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Discussion » Questions » Communication » correcting people's grammar online is just boneless colonialism, am I right or am I right

correcting people's grammar online is just boneless colonialism, am I right or am I right

Posted - April 15


  • 7190
    If you can explain to me how that exploits the person being corrected, I will entertain the idea. O_o
      April 15, 2019 1:45 PM MDT

  • exploiting a sad unfortunate person with a faulty keyboard or an unintelligent autocorrect so they can jerk off their own ego 
      April 15, 2019 2:07 PM MDT

  • 1960
    I'm not sure that it's safe to judge why a person feels compelled to correct other people's grammar.
    There are so many possible reasons.
    Or, perhaps we might judge but there's no way to know if the judgement is correct unless one knows the person very well.

    And sometimes correction is a very good thing. Correct grammar can make a huge difference to meaning.

    Many mistakes don't matter because they've become a part of colloquial speech. We understand what is intended.

    Then there are times when something is expressed so poorly that not a single Mugger can decipher the meaning.
    One can read beneath and every response says something like, "what's the question?"

    Observe the differences of meaning...
    A woman without her man is nothing. A woman: without her, man is nothing.
    My husband tells me he's going to see Maria and he and Maria had a great time together.
    (As his wife, I am likely to have a vested interest in whether this visit to Maria happened in the past or is yet to happen.)

    Use of language can have a strong effect on how well we communicate with one another.

    Personally, I've always like Eduard De Bono's motto "From Good Idea to Better Idea".
    The way he explains it goes roughly,
    "wherever we're at right now is probably good enough for muddling along in a satisfactory manner,
    but there's never any facet of life in which it's not possible to improve."

    For me, when someone corrects my language, facts or logic, I'm always grateful.

      April 17, 2019 12:51 AM MDT

  • 1524
    You is right.  
      April 15, 2019 2:04 PM MDT

  • 5439
    I really don't care in the grand scheme of things.
      April 15, 2019 2:07 PM MDT

  • 4761
    As a person who has to fight the urge to correct grammar, I sympathize with those who cannot control it.  It's neither trying to be helpful nor trying to act superior, it's more like people who see a picture hanging crookedly on the wall and need to straighten it.
      April 15, 2019 3:57 PM MDT

  • 37315
    I used to do that in high school.  When I saw that it was an exercise in egomania, I quit it.  It is not mine to correct and someone's picture is not mine to straighten.   It is a matter of decorum or boorishness to me.  
      April 16, 2019 1:08 AM MDT

  • 4761
    But some people are not as strong as you and I are.
      April 16, 2019 5:05 AM MDT

  • 1960
    Sounds like a definition of OCD.
      April 16, 2019 11:41 PM MDT

  • 1960
    Depends on the kind of correction. If an American tries to impose American punctuation on the already correct punctuation of British, South African or Australian writers (or vice versa), that would be cultural colonialism. It actually does happen in universities and publishing houses.

    Otherwise, no.

    Grammar has been set long ago. It has a specific purpose which is to ensure clarity of meaning via the order and sequence of words according to the rules of the language. It's about communicating clearly.

    Imposing a language on a people is colonialism because it's a means of both control and the destruction of their original language, often including the culture, beliefs and laws that go with it, because in most cultures these factors are interdependent.

    Imposing a grammar is merely the structure of a language, not the language itself. If someone already has the language but merely uses it in unclear ways, correcting the errors helps but does no harm (except perhaps temporarily to egos.) This post was edited by bookworm at April 17, 2019 7:54 AM MDT
      April 15, 2019 5:53 PM MDT

  • 5702
    Have no idea what that means.  Seems to me it would not be "colonialism" unless there is an attempt to establish a colony.  I just find it annoying.  Using one's area of expertise to find fault with others.  Which seems rather gratuitous.  Because no way can someone master all areas of expertise in order to avoid or parry such criticism.  The purpose of grammar, or so it seems to me, is to express things clearly to the greatest number of people.   Which I guess many people don't even care about as long as their friends get it.  So much that is posted on here makes no sense to me at all - but for me usually not a matter of grammar  but use of expressions and colloquialisms which are foreign to me because of my age or background.  I am able to understand most people who do not use correct grammar so that doesn't bother me. perhaps some people are very bothered by that.   And I have noticed that some who do point out such errors I have found to be wrong or have disagreed with some of what they believe constitutes "proper" grammar. Some things are more clearly expressed outside of proper grammar.  And anyway language is always changing form and function.  So many of what have been hard and fast "rules" have now gone out the window as far as usage is concerned. 
      April 15, 2019 8:12 PM MDT

  • 1719
    Triggered autists
      April 15, 2019 11:36 PM MDT

  • 37315
    You aut to be clearer 
      April 16, 2019 1:09 AM MDT

  • 37315
    I'll take your boneless colonialism and raise you a pugilistic out-of-control obsession to irritate.  Combine the two and you got yourself a grammar Nazi. This post was edited by SAY MY NAME at April 16, 2019 1:12 AM MDT
      April 16, 2019 1:11 AM MDT