Dave Ihnat dihnat at
Mon Nov 26 18:01:02 UTC 2007

On Mon, Nov 26, 2007 at 10:30:02AM -0700, Craig White wrote:
> there is a whole generation coming up that uses text messaging as a
> primary means of communication. Text messaging eschews
> spelling/punctuation/grammar as functionally unimportant to
> communications.

And there are entire regions of the US where colloquial English doesn't
sound like something someone from another region can understand.
(It's even worse in England--try understanding someone with a thick
Cockney accent.)  Not that there's anything wrong with that--EXCEPT when
you want to compete and participate in the common community.

> If we were talking about writing papers for school, there might be a
> valid point for raising issues about spelling, punctuation and grammar.

No--there's never any excuse for sloppiness.  Sloppy expression indicates
either an inability or an unwillingness to spend the time and effort on
detail.  This translates to carelessness in other areas of effort.

> If the self appointed school marms would find some other place to
> practice their craft, it would be's not needed here.

For what it's worth--I have thrown resumes on the scrap heap if they
aren't intelligible.  I didn't read more than a couple of lines into the
original post because it looked like rambling garble.  If you can't reach
the target audience--be it volunteers for a project, a client, or an
employer--you've failed in your mission.

People, you can argue all you want about the lack of need for proper
communication, but it's an old and losing proposition.  I went to IIT in
the '70s, and the engineers almost bragged about their inability to write.
They found that attitude a hindrance on graduation.

I'd thought we'd gotten rid of that by the late '70s, but then there
were a whole generation of posters on the early USENET who tried to push
"phonetic English", deliberately misspelling words and using alternate
grammar, claiming--as has been claimed in this thread--that 'proper'
English isn't needed.  That died out (thankfully!).

I can't use a developer or field engineer who can't communicate clearly
and concisely in either written or spoken language.  Someone may be the
hottest jock on the block, but there are a lot of other hot jocks who
CAN speak and write in a manner that doesn't alienate or confuse clients.

Feel free to espouse your view, but also be prepared to lose a job or
contract opportunity, or to be ignored.

Now let's get back to topics more central to Fedora.

	Dave Ihnat
	President, DMINET Consulting, Inc.
	dihnat at

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