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Lots of spelling errors in this post
February 11, 2005 11:06 AM   Subscribe

Can you count the number of spelling errors in this post? I see five in the first sentence! Can we put a little effort into our posts?
posted by knave to Etiquette/Policy at 11:06 AM (51 comments total)

Y'know I usually think spelling error call-outs are petty, but wow -- that's just awful.
posted by Robot Johnny at 11:30 AM on February 11, 2005


aslo, use morre capitolisation!
posted by Plutor at 11:32 AM on February 11, 2005


Also, some punctuation would help, but that's a slightly more advanced request.
posted by knave at 11:36 AM on February 11, 2005


I cleaned up the spelling just to spare everyone's eyes but here's the original for comparison. Is it possible this guy doesn't speak English very well?
rainwater harvesting As nosted on metaefficeinet Arron up in the northeast has his own home based business producing rain harvesing barrells It seems like an idea we all should consider doing. A rain barrel is a rainwater harvesting system that is connected to a down spout tube from a house or building. We make quality rain barrels that collect, store and divert rooftop runoff during a rain shower.
posted by jessamyn at 11:39 AM on February 11, 2005


No need to be a jerks about it - I think halekon will get the message based on the call-out. Also, right now the "link" "bold" and "italics" commands are not working for me. Maybe "Spell Check" is not working for halekon - maybe he is not a native English speaker.
posted by mlis at 11:41 AM on February 11, 2005


I least know what language this post is written in. Unlike some. I'm not complaining though. I like being an old fuddy-duddy just fine.
posted by casu marzu at 11:41 AM on February 11, 2005


Holy crap.

I thought I was loosing mine mind becus the [cleaned up] version looked OK, albeit clumsy. The original is just plain embarrassing.
posted by docpops at 11:42 AM on February 11, 2005


Jessamyn I did not see your comment before posting.
posted by mlis at 11:43 AM on February 11, 2005


halekon's posting history shows a gradual decline in proper punctuation, but few, if any, spelling errors.

I'm not suggesting anything, I just find it interesting.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:02 PM on February 11, 2005


the worst part of it is that halekon's alias used to be "halcyon."
posted by crunchland at 12:09 PM on February 11, 2005


Maybe he was posting it from a PDA of some sort? Tiny little keyboards.
posted by erisfree at 12:09 PM on February 11, 2005


someone call his mom
posted by docpops at 12:15 PM on February 11, 2005


Whut teh fack is rong with his poast gawd you guys r sooo nitt piggy
posted by naxosaxur at 12:17 PM on February 11, 2005


the "link" "bold" and "italics" commands are not working for me.

<a href="http://link_url">link text</a>

<b>bold text</b>

<i>italic text</i>
posted by quonsar at 12:18 PM on February 11, 2005


Can you count the number of spelling errors in this post? I see five in the first sentence!

List 'em, then. I only see four. And at least two of those are typos anyway, not spelling errors.
posted by soyjoy at 12:25 PM on February 11, 2005


Nonono, quonsar, you have to do it the Mefi way!

link text

bold text

italic text
posted by Bugbread at 12:27 PM on February 11, 2005


D'oh!!!!

The Mefi way:

link text

bold text

italic text
posted by Bugbread at 12:28 PM on February 11, 2005


Ok, somebody give me some medicine. I know what I'm doing wrong, but I seem to keep...on...DOING IT.

Third time = charm.

<a href="http://link_url*>link text</a>

<strong>bold text</strong>

<em>italic text</i>
posted by Bugbread at 12:29 PM on February 11, 2005


List 'em, then. I only see four. And at least two of those are typos anyway, not spelling errors.

I'm not going to try to guess on which are "real" spelling mistakes and which are typos, but here you go:
As nosted on metaefficeinet Arron up in the northeast has his own home based business producing rain harvesing barrells It seems like an idea we all should consider doing.
And for extra pedanticism, I think it should be "home-based", not "home based", but that's neither here nor there.
posted by Bugbread at 12:32 PM on February 11, 2005


I hate "em" and "strong" instead of "i" and "b".

And at least two of those are typos anyway, not spelling errors.
A typo being something that, in the post, introduced... spelling errors, right? Sheesh.
posted by goatdog at 12:33 PM on February 11, 2005


soyjoy:
1. nosted (noted)
2. metaefficeinet (metaefficient)
3. Arron (Aaron)
4. harvesing (harvesting)
5. barrells (barrels)

Maybe it's a code. Take all the extra/missing/misplaced letters (s, e, i, a, r, t, l) and it spells out a code! "I resalt"! "Sal tire"!
posted by Plutor at 12:33 PM on February 11, 2005


the worst part of it is that halekon's alias used to be "halcyon."

Ha, were you stuck behind that guy at an Orbital show too?
posted by squidlarkin at 12:35 PM on February 11, 2005


nitt piggy

This needs to become a meme, along the lines of "intarweb" and "hawt". NOW.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:46 PM on February 11, 2005


the worst part of it is that halekon's alias used to be "halcyon."

[this is good]
posted by iconomy at 12:53 PM on February 11, 2005


PST, it's all yours...run with it!
posted by naxosaxur at 12:58 PM on February 11, 2005


OK, I missed harvesing. The point being that most of these are typos rather than misspellings. Why would such a ridiculously petty distinction matter? Because knave's is a ridiculously petty callout.

Plutor, how about "Lit ears"?
posted by soyjoy at 1:23 PM on February 11, 2005


I dunno, a 16% misspelling rate is pretty bad, especially when teamed with bad punctuation. I mean, sure, it isn't the kind of magnum opus callout that will win an academy award, but typoing/misspelling 16% of your words on a post that goes on the front page is pretty bad too.
posted by Bugbread at 1:31 PM on February 11, 2005


Damn, I guess I'll have to work on my MetaTalk performance if I'm to win any awards...
posted by knave at 1:39 PM on February 11, 2005


Plutor, you had me laughing. How about eTrails (good name for a website?) or it's real (keep it real, yo).
posted by knave at 1:45 PM on February 11, 2005


nitt piggy

This needs to become a meme, along the lines of "intarweb" and "hawt". NOW.


I have no words.
posted by casu marzu at 1:47 PM on February 11, 2005


I cleaned up the spelling just to spare everyone's eyes

Thank you jessamyn.

halekon - it should never have to come to that.
posted by scarabic at 1:48 PM on February 11, 2005


it's real - of course! *smacks forehead*

All right, you win this one, knave.
posted by soyjoy at 2:01 PM on February 11, 2005


soyjoy, could you enlighten me as to the difference between "typos" and "spelling errors"? You seem to see a clear distinction, which I am missing.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:49 PM on February 11, 2005


Typos are the result of typing errors, not necessarily an inability to spell correctly. It's not always easy to tell them apart, but if I type "slaes" when the word I'm trying for in "sales", it's a typo. Similarly, if I type "padantic" when I mean "pedantic", it's probably a spelling error.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 3:47 PM on February 11, 2005


Or like above when I typed "in", instead of "is".
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 3:48 PM on February 11, 2005


nitt piggy iz kurmutt's gurlfrand
BTW LSO
DISGREE
W RSFREZ
PDA/SMS
THRY B CUZ
S PRBY JST
HSTY TYP
4 NTRIN
PSTZ
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:05 PM on February 11, 2005


I can see we are all going to have to get nitt piggy on you, PinkStainlessTail.

And now a short play entitled "King Lear Takes a Nap"

Earl of Nonsense jumps up from chair: Tis Lear!
King Lear: Sit, Earl.
Earl of Nonsense: Ta, Sire. L-
King Lear (interrupts): I'l a rest.
Lear falls asleep and the Earl tiptoes off.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:34 PM on February 11, 2005


So knave, can you tell everyone in the AskMe pony threads that check mark is two words, while you're at it?
posted by iconomy at 6:02 PM on February 11, 2005


I cleaned up the spelling just to spare everyone's eyes.

Thanks, I'm glad to hear it - mostly because I was really confused clicking on the link in this Metatalk post and trying to find the spelling errors. (I spent a few minutes there before reading this thread and was losing my mind!)
posted by sophie at 6:42 PM on February 11, 2005


Metafilter: Tiny little keyboards
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 8:56 PM on February 11, 2005


I've realized that every post that's pissed me off in terms of grammar, spelling, and punctuation comes from this person.
posted by santiagogo at 10:14 PM on February 11, 2005


i could only see one mistake at first and never found all of them (before giving up and looking at other comments). why are some people much more sensitive to this than others? or, to phrase it in a less provocative way, why do i not notice these? i can think of several reasons: it's fairly common for programmers and related computer people to have a rather literal turn of mind. if you say something ambiguous, for example, it's "funny" to misinterpret that in the way not intended by the speaker. i put "funny" in scare quotes because i don't find it amusing at all. is this related?

i guess what i'm really asking is, why bother? i'm trying very hard to believe this isn't just childish one-upmanship, people that read so slowly they spell out each word and have real problems with this text, school kids who still think they won't get a gold star if they make a typo, or people who think actively misunderstanding others in this way is amusing.

(i didn't bother to spell check this - it seemed hypocritical; i pray for your tolerance....)
posted by andrew cooke at 5:23 AM on February 12, 2005


i guess what i'm really asking is, why bother?

It makes them feel superior. People like to feel superior.
posted by languagehat at 7:24 AM on February 12, 2005


People like to feel superior.

People?

Bagoly mondja verebnek: Nagyfeju!
posted by semmi at 8:59 AM on February 12, 2005


i guess what i'm really asking is, why bother?

I have learned to stop criticizing spelling mistakes, but they are still awful. When you hit a spelling mistake, you have to stop reading (a mostly automatic activity that leaves your conscious mind free to concentrate on the meaning being conveyed) and figure out what the writer meant. It's like hitting a brick wall. Your speed drops to about 10% and you are "thrown out" of the reading trance. Now, once in a while is not that annoying, in fact it's almost inevitable and you'll likely cause it yourself in your own writing so there's no point in berating anyone for it, but when it happens repeatedly, every paragraph, every sentence, every other word, you begin to get the impression that the writer does not give one whit about his readers, and i consider this extremely rude.
posted by kindall at 9:12 AM on February 12, 2005 [1 favorite]


Languagehat, I don't know about that. I'm not so hot myself in the spelling department (I never can get my -ences and my -ances straight) but I think striving for some semblance of professionalism on the front page is a worthy cause. No one here is demanding 100% perfection (gawd help them if they are) merely asking for a little bit of effort. In this case there were a lot of typos. Even if halekon cannot spell, (and could not use spell check for some reason) he could at least make the effort to read over the post before hitting the submit button.

Is it so wrong to ask for a minimum level of standard spelling and usage?

Here is what happens when a post is filled with errors. I'm reading phrases, skimming along, and bam! My brain stops reading for meaning and focuses on trying to identify "What is wrong with this phrase?" Sometimes it takes a moment. I have to go back and forth a bit to work it out. Too many problems and the page looks ugly to me. Too many spelling errors and I decided it just isn't worth the effort.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:28 AM on February 12, 2005


Hah. I didn't catch that "decided" in the last sentence!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:31 AM on February 12, 2005


I think striving for some semblance of professionalism on the front page is a worthy cause.

Oh, so do I, but that's not what I was talking about. The question I was answering was specifically "why bother [calling out other people's spelling mistakes]?" and I believe my answer is generally accurate, though of course no human behavior can be reduced to a single variable. I myself (being an editor) notice every single one of the mistakes that so annoy people, and if there are enough of them they can annoy me too (though my mind is boggled by kindall's "When you hit a spelling mistake, you have to stop reading... and figure out what the writer meant" -- I guess some people have a very different experience of reading than I do), but I would never dream of pointing at someone else and saying "Hey, everybody, look -- that person can't spell!" I think it's deplorable, no better than pointing at someone and saying "Hey, look at that fattie!" Just my opinion. (But I warn all and sundry, I am very good at finding typos/misspellings anywhere if I look hard enough -- I've found them in reference books, Oxford Classical Texts, &c -- and if you get too high and mighty about other people's failings in this matter, I might go looking for yours and nail them to the wall. I won't be pointing at your mistake but at your false assumption of superiority.)
posted by languagehat at 9:51 AM on February 12, 2005 [7 favorites]


kindall's "When you hit a spelling mistake, you have to stop reading... and figure out what the writer meant" -- I guess some people have a very different experience of reading than I do

What is your reading experience like? I'm curious.
posted by kindall at 1:24 PM on February 12, 2005


Well, I read along, and if I encounter a spelling error or other extraneous problem, the "editorial" part of my brain automatically notes it while the rest of me goes on reading with no break. Only if the error is so egregious or hilarious that I have to share it with someone do I actually stop reading. Multitasking, you could say. I guess I automatically "translate" the error as I read, so that I don't have to consciously figure anything out. But obviously people have very different reading mechanisms; I have a friend who doesn't notice even the most glaring errors, so he translates them even more automatically. It's an interesting subject; I presume studies have been done, and someday I'll have to look them up.
posted by languagehat at 1:47 PM on February 12, 2005


halekon has posted 10 links and 15 comments to MetaFilter. Member since: November 18, 2004

I wonder how many people have a link/comment ratio this high. You know -- people who are working to bring the community links, rather than just reacting to posts. I know I don't. (joaquim has posted 9 links and 262 comments to MetaFilter and no threads and 12 comments to MetaTalk. Member since: May 17, 2001)

Let's check some of the people who are complaining about the spelling errors:

Secret Life of Gravy has posted 14 links and 874 comments to MetaFilter. Member since: August 3, 2002

kindall has posted 10 links and 4770 comments to MetaFilter. Member since: September 30, 2000
(OK, kindall was complaining about spelling errors in general and not halekon in particular.)

santiagogo has posted 2 links and 18 comments to MetaFilter. Member since: November 18, 2004

knave has posted no links 45 comments to MetaFilter and 1 thread and 14 comments to MetaTalk. Member since: November 18, 2004

bugbread has posted no links 415 comments to MetaFilter and 2 threads and 305 comments to MetaTalk. Member since: November 18, 2004

So halekon hurt your eyes and slowed your reading down and offended your sense of professionalism. (How does professionalism enter into this? Are we getting paid to post?) Do we really want to drive away someone who is bringing us content -- especially over spelling errors?
posted by joaquim at 9:05 PM on February 12, 2005


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