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Papa Tom's Spelling Lesson

Old 08-18-14, 05:15 AM
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Papa Tom
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Papa Tom's Spelling Lesson

I'm going to take a risk here and I hope I don't offend anybody. Several forum members consistently commit a certain spelling/usage error when posting and, if it didn't cause confusion (for me, at least), I would leave it alone. However, I find myself having to read many posts over and over to figure out the meaning, just because of one little misused word. I'm not going to mention names and I think you are all awesome, but I've gotta do this!

The word "then" is used to describe chronology ("now and then") or an "if/then" situation, ("then, you ought to buy the Specialized Stump Jumper.")

The word "than" is the one to use ONLY when you are comparing things ("this one is better than that one.")

Got it? OK, now it's nap time, boys and girls.
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Old 08-18-14, 05:24 AM
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I can easily discern the true intent. Why don't you give us an example of when the error actually caused confusion and maybe than we will take this post seriously?
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Old 08-18-14, 05:31 AM
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>>>>and maybe than we will take this post seriously?<<<<<

Ha! Nabbed your butt there, fabz.

I'd have to go back and look at hundreds of posts to do what you ask. Listen, I took a shot that I wouldn't be chastised for speaking up. Gimmee a break, maybe, and just let those who can take something from my little condescending post do so, OK?
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Old 08-18-14, 05:34 AM
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Old 08-18-14, 05:48 AM
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Papa Tom, I am all for proper grammar, style, and spelling, but to be honest, I have never had difficulty ascertaining the contextual meaning of posts that switch words such as than or then. The same for further and farther or to, two, and too. Other examples of easy to read and interpret mistakes are: there, their, and they're. Also, of and off are often used interchangeably. But I treat these not like issues of language and usage so much as typos that are inevitable in a forum. I find it is almost always easy to discern what the person is saying by the context of the post.
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Old 08-18-14, 05:48 AM
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Spelling and punctuation are a lost art.

then/than
there/their/they're
your/you're
its/it's


Rant on.....
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Old 08-18-14, 12:13 PM
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What bothers me most on BikeForums (of all places!) is people writing "peddling" when they mean "pedaling."
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Old 08-18-14, 12:16 PM
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I'll add one that I see quite often... breaks versus brakes.
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Old 08-18-14, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
Gimmee a break, maybe...
Sure, here you go.



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Old 08-18-14, 12:39 PM
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Of all the common spelling and grammatical errors I find here, the ONLY one that slows me down is "than" and "then."
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Old 08-19-14, 06:50 AM
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Or loose and lose
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Old 08-19-14, 07:15 AM
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The one I have trouble with is lay vs lie. I'll admit that I get that wrong from time to time.
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Old 08-19-14, 09:21 PM
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my pet peeve is that nobody uses punctuation or capitalization and uses text message speak such fwiw or nsfw instead of typing it out then it all ends up as what is known as a wall of words rant over
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Old 08-20-14, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
my pet peeve is that nobody uses punctuation or capitalization and uses text message speak such fwiw or nsfw instead of typing it out then it all ends up as what is known as a wall of words rant over
I teach at a university and sometimes see that in assignments students turn in. Not the lack of capitalization often, but text speak yeah. In letters asking for jobs in my lab as well.
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Old 08-20-14, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
>>>>and maybe than we will take this post seriously?<<<<<

Ha! Nabbed your butt there, fabz.

I'd have to go back and look at hundreds of posts to do what you ask. Listen, I took a shot that I wouldn't be chastised for speaking up. Gimmee a break, maybe, and just let those who can take something from my little condescending post do so, OK?
Um...I did that intentionally, so I am the one that nabbed you. You made the assertion what yo complain of has caused you confusion yet yo cannot provide even one example. I think you are simply trying to get attention.
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Old 08-20-14, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by oldnslow2 View Post
Spelling and punctuation are a lost art.
Should that read "lost arts?"
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Old 08-20-14, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Should that read "lost arts?"
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Old 08-20-14, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by ChiroVette View Post
Papa Tom, I am all for proper grammar, style, and spelling, but to be honest, I have never had difficulty ascertaining the contextual meaning of posts that switch words such as than or then. The same for further and farther or to, two, and too. Other examples of easy to read and interpret mistakes are: there, their, and they're. Also, of and off are often used interchangeably. But I treat these not like issues of language and usage so much as typos that are inevitable in a forum. I find it is almost always easy to discern what the person is saying by the context of the post.
Thank you. I find the premise of this thread incredible.
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Old 08-20-14, 06:03 PM
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indy: The reason I have not provided any specific examples is that I do not want to embarrass or alienate the offenders. They know who they are and can either ignore this post or quietly take the advice and correct themselves, here and in other areas of their lives. I ran a business for many years and would not hire a person who sent me a resume that misused the words "then" and "than." It's just the way I am and just the way many other business owners are. If I can help somebody correct a simple error that will make them look, on paper, as intelligent as they are in real life, I can't see backing off. Then, again, I am not put here on earth to be everybody's grammar guru, so I posted this thread solely with hopes that certain posts will be easier to comprehend the first time through. Anybody else have a problem with that?
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Old 08-21-14, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
indy: The reason I have not provided any specific examples is that I do not want to embarrass or alienate the offenders. They know who they are and can either ignore this post or quietly take the advice and correct themselves, here and in other areas of their lives. I ran a business for many years and would not hire a person who sent me a resume that misused the words "then" and "than." It's just the way I am and just the way many other business owners are. If I can help somebody correct a simple error that will make them look, on paper, as intelligent as they are in real life, I can't see backing off. Then, again, I am not put here on earth to be everybody's grammar guru, so I posted this thread solely with hopes that certain posts will be easier to comprehend the first time through. Anybody else have a problem with that?
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Old 08-21-14, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
indy: The reason I have not provided any specific examples is that I do not want to embarrass or alienate the offenders.
So now the excuse has changed into that from this: "I'd have to go back and look at hundreds of posts to do what you ask."

I am sure you could describe at least one instance in which you found yourself confused with enough generality that no one's identity would be readily revealed.

This has nothing to do with your former business and everything to do with you backing up the motivation behind the original post, which is that misuse of "then" and "than" regularly and seriously confuses you. In your own words: "I find myself having to read many posts over and over to figure out the meaning, just because of one little misused word." (emphasis added.)

Seriously? "Many posts over and over to figure out the meaning"? Play grammar police if you want, but be genuine about what you are doing.

Now welcome to my ignore list.
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Old 08-21-14, 08:20 AM
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Wow, this dude's got issues, eh?
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Old 08-21-14, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
So now the excuse has changed into that from this: "I'd have to go back and look at hundreds of posts to do what you ask."

[Snip]

Now welcome to my ignore list.
Can I join too ?.

Toms OP probably should have been placed in Foo as it has zero cycling content and nothing about cycling in the northeast US region. Consider yourself warned, Tom !, (I'm warning myself as well, not that I can do anything about it).

That said, I agree that grammar and spelling has deteriorated over the nearly 20 years I've been associated with the WWW and the assorted forums that interest me, to the extent that I sometimes as well have to re-read a post to ascertain the meaning. Frequently a result of grammatical errors.

As example, these post headings from Foo are nearly all from today and right at the top of the recent list;

"fanciest place you ever aite". Ate maybe ?

" I suffer from clinical depression". The actual post has the "I" uncapitalized. Which my browser won't let me do, so I've no clue how that was managed.

"if your the praying kind"

"Note 4 sensors". Which sensors. The NRA's ?, backup sensors on the car ?. Moderators who "censor" ?.

And as by-the-way, there's 5 pages on this very subject on the 50+ forum, but as they are using terms like. "****phone" and "second person plurals", I can't contribute, it's way over my head.

Etc.. etc.. Like I said, lost cause.

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Old 08-21-14, 06:18 PM
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Wow...I've never been hated by anyone before...let alone TWO people now.

I guess I should just quit this forum and get out and ride more.
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Old 08-21-14, 06:23 PM
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Why is this in the Northern section? Is this a northerner thing? I say, put it on Foo or General cycling as we all suffer from this evil one way or another. Lets help the elitist and self righteous cyclist be educated and well mannered as well. I am surprised we don't use aero monocles.
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