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Old 10-09-2005, 03:43 PM
rushdoony rushdoony is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 556
Default Errors in Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation


The essence of good style is not elegance of expression but rather clarity. As the philosopher Brand Blanshard said, good style consists in having something to say and saying it clearly. Errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation are rightly called errors because they obscure the meaning of what is being said; they decrease clarity and interfere with communication. When you write something you want it to be understood (unless your intention is really obfuscation), and anything which makes it harder for your reader to understand what you are saying works against your purpose in writing.
Here I'll comment on errors in written English that occur so frequently that it is often not recognized that they are errors. If you don't already recognize these errors then once you learn to you'll be amazed how often they show up.

I suspect that the basic cause of these errors is the disdain in which the teaching profession is held in the U.S.A. and in some other countries by those who decide how education is funded and what is taught. In the U.S., high school teachers are paid about the same as garbage collectors (no disrespect is intended toward either garbage collectors or teachers), apparently on the theory that they are paid to fill their students' minds with garbage (so that students will not learn anything of importance except what they need to get a job, and in particular will not learn to think, and thus, as adults, will present less of a threat to the established order).

This is, of course, short-sighted on the part of those who administer educational systems. As the nations of East and South-East Asia have demonstrated in recent decades (and it is mostly East Asians, rather than (Caucasian) Americans, that you can see studying in the libraries on the Berkeley campus of the University of California though maybe most of these East Asians are American), the best investment a nation can make is in the proper education of its children. A nation which trains its young people in the skills required by employers (so they can become wage-slaves for the rest of their lives) but which neglects to instill in them a curiosity about all things and a love of learning (rather than a desire for continual entertainment of a mindless nature) will soon become a nation of barbarians. Indeed, the almost complete lack of protest by almost all Americans at the barbarities committed by the unelected Bush administration in Afghanistan and Iraq shows that this has now come to pass.


The use of:
"e.g." and "i.e."

"its" and "it's"

"there", "their" and "they're"
( TB are you listening? ) :~)

"to", "too" and "two"

"pressure" and "pressurize"

"regardless" and "irregardless"

"uninterested" and "disinterested"

"who", "whom", "who's" and "whose"

"your", "you're", "yaw",
"yours" and "yaws"

"beg the question"
"that" and "which"

"principle" and "principal"

"forward" and "foreword"

"forgo", "forgone" and "foregone"

"affect" and "effect"

"insure" and "ensure"

"loose" and "lose"


"practice", "practise",
"advice", "advise"
"licence" and "license"

American vs. British Spelling

Dash vs. Hypen

...I realized I had to gain more knowledge to protect against evil and to protect myself from not becoming evil myself. This is our major goal in life...\" Terry Lee
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