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Article "8 spelling mistakes even smart people make"
Thread poster: Melanie Meyer

Melanie Meyer  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:45
Member (2010)
English to German
+ ...
Oct 11, 2011

I came across this article on common English spelling mistakes and thought I'd share it:


http://www.care2.com/greenliving/8-spelling-mistakes-even-smart-people-make.html


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:45
Hebrew to English
The usual suspects..... Oct 11, 2011

You see so many of those examples (to/too, there/their/they're, your/you're etc) it's depressing, at the very least a sad indictment of the education system.

Social media is a breeding ground for these types of errors, some days I can't even bring myself to read my Facebook news feed....

However, I quite like "irregardless" (it's morphologically quaint) and despite claims to the contrary, if enough native speakers say it, then it does exist. As with most language, today's prescriptive "mistake" will be tomorrow's accepted usage.


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Michael Grant
Japan
Local time: 15:45
Japanese to English
Goodness, I hope not! Oct 12, 2011

As with most language, today's prescriptive "mistake" will be tomorrow's accepted usage.


I hope to God that these errors never become accepted usage!

I have gotten to the point where I stop reading after the third such error in any given text: if the person writing doesn't care enough about the language he/she is using to learn to use it correctly, then I can't find it in me to care about what their opinion may be...

I am tired of constantly having to mentally edit/correct the drivel that passes for communication in society these days, I feel I get dumber by the minute just hearing/reading it!

And, sorry to all the "smart" people out there who commonly make these errors but, frankly, you sound dumb! Please care enough about your language to use it correctly!

MLGrant


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Werner Maurer  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
right... Oct 12, 2011

...butt let's naught loose hour heads over it. :->

[Edited at 2011-10-12 02:57 GMT]


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Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:45
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Irrespective (of) Oct 12, 2011

Ty Kendall wrote:
However, I quite like "irregardless" (it's morphologically quaint) and despite claims to the contrary, if enough native speakers say it, then it does exist. As with most language, today's prescriptive "mistake" will be tomorrow's accepted usage.


I suspect that "irregardless" is a "derivative" of the correct "irrespective (of)".


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:45
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
More a question of grammar than spelling Oct 12, 2011

Having read the article, it seems to me that most of the "spelling" mistakes are actually grammar mistakes - e.g. their, there, they're and your, you're.
Yes, I think texting, Facebook, etc. are probably to blame as well as the fashion (at least a few years ago) not to teach formal grammar in secondary schools for fear of inhibiting the "creativeness" or "self-expression" of pupils (these days universally called "students", even in primary school).
Something not included in the article is the equally annoying (and meaningless) grammar mistake "we should of" for "we should have", "if I'd of known" for "if I had known", etc.
Sigh,
Jenny


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:45
Hebrew to English
Word formation process.... Oct 12, 2011

Steffen Walter wrote:

Ty Kendall wrote:
However, I quite like "irregardless" (it's morphologically quaint) and despite claims to the contrary, if enough native speakers say it, then it does exist. As with most language, today's prescriptive "mistake" will be tomorrow's accepted usage.


I suspect that "irregardless" is a "derivative" of the correct "irrespective (of)".


You're right. Whoever first came up with "irregardless" seems to have over-applied the morphological word formation process in creating an antonym.

So you do have examples of a prefixed "ir-" creating the negative form, like your example "respective/irrespective" and others "relevant, irrelevant" etc.

...but they also used a second negative affix, the suffix -less. (which is the "correct" usage with this word...apparently).

However there is some logic in "irregard-less".

In English, latinate affixes usually go with latinate roots (e.g. pre-suppose) Both the prefix "ir-" and the root "regard" are latinate (derive ultimately from Latin, usually via French).

Conversely, Germanic affixes usually go with Germanic roots (e.g. Child-hood) and the suffix "-less" is Germanic in origin. Therefore, if anything, it is the "less" which doesn't belong and makes less etymological/morphological sense.

This is why I not-so-secretly-anymore like irregardless. Simply because of the rightful place of "ir-" and the hybridization of the word which annoys sticklers


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:45
Hebrew to English
Have to admit, that is annoying... Oct 12, 2011

Jenny Forbes wrote:

Having read the article, it seems to me that most of the "spelling" mistakes are actually grammar mistakes - e.g. their, there, they're and your, you're.
Yes, I think texting, Facebook, etc. are probably to blame as well as the fashion (at least a few years ago) not to teach formal grammar in secondary schools for fear of inhibiting the "creativeness" or "self-expression" of pupils (these days universally called "students", even in primary school).
Something not included in the article is the equally annoying (and meaningless) grammar mistake "we should of" for "we should have", "if I'd of known" for "if I had known", etc.
Sigh,
Jenny



I try not to get too worked up over these things, but the truth is I am a bit of a grammar Nazi when it comes to "should of" and awful things like that. I know there's a very good reason why people do it, i.e. the contracted form "should've" is almost indistinguishable in connected speech from "should of", but it is quite irritating nontheless.

And I think you're right about not teaching grammar. If it hadn't have been for foreign languages, I would never have been taught what a verb was, because I certainly wasn't taught it in English.

...by the way, have you seen a GCSE English "Language" syllabus these days? I challenge you to tell me how it's not English Literature in disguise (with no focus on the actual teaching of language/linguistics).


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
Ditto Oct 12, 2011

Michael Grant wrote:

As with most language, today's prescriptive "mistake" will be tomorrow's accepted usage.


I hope to God that these errors never become accepted usage!

I have gotten to the point where I stop reading after the third such error in any given text: if the person writing doesn't care enough about the language he/she is using to learn to use it correctly, then I can't find it in me to care about what their opinion may be...

I am tired of constantly having to mentally edit/correct the drivel that passes for communication in society these days, I feel I get dumber by the minute just hearing/reading it!

And, sorry to all the "smart" people out there who commonly make these errors but, frankly, you sound dumb! Please care enough about your language to use it correctly!

MLGrant


Nuff said.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
Distinction Oct 12, 2011

Jenny Forbes wrote:
Something not included in the article is the equally annoying (and meaningless) grammar mistake "we should of" for "we should have", "if I'd of known" for "if I had known", etc.
Sigh,
Jenny


The "should of" is well nigh ubiquitous, a mistake commonly made even by native speakers, understandably, since the spoken word sounds like "of". The problem is when these chatty luminaries try to set their thoughts down on paper.

This to me illustrates something very pertinent in the translation workplace nowadays - i.e. people who can speak a language (in my case, I'm concerned about use of UK English) quite fluently, but who are incapable of drafting a decent text in the same. This morning, I saw an ad in the paper for a site called "realtranslatorjobs" or something like that and decided to check it out. I found some sites discussing it and it appears to be a scam where they ask you to "join" them for 34 dollars, for which they are supposed to supply you with details of potential employers looking for anyone who can string 2 words together. The litany of poor people desperate for work who had been stung was heartbreaking. More revealing was the state of their English in the emails, generally poor. Many were also non-native speakers of English.

The notion that because you can burble your way through a conversation means you can translate in written form and in different registers is widespread and patently misguided. Would-be translators like this should "stick to the day job" - and if you must throw your hat into the translators' ring - at least have the gumption to stick to translating INTO your own native language and leave the rest up to the professionals. I wouldn't dream of translating into languages other than my own without the help of a native speaker colleague, and expect my (professional)colleagues to follow suit.

[Edited at 2011-10-12 09:51 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-10-12 09:51 GMT]

PS: And don't get me started on Google translate and its ilk ...!

[Edited at 2011-10-12 09:53 GMT]

Note: I just heard a BBC news presenter say this in a bulletin 2 minutes ago: "There isn't enough jobs in the sector..."

[Edited at 2011-10-12 10:36 GMT]


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:45
Hebrew to English
Agree with you on that.... Oct 12, 2011

neilmac wrote:

Jenny Forbes wrote:
Something not included in the article is the equally annoying (and meaningless) grammar mistake "we should of" for "we should have", "if I'd of known" for "if I had known", etc.
Sigh,
Jenny


The "should of" is well nigh ubiquitous, a mistake commonly made even by native speakers, understandably, since the spoken word sounds like "of". The problem is when these chatty luminaries try to set their thoughts down on paper.

This to me illustrates something very pertinent in the translation workplace nowadays - i.e. people who can speak a language (in my case, I'm concerned about use of UK English) quite fluently, but who are incapable of drafting a decent text in the same. This morning, I saw an ad in the paper for a site called "realtranslatorjobs" or something like that and decided to check it out. I found some sites discussing it and it appears to be a scam where they ask you to "join" them for 34 dollars, for which they are supposed to supply you with details of potential employers looking for anyone who can string 2 words together. The litany of poor people desperate for work who had been stung was heartbreaking. More revealing was the state of their English in the emails, generally poor. Many were also non-native speakers of English.

The notion that because you can burble your way through a conversation means you can translate in written form and in different registers is widespread and patently misguided. Would-be translators like this should "stick to the day job" - and if you must throw your hat into the translators' ring - at least have the gumption to stick to translating INTO your own native language and leave the rest up to the professionals. I wouldn't dream of translating into languages other than my own without the help of a native speaker colleague, and expect my (professional)colleagues to follow suit.

[Edited at 2011-10-12 09:51 GMT]



I'll keep is short, because it may be considered "off-topic", but the issue of translators translating into non-native languages is scandalous, and especially rife on here. In my language pair, there are many Israelis who would swear on their mothers' lives that they are "native" in English, when in truth, it's a second language for them and no matter how proficient they are, they aren't native speakers.

I also despair when I see something like "10 language pairs" on a profile.

Edited for a typo - that's what you get for trying to type and watch TV at the same time.

[Edited at 2011-10-12 09:55 GMT]


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Katharine Ridgard  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:45
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
No mention in the article of my pet hate Oct 12, 2011

Using an apostrophe before the "s" in plurals. At least one very clever friend of mine does this every time she writes a word in the plural. Why???

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well... Oct 24, 2011

Ty Kendall wrote:

You see so many of those examples (to/too, there/their/they're, your/you're etc) it's depressing, at the very least a sad indictment of the education system.

Social media is a breeding ground for these types of errors, some days I can't even bring myself to read my Facebook news feed....

However, I quite like "irregardless" (it's morphologically quaint) and despite claims to the contrary, if enough native speakers say it, then it does exist. As with most language, today's prescriptive "mistake" will be tomorrow's accepted usage.



funny that you should at first complain about the education system then end with language change and descriptive language triumphing over prescriptive quibbles

as you point out social media may be related to the prevalence of many of these typing "mistakes", but only because it closer resembles spoken language than previous forms of writing, and i would think it should be considered as part of your descriptive vs prescriptive argument


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:45
Hebrew to English
But there is a difference between spoken/written... Oct 24, 2011

jhepstg wrote:

Ty Kendall wrote:

You see so many of those examples (to/too, there/their/they're, your/you're etc) it's depressing, at the very least a sad indictment of the education system.

Social media is a breeding ground for these types of errors, some days I can't even bring myself to read my Facebook news feed....

However, I quite like "irregardless" (it's morphologically quaint) and despite claims to the contrary, if enough native speakers say it, then it does exist. As with most language, today's prescriptive "mistake" will be tomorrow's accepted usage.



funny that you should at first complain about the education system then end with language change and descriptive language triumphing over prescriptive quibbles

as you point out social media may be related to the prevalence of many of these typing "mistakes", but only because it closer resembles spoken language than previous forms of writing, and i would think it should be considered as part of your descriptive vs prescriptive argument



No matter how descriptive you want to be, there's always going to be a line where you start becoming prescriptive.

There's also the argument that written language and spoken language are very different entities. They have different grammar, structure and prosody.

Whenever you have standardized language, there's always going to be a level of prescriptivism, whether it is on insisting on standardized spelling or syntax or whatever. The alternative is to return to pre 18th century practices of spelling anything however you personally feel like it. I don't think I need to point out what that would do to literacy rates.

Personally, I believe that spoken and written language should be kept separate. For example, some of my friends write in dialect on their facebook statuses, (bear in mind that although I don't share the dialect I am fully aware of it and I can understand it spoken) but when I see it written it may as well be Chinese. (well it takes me a while to decipher).

This isn't something which should be accepted on the basis of being descriptive.


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:45
Hebrew to English
In addition... Oct 24, 2011

The lack of knowledge of how to use "your/you're" and "they're/there/their" has little to do with language change, they are still homophones as they have always been, but the lack of adequate language instruction in British schools (well-documented) has produced legions of people who talk about "your great" / "your the best".

Yes, there's the argument that strictly context and syntax make it clear what is meant, but so does proper punctuation and use of contractions.

It's the fact that people have gone through 10+ years of free state education and can't even demonstrate the basics of their own language (not to mention anyone else's).

I think the language change/descriptive argument is a different angle here really.


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Article "8 spelling mistakes even smart people make"

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