Author Topic: Am I just nit-picking?  (Read 3508 times)

Offline KarinaB

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Am I just nit-picking?
« on: February 24, 2006, 02:59:04 PM »
My daughter attends a community secondary school with wonderful facilities for sport and leisure.
I use the gym and we occasionally go swimming there at the weekends.
However, I always leave there steaming because the grammar and punctuation on their literature and notices is just terrible - there are rogue apostrophes everywhere!
For example:

At busy time's please limit to 20 minutes
Offer only apply's to over 60s
Camera phone's are not permitted in the sports hall

Last year I left an unsigned note at reception pointing out these mistakes - it is a SCHOOL for goodness sake. My message was ignored and nothing has changed.
I feel moved to write to the headmaster but my daughter has begged me not to and my husband tells me not to make a fuss. 
What would others do?
« Last Edit: February 27, 2006, 04:23:19 AM by KarinaB »

Offline mary

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Re: Am I just nit-picking?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2006, 09:21:44 PM »
Hi Katrina,

  I know how you feel. I do sub-teaching at local Jr. High Schools. Recently I was asked to stand in for the "talented and gifted" class. I was astounded to learn that very few could identify let alone write a complete sentence. Clauses, phrases, and fragments were all claimed as sentences. I can't even tell you how I hurt for these young ones when I saw the lack of correct grammer and punctuation.

  Now it gets worse. I volunteer for a local hospital one or two afternoos a month. Todays task consisted of reading the Obits for billing so that outstanding invoices could go to family's before wills are closed. This was the first time I was assigned this task. Ordinarily I ignore Obits. What I found had escaped regularly paid writers !!!

  " Mrs. XXX died on Feb 17, 2006 following a sudden illness. (I envisioned a rear-end colision.) She was buried Feb 11, 2006 as was her family." (I hope they included snorkles! )

  "Mr. DDD died on  Feb 18, 2006 after a battle with cancer. His memorial will not be followed by a burial as there is no DOB."
  (I wondered if this was someone's imaginary friend. Was there a body?)

 " Mrs. TTT's family and friends attended her memorial on Feb 12, 2006." (long description followed on casket bearers and hymns sung etc. "She died Sept 19, 2006." Displayed next to the Obit was a nice picture of a fairly healthy looking woman. (Has anyone told her yet?)


   I rest my case.    still LOL  ;D   mary

Telcontar

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Re: Am I just nit-picking?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2006, 09:49:07 PM »
Hi, KarinaB,
   Have you considered sending the Headmaster, anonymously perhaps, a copy of "Eats, shoots and leaves"?   ;D

Dave.

Offline Thane of Cawdor

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Re: Am I just nit-picking?
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2006, 04:41:45 PM »
For what it's worth, I think you are nit-picking. Sorry!

The apostrophe isn't important to me in the greater scheme of things. I can't can't get too excited about apostrophes being there or not! It seems to be a very out-dated concept and wants scrapping.When Shakespeare or Dickens or Jane Austen or Emily Bronte put pen to paper, I am sure the last thing on their minds was where to stick their apostrophes.

George Bernard Shaw never used the apostrophe in his writing unless the omission would suggest another word. He said of it: 'There is not the faintest reason for persisting in the ugly and silly trick of peppering pages with these uncouth bacilli'. I agree.

The imagination and creativity of pupils' writing these days constantly astounds me. Their apostrophe emissions doesn't worry me at all! 


Telcontar

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Re: Am I just nit-picking?
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2006, 06:32:17 PM »
Back in the seventies, some fishermen in the Midlands formed the 'Midlands Pike Preservation Comittee'. The logo on their t-shirts read:"Put Pike Back!"

Another groupd of anglers, interested in Eels, did a similar thing. The logo on their t-shirt read : "Put Eel's Back"

Thirty years on, and I still wonder just where Eel wanted his (or her) back putting...

katinka

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Re: Am I just nit-picking?
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2006, 09:22:39 PM »
A laugh a day keeps the doctor away. lol :D
katinka

Offline Symphony

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Re: Am I just nit-picking?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2006, 07:24:14 AM »
Karina,

I'd be right up there with you banging on the headmaster's door. The English language is going to the dogs. Most kids nowadays have barely half the vocabulary they should have and couldn't write a proper letter if asked. It's disgraceful that educational establishments can't be arsed to promote respect for their own language.

Sorry. Rant over. What hope for the kids, eh?

Symphony 
« Last Edit: February 26, 2006, 09:47:03 AM by Symphony »

katinka

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Re: Am I just nit-picking?
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2006, 09:15:53 AM »
 I know you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink it.
Tell the one in charge, by mail or by mouth what the problem is and then let it go. Teach your kids by making them read those bloopers (are they?) and show them how you feel about it. I think that should cover my input, live and let live. The world seems to be going to $%^& in a basket in every area of life anyway and illiteracy is right up there. I know there are professional who can barely spell their names, sad but true.
Katinka

PS: I just noticed there is no spelling grammar on this program

Offline Thane of Cawdor

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Re: Am I just nit-picking?
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2006, 09:53:58 AM »
Sorry, but I completely disagree,

Today's youth, in my experience, are incredibly creative and talented. Their vocabulary, ideas and their imaginations are as healthy as mine ever was, if not better. I am constantly inspired by young writers. 

katinka

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Re: Am I just nit-picking?
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2006, 10:06:38 AM »
You are perhaps right looking at it from the perspective of a mother. I am viewing it from one generation removed and, even though the whole world is available at one's fingertips in a few minutes, unless you have DSL which would make it seconds, grammar and math can be a problem to individuals and a real hindrance. I don't mean to offend but I believe it is a good idea to voice your opinion to the person who makes the errors so that person has a chance to correct them. Have a great day
Katinka :-[ 

Offline click

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Re: Am I just nit-picking?
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2006, 03:52:51 PM »
A bit of a late entrant I know, but it seems to me that it matters. I'm all for encouraging and rewarding creativity, but once adults, people also have to write letters in a business context.  I often have to correct fairly basic stuff in letters other people have written before the letters can be sent out to clients.  The people writing these letters are professionally qualified.  I also have to mark essays written by graduates, some of whom cannot manage full stops and capital letters, never mind apostrophes.  Breaking rules when writing creatively is fine if that's what you want to do, but not all writing is creative.

Lin

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Re: Am I just nit-picking?
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2006, 04:20:04 PM »
No sorry folks but in my opinion there are two things come to mind.

One is Are you British??
The Brits are renowned for not complaining about small things which annoy them

The other is if they dont know about it you should tell 'em, Ive done it many times and changed the course of the situation, it doesnt do harm to complain.

At my local bank here in Holland they had a notice for Student Banking, it was an advert in fact.   The advert inside the bank said PIMP MY ROOM in large writing in English

Now the Dutch are well known for putting English slogans on things when they don't understand  the meaning in English, and so I explained to my Bank Manager what  a Pimp was in English - a week later the sign disappeared and I havent seen the advert since!

It all depends on how you do it.   It aint what you say its the way you say it and Im sure if something annoys you, you shouldnt be afraid to be tactful and tell folks about it and I certainly would have told the school about the errors.   Call me a busy body I dont care, I have said my piece and if they dont like it - tough.  As far as my daughter is concerned, I wouldnt have told her I complained, after all this is my issue and nothing to do with her personally.

So dont be afraid to say when something isnt right, you ask a Dutchman about being direct and youll soon learn how to do it!!!   The Dutch are very direct and will tell you if they dont like something, but you get things done here.   They will tell you about English people being "too polite"   I hear it all the time and Im a Brit!!

Have a nice day!!

Lin




deathblackfox

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Re: Am I just nit-picking?
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2006, 11:09:19 PM »
In my novel I would probbably kick down the door and yell at the guy but being in real life be reasonable. Talk to them a reasonable manner but don't do it all pretty like, you have to have at the same time a tone in your voice saying that your serious. The problem with a note is tey can throw it away.
Another thing you can do is find other parents who have trouble with it and all of you write notes to the school. They'll have to read them and then soon find that there must be something terribly wrong that is making so many people unhappy, they'll have a choice to change it and if they don't then continue chissling away at them, bit by bit!

Offline goldanon

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Re: Am I just nit-picking?
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2006, 02:34:42 PM »
Why, as SOON as you point out their error, they'll immediately fix it!  I imagine that, as a school, they'll be quite embarrassed and apologetic about the whole thing - nobody needs to go bashing down doors...
 
And I dont' think you're nit-picking at all - people who don't know how to use an apostrophe appear illiterate to the rest of the world.  There are certain misspellings and grammar errors that show how much you read (or rather, how little), and I would put apostrophes up at the top of the list.  That sign would just drive me NUTSO!

Over here parents of honor students put bumper stickers on their car, given to them by the schools their children attend that drive me absolutely CRAZY.  They read: "My sons (My daughters) an honor roll student at Blahdeblah Elementary."

ARGHGGGG - NONE of them use the f@%#!!g APOSTROPHE!!!!  It certainly takes away from that student's accomplishment as the sticker shows the school is obviously full of illiterate teachers and administrators.