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Does reading on the Internet hurt or help your spelling skills?


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#1 of 33 OFFLINE   Brian Perry

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Posted May 20 2003 - 09:23 AM

For the longest time, I figured general surfing of the Net (and interaction on HTF) was beneficial for my spelling, much the same way reading books enhances your vocabulary. However, the more I think about it, I wonder if seeing spelling mistakes (and to a lesser degree, punctuation and grammatical ones) on the Internet contributes to slower recognition of proper forms. Think about it...most printed English outside of the Internet (books, newspapers, magazines) is generally proofread and mostly correct with respect to spelling. In contrast, on the Web anything goes, mainly due to the requirement for fast or instant communication. Lately, I've caught myself mispelling words that previously would never have been mispelled--I wonder if it's because I might have seen an incorrect spelling of a word several times on the Internet and that mistake "stuck" in my head. This phenomenon might also affect various ages differently. While I'm 37 and perhaps most of my vocabulary is (or was!) set, maybe children have a harder time having the correct spellings "hard-wired" into their brains. Just a thought...

#2 of 33 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted May 20 2003 - 10:01 AM

Busted! Other than your misspelling of the word misspell, the grammar, syntax, and spelling in your post are quite nice. I don't see how the Internet makes much difference here. Most writing and editing occurs on computer screens these days. Though in my own work, I prefer to copy-edit galleys and hardcopy proofs. Errors seem to pop off the page more easily for me that way.

#3 of 33 OFFLINE   Leila Dougan

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Posted May 20 2003 - 10:09 AM

For me, it's not so much that seeing incorrect grammar or spelling on the internet has caused a decline on it's correct usage. What it is, actually, is that when I type it's like I am typing the conversation going on in my head. Because I use a different mindset with online communication than I do, say, writing a formal letter, my grammar and syntax worsen. I also misspell things because I tend to type the word based on how it sounds, not how I "know" it should be.

#4 of 33 OFFLINE   Max Leung

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Posted May 20 2003 - 10:46 AM

Bleah. I hate how the word ridiculous is the most frequently misspelled word by "smart" people. I figure it is misspelled as rediculous approximately 66% of the time. And this is before the popularity of the Internet, back in the dark days of the BBS in the late eighties. If you only read on the Internet, your grammar and spelling should, predictably, suck boiled donkey balls. If you read a lot of books however, it should rub off a little and you'll make fewer mistakes than the younger Internet crowd. I do notice how phrases and fragments between parentheses have had their punctuation change from the old norm (like this little fragment). Originally, it would look something like this (an example.)
Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him...a super-callused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

Gamesh....

#5 of 33 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted May 20 2003 - 10:54 AM

i sorta get what you're saying. when i type here, i almost never use capitalization - it just slows me down. but i figure this is such an informal place that it doesn't matter. problem is i sometimes catch myself doing it at work...like when i'm sending out emails. if it's just to my peers i don't really care (heck, i've even caught them doing it too) but i have to be careful when i'm sending it to people who don't know me yet. and with the proliferation of instant messaging, it's only become worse for me. i'm all about acronyms these days. but i still try to keep my spelling and punctuation up to speed...
 

#6 of 33 OFFLINE   Kevin P

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Posted May 20 2003 - 10:57 AM

I serf thee enternet al thee tyme and it dus'nt seam too efect my speling or grammer. Posted Image[quote] Bleah. I hate how the word ridiculous is the most frequently misspelled word by "smart" people. [quote]That's the most rediculous thing I've ever heard! Posted Image

It's ironic that the only misspelling in the original post was the word "misspell." As for me, when I'm posting messages, or emailing, I tend to type fast so I'm more prone to mistyping than misspelling, but I usually catch most of them. Still, thank goodness for the backspace key, and the "edit post" feature on the forum! Posted Image

#7 of 33 OFFLINE   Brian Perry

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Posted May 20 2003 - 11:07 AM

[quote] mispelling [quote]
D'oh! See what I mean!

(By the way, I don't want it to sound as though I'm being critical of anyone making the spelling errors on the Internet; I think they're unavoidable to a certain extent. I know I've made my fair share.)

#8 of 33 OFFLINE   Alex Spindler

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Posted May 20 2003 - 11:13 AM

At the ripe old age of 28, I find myself noticing a steady decline in the proper use of spelling and grammar as time has gone on. I don't think it has affected me (I hope), but I can just imagine how hard it is for grade school teachers to work with children that have their greatest reading exposure from web logs and taunts during battles in Counter-Strike. On capitalization, I even use proper punctuation and capitalization when I'm typing during an online game. The shift key doesn't add any time for me.

#9 of 33 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted May 20 2003 - 11:26 AM

I know I am one of the big offenders as far as spelling goes, but I find this:

[quote] i sorta get what you're saying. when i type here, i almost never use capitalization - it just slows me down. but i figure this is such an informal place that it doesn't matter. [quote]
...and other punctuation negligences extremely annoying. It simply makes it much harder to read because there is nothing to anchor the eyes onto.

That said, arguing online has dramatically improved my casual english in ways that reading couldn't have touched.

--
Holadem

#10 of 33 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted May 20 2003 - 11:36 AM

note to self: find every post holadem is reading and post something.... Posted Image Posted Image
 

#11 of 33 OFFLINE   David Lawson

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Posted May 20 2003 - 02:23 PM

i dont no what ur talkin about brian
He obviously misinterpreted what it means to "be bullish."

#12 of 33 OFFLINE   Ricardo C

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Posted May 20 2003 - 02:38 PM

Surfing the internet hasn't helped or hindered my spelling skills. It has, however, not helped my temper Posted Image Every hour or so, I get this intense desire to beat the crap out of anyone who uses dumb-arsed "net short-hand" such as:

- n-e-1

- n-e-wayz (Does this even qualify as an abbreviation??? How is "n-e-wayz" shorter than plain old "anyway"?)

- LOL (I thought it was clever when I first saw it. Now I just mentally flip the bird to anyone who uses it, and berate myself when I slip it in a post) Isn't having animated emoticons enough??

I also have a great deal of contempt for the pseudo-trendy teenagers who think spelling "would" and "could" as "wuld" and "culd" is somehow cool. It reminds me of the dorks here in Latin America (and Spain, as I have discovered recently) who replace all instances of "c" and "q" with a "k", to, in their words, "protest". Protest what, I don't know.

And at the risk of sounding like Ross Geller: Y-O-U-R means "your". Y-O-U-R-E means "you are" Posted Image

And it's "WOULD HAVE", not "WOULD OF"!!! My God, people!

OK, rant over. Sorry, folks :P)

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#13 of 33 OFFLINE   Jeremiah

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Posted May 20 2003 - 03:06 PM

[quote] For the longest time, I figured general surfing of the Net (and interaction on HTF) was beneficial for my spelling, much the same
way reading books enhances your vocabulary. However, the more I think about it, I wonder if seeing spelling mistakes (and to a
lesser degree, punctuation and grammatical ones) on the Internet contributes to slower recognition of proper forms. [quote]
I think you are right on the money. I haven't read a book for over 3 years now and my spelling and punctuation hasn't gotten any better(maybe worse) but when I was reading about a book a month I was getting better. I do think it will hurt younger kids.
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#14 of 33 OFFLINE   NickSo

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Posted May 20 2003 - 03:26 PM

whuzzup guyzzz.. Ima stitign ehre n i findt hat my spelin gand gramer haf imprved ALot since i strtted using da internt/ iznt da HTF iz a grt plaze to tlk bout stuff n hangout n stuffz likez dat ukno wat i meen homeiez// Just kidding... I'm actually proud that i type way better than almost all of my friends do on the internet. Especially in the spelling area. My friends cant spell on the net for crap (usually its not the fact they dont know how to spell it, its that they dont know how to type, therefore they have typos), but I think I do very well. My grammer however cannot be changed as you can see I may have missed capitalizing some words or using apostrophes in some instances.

#15 of 33 OFFLINE   Yee-Ming

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Posted May 20 2003 - 05:17 PM

[quote] Every hour or so, I get this intense desire to beat the crap out of anyone who uses dumb-arsed "net short-hand" [quote]
Agreed. It is particularly strange to see SMS short-hand in emails and internet forum postings -- in SMS messages, it makes sense since typing those additional letters does add up, and you're constrained by a 160 character limit to the message as a whole, but in an email where you have a full-sized keyboard? If anything all the shorthands make it much more difficult to read.

And don't get me started on so-called "leet-speak". Bunch of nonsense. Posted Image

I must admit to being a little lazy with the shift key and caps. My bad, which you can see I've fixed in this posting... Posted Image

#16 of 33 OFFLINE   Mike__D

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Posted May 21 2003 - 12:43 AM

I don't think reading the internet hurts me. However, posting on message boards like this consistently reminds me that, despite having a college education, I'm a poor speller (thank you Mr. Spell checker, that I don't always use Posted Image). Also, my writing style and grammar usage could use a big boost.

The only reading I do besides the internet, is magazines. Never really got into books. I'm not a very fast reader either. I took a speed reading class in college, but I immediately fell back on my old habit of sounding out every word I read in my mind. Old habits are hard to break.

Mike D.

#17 of 33 OFFLINE   Brian Perry

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Posted May 21 2003 - 01:06 AM

[quote] Now I just mentally flip the bird to anyone who uses it, and berate myself when I slip it in a post [quote]
Posted Image

#18 of 33 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted May 21 2003 - 08:20 AM

Years ago, I was searching for condominiums and I went through the first few hits I got. There were some great sites...Later, I was showing my girlfriend the links I went to (I didn't bookmark them, I just searched for condominiums again) and I didn't see ANY of the sites I had originally surfed. Posted Image

I found out that (when I originally searched) I had typed in "condiminiums" instead of "condominiums". There were TONS of sites that had the word spelled incorrectly. Posted Image


p.s I'm usually amazed at the misspellings on this forum when there's a "Spell Check" button next to the "Submit Reply" button. Posted Image

#19 of 33 OFFLINE   Chris Lockwood

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Posted May 21 2003 - 02:36 PM

If you were an adult when you started online, I don't see how that would degrade your ability to spell or write.

I spell words based on their correct spelling, not on how others spell them online. Posted Image Plus, some of the errors are just typos.

Don't kids still have schools and books from which to learn those things?


> I found out that (when I originally searched) I had typed in "condiminiums" instead of "condominiums". There were TONS of sites that had the word spelled incorrectly.

That's odd, considering how many people just use the word condo, which makes that second O fairly obvious.

#20 of 33 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted May 21 2003 - 02:52 PM

I know a guy who reads a lot of books, but can't spell to save his life. It amazes me that this sort of thing happens, but it does. I find that online I will sometimes type in broken English, and then later I'll clean up the problems on the second run-through. Or they are just typos and I get ahead of myself when I'm trying to get everything down ASAP before I lose my train of thought. I will actually look up words on dictionary.com if I don't know how to spell it correctly. I even have a paperback dictionary nearby as well. Old habit die hard.
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