introduction to Logic, Immanual Kant, Philosophical Library 1963 (1800)


Click to enlarge

and yet it is only the position of the Poincare chapters above that enabled me read Poincare here from within Kant's extirpated words BUT NOT THOUGHTS.

Spelling is less important than grammar. But with spelling errors, the same mistakes in quickly righting writing logically, results in grammatical errors under the same rule. Thus, letters are often off a bit in this horizon where a letters really a fake symbols or something Derrida would have liked to work more with were he still with us.


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