CB: Technical Forum or English Class?

How tolerant should CB members be toward abuse of the Language Arts?

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Stevens R. Miller

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2016
Loudoun County, Virginia, USA
As a noob, I will welcome corrections when I make mistakes in the spelling of industry-specific terms ("Leco" vs. "Leko," for example), or misuse a term I otherwise spell correctly (i.e., "Get me some tape so I can gaffer that cable.") Learning to speak the language of a profession that has its own argot, jargon, and/or traditions is, I feel, an appropriate show of respect, and an important aspect of mastering a new set of skills. As a computer programmer, I wouldn't hesitate to correct a beginner who said something like, "Would you look at my bug and see if you can find the source for me?" That person is simply misusing well defined words, and should--if not will--be glad to have a polite correction given to them.

On the other hand...

I'm probably a terrible person, but I might lose my teacher card if I didn't point out that this sentence ends with a preposition.:confused:
As a lawyer, I wouldn't hesitate to end a sentence with a preposition. In the context of a specialized site like this one (which I am already finding to be of immense value to a guy like me), I'd think it was kind of distracting for anyone to upbraid me on such a point. (And that particular issue is actually not as cut-and-dried as some might think :).)

Also, as a moderator at another site, I've learned to make allowances for the fact that the Web is a global village. Even those of us want to be precise might need some slack when English is not our first language.

All that said, I agree with those who subscribe to the notion that, if you can't communicate clearly, it doesn't much matter what you know. If you're a scientist who has made a great discovery (or is writing a grant application), mastery of the language in which you report yourself is going to be essential if you want anyone else to understand what you've done.
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