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to think that it is not ok to be rude about other people's bad English skills?

(136 Posts)
bluecheeseforbreakfast Sun 17-Nov-13 18:14:35

I have read a few threads recently that say how uneducated and stupid people who don't spell words properly are. there have been times on mumsnet that my opinion has been belittled because of the spelling/grammer in my posts.

I am dyslexic, I didn't learn to read untill I was 10 (I just looked at the biff and chip pictures and guessed what was going on, the teacher would correct me and I would memorise the story, I had to read to same book over and over untill I could "read" the entire book but I had actually just memorised the words.) I am not stupid, I have a degree, I read newspapers regularly, I have learnt a second language in he last 3 years, I have had a profesional job that I loved (I am now on maternity leave). I am just really crap at spelling.

I feel so stupid and unwelcome when I read negative things about spelling. I think that one of the great things about mumsnet is how open and accepting people are about many different issues but it still seems to be ok for posters to be rude and mean about people with bad English skills.

If you were to start a thread saying "AIBU to not want to read a friend's facebook status because they said their instead of there?" there is a high chance you will get lots of posters saying yes, never have anything to do with the fool again! If you started a thread saying "AIBU to not want to listen to my friend because they have a stutter and it anoys me when they struggle to get their words out?" I would assume that the concensus would be (rughtly so) yabvvvu.

I have a baby who goes to sleep at 5.45, my friends all have small children so they are at home in the evening, my dp works nights. I feel really lonely but mumsnet is a great way to make myself feel like I am have meaningful conversations with other adults, it would take me ages to post if I was to check each spelling that I wasn't 100% sure about.

Often on the people who can't spell are so stupid type threads people say "oh but not dyslexic people, I didn't mean dyslexic people" 1 in 10 people are dyslexic, often you won't know if a friend is dyslexic as it isn't the sort of thing that often crops up in conversation.

AIBU to think that learning difficulties/disabilities/differances should be treacted as any other physical/mental difficulty/disability/differance?

PresidentServalan Sun 17-Nov-13 23:22:40

I would only do it if the poster was being a bit of a superior wanker about other people.

SconeRhymesWithGone Mon 18-Nov-13 04:11:35

YANBU. The threads that really bother me are the ones where people pile on making gleeful fun of other people's mistakes. I always try to speak up, either with this NN or another that I created especially for the purpose. smile

Those threads will also inevitably contain some slur against Americans for polluting the English language. That also pisses me off.

paxtecum Mon 18-Nov-13 05:46:32


The spelling police seem to think of themselves as superior beings.
I have seen posters asking for advice on DV that they are experiencing and some pea brain comes along and picks on their spelling.

There are some people on here that you wouldn't want as your friend in RL as their priorities are odd.

FadBook Mon 18-Nov-13 06:20:20


I will say though that writing on forums such as this can make a dyslexic person lazy (I'm on of those). To a point, I like to see someone point out my incorrect use of a word or grammatical error because when else is someone going to point it out when you're an adult.

Dyslexic people find strategies to overcome the many areas of dyslexia that they struggle with (the OP naming several in her post). If no one corrects those strategies or gives a person better strategies, they'll continue to cope (or struggle) for life.

I think a lot about what I write on here - I try to re read my posts before I press send, but there will always be errors, I just won't see them. To me, it's finding a balance between those who don't make an effort to spell or write properly (ie txt spk) and those that do.

AnnThology Mon 18-Nov-13 06:28:16

I can't stand it. Typical eg is "AIBU to definatly leave H" it just HAS to be corrected. Someone cannot continuebthrihgh life definatly leaving their h.

We owe it to them. salutes.

AnnThology Mon 18-Nov-13 06:28:49

Lol at typo.

AnnThology Mon 18-Nov-13 06:29:02

"Continue through"

AuntieStella Mon 18-Nov-13 06:51:23

They're not the "spelling police" - they're simply rude posters who are picking on one aspect of the post to the detriment of the content.

The section of MN about use of language, Pedants' Corner, is btw a friendly and helpful place. The posters there are those who do care about spelling, grammar, etymology and the wonderful English language as a whole. Some do champion standard usage, for that tends to assist effective communication, but I can't think of any who are jus plain rude on threads unrelated to use of language.

wigglesrock Mon 18-Nov-13 07:01:59

I really dislike threads/posts along the lines you described. It smacks of self importance - I have such important advice to offer but I couldnt manage to make it through your OP kind of shite.

It really is an equivalent of speaking just to hear your own voice. MN is a hobby for me, like flicking through music channels/ a magazine, having a chat to some friends, I don't really care if someone doesn't "do it right".

BergholtStuttleyJohnson Mon 18-Nov-13 07:12:41

Yanbu, I have seen threads where someone is needing support but they've used some text speak and some posters come on and offer no support, they just comment on how text speak isn't used on mumsnet or tell them they'd fit in better on netmums. I have also seen someone retype an op with correct spelling and paragraphs. All it does it make people feel stupid and unwelcome. I don't like text speak but I'd never mention it on a thread.

QuintessentialShadows Mon 18-Nov-13 07:16:48

Op yanbu. It is rude, and people who do it don't come across very well.

There was another thread here complaining about people's pronunciation. Surely that us just picking on people sit speach impairments and foreigners?

Tee2072 there won't be any wavy lines if the words are spelt correctly like with know and no and now. Equally there and their.

MoominsYonisAreScary Mon 18-Nov-13 07:25:11


Greenandcabbagelooking Mon 18-Nov-13 07:31:28

I do find it harder to read posts with lots of text-speak, or those missing at least basic punctuation like full stops and capital letters, or ones with no paragraphing. However, I'd not say anything on the thread.

CoffeeTea103 Mon 18-Nov-13 07:32:15

I've mostly seen this in threads started mainly to discuss grammar, spelling and punctuation. Those posters are entitled to express if it annoys them. Hide these threads if you don't like it.

Tbh when a poster starts a thread about a separate issue I rarely if ever seen them called up on any errors.

hyenafunk Mon 18-Nov-13 07:47:27


I can't read it when people write in text speak. I know that's sort of not the same thing because they are purposely misspelling to apparently shorten words (woz and others like it are not shortened in any way though...) My mind just goes all fuzzy and it hurts, probably because it takes so much effort to decode it. It may as well be morse code to me grin.

But aside from that the odd spelling mistake here and there doesn't bother me at all. I make them sometimes too, I think we all do or make typos.

saintmerryweather Mon 18-Nov-13 07:53:08

normally that kind of thing annoys me but i have the manners not to comment on it. however i did once post on baby names as someone wanted to call their baby a fucking ridiculous name. the only thing they could come back with was the fact i had too many full stops (easy to press that button on my phone) and no capital letters. fucking pathetic imo

Joysmum Mon 18-Nov-13 08:09:20

We all have things we are good at, and things we aren't good at.

You aren't good at spelling and grammar, they aren't good at empathy and being decent human beings but are good at putting others down to make themselves feel superior.

I'd rather be a nice person than good at spelling.

SharpLily Mon 18-Nov-13 08:16:17

I think a lot about what I write on here - I try to re read my posts before I press send, but there will always be errors, I just won't see them. To me, it's finding a balance between those who don't make an effort to spell or write properly (ie txt spk) and those that do.


I can't read it when people write in text speak. I know that's sort of not the same thing because they are purposely misspelling to apparently shorten words (woz and others like it are not shortened in any way though...) My mind just goes all fuzzy and it hurts, probably because it takes so much effort to decode it.

And that. If a thread starts with one of those posts I tend not to go any further, in the same way I don't bother with shops where the goods aren't clearly priced. Mumsnet and shopping are occasions when I don't want to be made to work hard.

I too have only really seen it come up in threads about spelling and grammar. I haven't noticed anyone being picked on if their thread is about a separate issue.

Your posts, bluecheese, may have the occasional technical error (not too many though) but they are thoughtful, considered and you have clearly made an effort. Everything you have said is very clear so I see nothing to complain about even had you not pointed out that you are dyslexic, despite being one of the most vociferous grammar and spelling objectors on here.

AuntieStella Mon 18-Nov-13 08:38:05

Text speak and poor spelling/typos aren't the same issue to my mind. The former is a deliberate choice to flout the MN norm, the latter isn't.

purrtrillpadpadpad Mon 18-Nov-13 08:51:37

Yeah sure I mean why do we need full stops anyway it's not like they're an essential part of a sentence and if the sentence just goes on forever and ever without an end then that doesn't matter and it's not like I personally see the full stop as a sign the sentence has ended so you can then take a breath before beginning the next one so in my case it means I will probably eventually die of oxygen starvation because the sentence never ends so I never get to take a breath -

Full stops and capital letters shouldn't be seen as optional. Spelling and grammar otherwise, not so fussed. You can liberally douse your posts in apostrophes and misspellings. I don't care. My spelling quite often sucks. The autocorrects from my phone are horrendous if I do manage to spell something right eventually. Life is short. But give me a full stop.

Mintyy Mon 18-Nov-13 08:55:41

Is it a major problem on Mumsnet? I hardly ever see it happen. Most posters on here are fully aware that some of our fellow posters are dyslexic or don't have English as their first language.

Mintyy Mon 18-Nov-13 08:57:26

Can anyone link some recent examples?

purrtrillpadpadpad Mon 18-Nov-13 09:02:06

The most recent example is probably me, terrorising some poor unsuspecting user over their lack of full stops. I'm horrible. I was roundly chastised, however.

I haven't seen it elsewhere. Everyone else is too nice.

themaltesefalcon Mon 18-Nov-13 09:05:44

It depends.

A teacher or a jurist, for example, should have flawless English.

Or anyone who has presumed to attempt to correct my English, of course.

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 18-Nov-13 09:09:05

Recent examples....this thread started by me.

I don't feel bad about it either.

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