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Poll: Do you pay attention to grammatical errors when others speak/write?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 23:01
SITE STAFF
Jul 4, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you pay attention to grammatical errors when others speak/write?".

This poll was originally submitted by Elodie Bonnafous. View the poll results »



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Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:01
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Yes, instinctively Jul 4, 2011

In the past, I have completed a qualification in TESOL and now find that I'm instinctively attuned to listening for errors of any kind (including grammatical errors) when others speak. As a former lawyer and now as a translator, I'm accustomed to proof-reading documents in my professional life. Accordingly, I find that I've also become attentive to detail even when reading documents outwith the context of my work. Accordingly, I tend to notice grammatical errors in texts written by others without consciously looking for them.

[Edited at 2011-07-04 08:21 GMT]


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Gilla Evans  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
I can't help it... Jul 4, 2011

... as I am so tuned into "grammatical correctness".

But I do keep it to myself in most circumstances. I have particular bugbears such as the misuse of "may" and "might" that is so prevalent amongst English speakers, which always raises my hackles. But correcting others, unless I am specifically asked to, is not something I do.


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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:01
Member
German to English
+ ...
I only correct when appropriate to do so. Jul 4, 2011

I'll correct, for example, my children or foreigners who I know are keen to learn. I'll also correct my husband just to annoy him (and because he does the same to me)! But generally I just wince to myself and carry on!

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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 08:01
English to French
+ ...
Yes Jul 4, 2011

But I hardly ever correct (except instinctively for myself), and professionals only.

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DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:01
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Notice ... not correct Jul 4, 2011

Yes to noticing ... huge, fat NO to correcting.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:01
Member (2006)
German to English
Same here Jul 4, 2011

DianeGM wrote:

Yes to noticing ... huge, fat NO to correcting.


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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:01
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
May/might Jul 4, 2011

Gilla Evans wrote:

I have particular bugbears such as the misuse of "may" and "might" that is so prevalent amongst English speakers


Ouch, I have to admit I thought 'may' and 'might' were completely interchangeable. Although, sometimes "incorrectness" is just language change in progress.


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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:01
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
Correcting Jul 4, 2011

The only people I correct are people who have specifically asked me to do so.

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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:01
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
Correcting ... Jul 4, 2011

Just my daughter and my partner. But we have a bilingual household and they would rather be corrected than carry on making the same mistake. In my daughter's case, she won an Erasmus scholarship on the strength of her English. As to my partner, he corresponds in English and the conferences he attends are in English, so he appreciates it!
Catherine


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patriciacharnet  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:01
English to French
+ ...
yes Jul 4, 2011

but I tend to correct them only if asked to do so

If it's a native speaker I say nothing as nobody is perfect

if it's a learner I only correct if asked to do so, or I kindly answer the question with the correct grammar in a very diplomatically way in the conversation if the student keeps making the same mistake over and over but I limit the corrections with language students so that they get encouraged in practicing more.

It's a very tricky situation as over-correcting can stop the students practicing the language


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Gilla Evans  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
to Simon Jul 4, 2011

Simon Bruni wrote:


Ouch, I have to admit I thought 'may' and 'might' were completely interchangeable. Although, sometimes "incorrectness" is just language change in progress.


Going slightly off-topic, and I take this as a request for clarification:

An example of where "may" is wrong, and "might" is right:

If you say "I was knocked over by a car and I may have been killed"; unless there is a possibility you are speaking from beyond the grave, this is logically impossible. But you often hear people making this kind of mistake.


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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:01
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
Where 'might' means 'could', 'may' is no good Jul 4, 2011

Gilla Evans wrote:

An example of where "may" is wrong, and "might" is right:

If you say "I was knocked over by a car and I may have been killed"; unless there is a possibility you are speaking from beyond the grave, this is logically impossible. But you often hear people making this kind of mistake.



Thanks, Gilla. Thinking about it, I probably wouldn't make the mistake you mention because personally I would use 'could'. Much to my own disgust I'm still guilty of occasionally using 'less' instead of 'fewer' and 'practice' instead of 'practise'.


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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:01
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
Unfortunately, I'm not perfect either, but... Jul 4, 2011

Yes, grammatical mistakes annoy me. I taught English for more years than I care to remember. I correct the children, and also their teachers when I notice mistakes in the homework sheets they hand out. As there are three teachers in each year, you'd think one of them might have been able to spot the glaring errors...

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xxxjacana54  Identity Verified
Uruguay
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, and always learning Jul 4, 2011

as Nikki says.

Slightly but not completely off-topic: I also listen for particularly attractive ways of putting things... it gives me great pleasure to be able to think "now, that's a a great expression" or "ha, that phrase had a special flavor". I enjoy these surprises when I see them in printed materials but also when people say them out loud.



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