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Bruce, Caroline

We Don't Need no Stinking English

When I was in my previous job, I'd have endless arguments with my volunteers. These wonderful people, mostly considerably more youthfully-challenged than I, believed that the evolution of the language stopped the day they set foot in school. No more changes after that. These hapy memories prompted me to write an English poll. All these questions are dead serious, now!

Poll #1096806 Talking Good English

I consider my grasp of the English language to be

crummy, and I no care.
crummy, but I's working on it.
good enough to get by.
good enough to get by respectably.
better than most.

I consider good grammar, punctuation and sentence structure to be

irrelevant in my everyday life.
something nice, if you can do it.
something only sighted people worry about because I can use my blindness as a exkyoos.
very important if one is to be respected.
not as good as ketchup on chicken, but a good thing nonetheless.

With respect to the evolving nature of english:

English is an ever-changing language, and it's only natural that the rules that applied to our grandparents don't necessarily apply to us, and vice versa.
Those stupid Americans wrecked it, though if I were to be truly honest, I'd have to admit that the British took far more liberties with English than Noah Webster and his kind ever did.
English was an evolving language until I started school, but must remain frozen in time from that point onward.
English was enhanced when the words "ketchup on chicken" were added to it.
"Fries with that" should be added as a phrase of its own in the dictionary.

When a blind person who is able to learn braille chooses not to, relying solely on audio, the resultant bad spelling means he or she should be

excaused, because he or she is blind, after all.
pitied or coddled, because he or she is blind, after all.
considered illiterate by choice.
not taken seriously when his or her Kindergarten spelling and grammar is compared to his or her literate counterpart.
somebody else's problem, I'm not blind and I don't care.

When it comes to satellite radio, I prefer

ketchup on chicken.
a night out with the cast of Corner Gas.
other, please specify in comments.


some extra comments on the poll

Sadly, some people didn't choose not to learn braille. Their parents chose it for them. This makes me exceedingly angry.

Also, why on earth did you include a question about satellite radio in this? LOL! My response is some people cannot afford such luxuries.

Re: some extra comments on the poll

Your first point is an excellent one, and I agree with you. As for the second, I love throwing a completely unrelated question into my polls just to keep things interesting. LOL

Re: some extra comments on the poll

you didn't have a choice for the deafies who think that radio is pointless. (grin)

What is the difference between XM and the regular radio, anyway?

and I love your random questions in the poll, but I don't appreciate your questions about chicken with ketchup because now I want some!

Re: some extra comments on the poll

You could always go out with the cast of Corner Gas. XM and Sirus are two types of satellite radio that have good sound, almost no commercials, and in many cases more variety and less restrictions than standard radio.

Have a piece of poultry with ketchup for me.

Re: some extra comments on the poll

Because he's crazy like that and likes to keep people on their toes. SMILE!
We have DirecTV, which includes XM radio stations. I usually enjoy the selection, but there are only three choices for Christmas music, which seems skimpy.

At work, I generally listen to podcasts, podio-books, or internet-fed BBC.

My son tells me that the last comma in the previous sentence is now considered optional. I was taught that it was to be left out. I revel in the freedom of recklessly including it. ;)
Well, first I want to know who those two (so far) people are who consider their grammar and spelling impeccable? I would like to bow at their feet. I did not go that far but I think I'm pretty literate(I responded "better than most," but I did once tell a magazine editor that if the computer's grammar check disagreed with my copy editing, she should believe me over it).

Second, why am I the only one who is not blind and doesn't care how badly others spell? After all, the more poor spellers there are in the world, the better it makes me look! LOL, just kidding. I threw that in there just to be ornery.

The XM question? I'm an other; I prefer to hear what surrounds me--sounds of rain, traffic, voices, birds, etc.

I will comment that honestly, until I joined the SP list, with so many blind people on it, I had never seen so much phonetic spelling. It surprised me at first, but not so much now.

Anyway, cool poll. I love grammar, spelling, words...


I was one of the two impeccables. I am the child of a line of wordsmiths and grammarians. I learned to spell by playing Scrabble at age seven and was well on my way to ESL certification when I ran into a stumbling block in the early 90s (no access to the IPA). I wish that I had had the fortitude to fight it... I went on to other things but now have studied four languages and hope to pick up at least a couple more in my lifetime. Last year I turned in a paper to a professor in my M.Div. program whose native language is not English. He began correcting the grammar in my paper and had to retract his corrections, which were all due to his lack of facility with English.

Re: confessions

Scrabble at age seven! Four languages! Yes, I bow to you. Thanks for sharing. You are amazing.

Re: confessions

What amazed me was reading my gransmother's accounts of how she learned to spell... She only got through her first year of college, but I would have never known that. Btw, I've seen some pretty atrocious spelling from a few sighted people, but it's generally different from what a friend of mine calls "blind spelling." Some misspellings by blind people can also be attributed to people learning contracted braille without a solid grasp of what the contractions stood for... Some children are allowed to do spelling tests by writing the contracted form of the word. I was required to provide the contracted form and the full spelling; thus I got a braille test and a spelling test.


Re: confessions

Yes, that's what I meant; not that blind people make more spelling mistakes than sighted people, but that theirs tend to be different in nature. I've noticed that when blind people misspell words, they tend to either spell an unfamiliar word phonetically or to confuse homophones. Sighted people tend more toward trying to reproduce a picture that they have in their minds of the correct spelling, but that they can't quite recall. So, some of their misspellings are actually quite funny. The one I'll never forget is when a friend of a friend left a note on her door and misspelled "not" as "nought"! Wow! Sorry to go on and on about this topic, but it's one I love.
I listen to my MP3 CDs or regular CDs or watch DVDs and I don't have any satellite radio at all. I've got an HD radio receiver, though. I can get some XM streams though Winamp, but they don't have the full set. Would like to sit down and listen to Sirius. I think I'd only want to get either of these if I had evidence that they play more than just the regular corporate stations play, such as in the classic album rock category or oldies, for example. I swear these corporations think most radio listeners are stupid people who don't care much for the unfamiliar or who are willing to take some chances. Everything has to be safe and predictable for the confusticated advertisers.
Oops, that comment about the blind versus sighted spelling mistakes was me; I forgot to log in.
No problem, it's been unscreened.