to think that MN should be accessible to everyone?(199 Posts)
Here are a few facts that I would like the MN community to know:
-Some people who use MN are not English. Many people who use MN did not start learning English as babies. They learnt as older children or adults. It is not easy communicating in another language.
-Some people who use MN have a learning disability. They may have difficulties expressing themselves clearly.
-Some people who use MN have dyslexia which can make writing accurately difficult.
-Some people who use MN have had little or no formal education. They may write poorly due to this. This is not their fault.
Speaking English as a second language is not a crime (actually it is a gift).
Having a learning disability, dyslexia or a lack of education is not a crime. None of the above is the person's fault.
Many people who write poorly are deeply ashamed about this.
Over the last year, I've seen a few posts that are badly written, comments by other posters are rude to say the least. It feels like we do not want people here unless they can write well. We don't want people with poor spelling, grammar or punctuation. How can this be right?!!
If you see a post written by someone who does not write well, try to focus on the actual message, they may well be in need of help! If you genuinely don't understand, either ignore the message (someone else may well understand it) or ask nicely for clarification.
Many people here have children with special needs. In some cases their children will never be able to write 'well', it must be upsetting for parents to see how MN tends to treat people who don't have a great grasp of written English.
If MN is the first place you have encountered people with reading and writing problems, that says a lot more about you than them.
Who decided that it is ok to make derogatory comments about people with poor written English?
I always think that it's strange that the oh so well educated can't read a post unless it has sentences and punctuation
I agree, sometimes, when a poster hasent got anything useful to say, they start analysing the op grammar, seems very petty.
I think there was confusion when text speak was rife.
Text speak is, IMO, lazy and very hard to understand.
So on a forum like Mumsnet, let's have properly formed conversation.
Then somewhere along the line, that extended to people with poor spelling and grammar.
I'm good with spelling, my grammar comes and goes. I do notice if somebody has bad grammar, I can't help it. I don't point it out on the thread though.
So to answer your OP, yes it should be inclusive. For the most part it is. When somebody is pulled apart for bad spelling or grammar, I've seen more people defend the OP than be snarky about it.
I do think this all started over the loathing for text speak over properly constructed sentences.
I don't call people out on grammar or punctuation or poor English. However, it's a USP of MN that it's well written, full sentences and no text speak. It's the middle class option of the parenting sites. I think its genuinely a surprise when people see poorly written posts here.
Although there tends to only be a few people who call someone out on their spelling anyway, most carry on and answer the actual dilemma if they can.
It can also be very hard to give people meaningful help if you can't understand what they've written. Like it or not, all we have to go by on this board is the written word. Utterly scrambled posts with no breaks make it hard to read and the OP ends up with no useful advice.
Something as simple as not posting huge blocks of text can really help and has nothing to do with a person't language skills!
Ok that made sense in my head. Now I read it back and it may not be clear. It's late and I'm crap
There have been at least '2 stream of consciousness' posts today that were roundly picked apart and mocked. It's really not hard to read a thread without paragraphs.
I dont see myself as being in a "community" on an online forum.
I do however get what you're saying OP.
No one should correct punctuation
No one should call people stupid for having a different opinion. In fact no one should call anyone else stupid full stop.
I also think that this website is aimed at more middleclass users who quite enjoy pointing out others lack of education, they read the times (yawn yawn) yet hanker for a bit of daily mail.
Lack of education does not mean lack of intelligence.
The way I see it is if you want to understand you will. I have no idea why someone would delight in telling everyone that they didn't understand the op.
If you have to work hard to understand it and can't be bothered, go to a different thread
Yes I've seen two today, nothing to do with text speak.
I've certainly seen posts recently where the majority seem to be criticising the person's English.
I also recall a memorable thread some time ago where the OP left a gap before doing a full stop on every sentence she wrote. It looked like this . There was an awful lot of discussion about this. Her poor grammar seemed to be inexplicably linked by many people who commented to the horrible stuff she admitted to doing (as I remember I think she was having an affair).
I also don't get others shouting troll or goady fuckers? what on earth is that about. I believe its used to shut people down.
I'm Dyslexic and honestly, sometimes I'll click on a thread thinking I can help from the title, then be faced with a wall of words with no breaks that makes no sense to me at all.
Totally agree op!!
I've seen quite a few posts lately being ripped due to the lack of grammar, I just think its so harsh that someone is asking for advice or support & get a lecture on paragraphs!
Ok I may have to reread, though my own dyslexia doesn't help, but there are two options; firstly, reread and put the punctuation in yourself (if a dyslexic person like myself can manage it, it shouldn't be hard for the ever so educated!)
Or secondly, if you can't be arsed, don't read it!!
Its bad form and really very rude IMO!
Yup - if it is dubious just report it.
I also agree that a poorly written op in a particular style is like a checklist for things that get mumsnetters frothing.
No paragraphs - tick
No capital letters - tick
Rambling structure - tick
3726372 posts of pointlessness
I've seen a couple of such threads, and, while they're difficult to read, I can generally work them out. However, I do wonder how it affects those machine-reader things that blind or visually-impaired MNers sometimes use?
No one likes Grammar Nazis. If they understand it enough to correct you, then you got your point across clearly. It basically just says "I can't think of something intelligent to say, so I'll correct your sentences instead".
I do always find it amusing though that users with SN children who are upset people aren't understanding of them are seemingly intolerant of social faux pas amongst other users.
I have a LD and have an easy time understanding poor writing, so I don't believe for a second that people are genuinely struggling to understand poor writing. Now if they're drunk and being nonsensical about a dead bee, fair game.
I think equating writing to intelligence is a bit silly, since I see plenty of articulate idiots on here every day.
I couldn't agree more OP, thank you.
It is also very hard to have a true "discussion" without it turning into some sort of "debate"? Why on earth does a place to talk and air ones thoughts have to be something from question time
Aggressive... "tell me why", "back that up" shite goes on. I think they are the ones with some sort of problem going on.
A lot of users like to lord it up and over others. Sad but what I find to be true.
Dawn-Are you serious?!!! I've never known people to deliberately removed punctuation/ grammar just to 'rile people'. How on earth would you know if this was happening??
Given how many people do struggle with language-isn't it worth giving people who write poorly the benefit of the doubt?
Pinotblush-I couldn't agree more. Lack of education does not mean lack of intelligence.
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