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Writing Basics

AnoraE started this conversation

When I came to the online world I will admit I was shocked. As a professional I could not get over the inappropriate use of grammar. It made me wonder what a great many adults did for a living that they had such poor writing styles. I then began to realize what had occurred was the fault of the instant messaging systems on cellular phones. Adults had become so relaxed with their writing in order to use such systems that it had crossed over into their writing across the board. I can’t tell you the number of letters from parents I’ve seen over my years of teaching that slip into instant message grammar. The sad fact is though this type of writing leads people to be taken less serious. I know that when I read articles, essays, pleas for help that are so atrociously written that I trust very little of the content. I understand that I should indeed not be harsh on those for whom English is not a primarily language, but the reality is there are many countries out there who speak and write better English than we Americans do at home. So, my advise for those writing articles, writings, and so forth online for others to read, double check your grammar ahead of time. Simply write your first drafts in a word program and hit the grammar and spell check.


Now granted, it won’t catch all of your errors but you can program to catch those you make often so as not to make them when writing something that is to be read by other professionals. This includes notes to the teachers. I’ve met parents that I assumed had the same learning disorder as their child only to find out they had no such order, they simply could not master the English language. They expected their child to simply not be held accountable for English and wanted it included on their I.E.P. because the parent was unable to properly use the English language. I have to shake my head as a teacher on this one. So, how can you better prepare yourself on the basic mechanics? There is a wonderful website created by Purdue University that will tutor you in the basic grammar mechanics.

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 in response to TVC15...   TVC15-

I'm sorry, I've been offline for some time taking a break, but I am slowly coming back to writing. I agree that it seems the internet has greatly hurt the language of America. I know that in my own education during the 70-80's there were things I didn't learn until I studied English in college. I sat back wondering, "Why was I never taught that". I do find that OWL Purdue has a wonderful study site though and I use it often! Even I am not the expert on the English language, and I try to keep myself up to date on my own skills as well. Of course, for professional work I tend to have my spouse edit (free editing services), and then submit.

Talk to AnoraE
 in response to chachagirl...   It is inappropriate to flog someone for just noticing something so obvious and pointing it out. We are all, more or less, sensitive people. Really, do you go around slapping everyone? It seems easier to express this kind of anger online but it is still inappropriate, especially here. Maybe you are being too reactive to something in your own self-portrait.
Talk to Anonymous

Hello again Anora. I admit that the area of California where I began school, was growing rapidly and elementary schools were popping up like mushrooms (the 60's) and so they must have been hiring tachers as fast as they could and without enough scrutiny. The ciriculum may have suffered as well, due to this rapid expansion. Still.....all of my schooling (until I walked out on home and school at 14) was just babysitting on the part of the teachers. No education was attempted. We weren't even taught to spell!

But for the students it was more like juvinile detention. Nothing going on but the bad aspects of instutionalization, bullying and other harm doing and teachers who were indifferent or having a nervous breakdown.

I suspect, however, that this is not so different from U.S. education in general. It is more about keeping some people off the streets until they can be safely placed into a job.

Most people dont seem to write as well as they speak. The internet has certainly exposed how poor American education often is. Most Americans can just about speak their own language and can barely write in it.

Talk to Anonymous


First of all, I need to admit that I may have been overly zealous with the initial article I posted above. I had grown frustrated at the time because I was seeing what I felt was a gross over use of “text talk” on multiple paid-to-write websites that stressed being professionally written or that made it clear they were considered professional writers.

Should we base our judgments on writing style, maybe not and I thought I had addressed that in my initial article sufficiently, but language is our primary way of communicating our thoughts and ideas. So if we cannot clearly communicate then how can we expect people to properly understand us, and if people don’t properly understand us then how can we help people. For better or for worse there is a tendency to assume that if people cannot convey their thoughts in either written or spoken format then perhaps the person doesn’t know how to communicate. I’m not saying this is the case or that this is true, but it is hard to deny that this line of thinking is out there.

It is a fact that employers will throw out applications with poor grammar and spelling. There are several employers that will not so much as look at your application or think of interviewing you if they don’t think that you’re writing skills are up to par for them. If they have a choice between an application that is well written and one that is poorly written, they are going to choose the better written application. Fair or not fair, right or wrong, that is the way it is. I’m not saying it is right, but I am saying people should be aware of this, and that is why I wrote the article so that it can help people by providing perspective on the clarity of language, and the need for clarity in communication in general. This is especially true online because it is difficult enough to convey thoughts and ideas such as irony, sarcasm, and humor. That alone can cause misunderstandings between people. The fact is, the less clear the writing is, the more difficult communication is going to be. You do not have to be perfect all of the time, but at least keep it in mind. This is especially true for people who are supposed to be writing for professional websites.


Talk to AnoraE

Please, this article was written back in 2008 and really should stay there. I agree it is heartless and no compassion, I hope no one takes this as how the true people of Aidlage feels because we are here to help people not judge. God bless.

Talk to storm747

I can understand what you are saying. My writing & alot of others is not that good on the internet because we are usually typing fast or are emotional charged. And, my grammar is not great either.

However, I have seen some requests that were at least a page long (or longer). There was not a punciation sign in it.  All the words ran together. When reading something like this, it hurts the readers eyes. The reader has a hard time following it. Therefore, alot of these will 'unconsciously' get dismissed by the reader because its too hard to follow along.

So, when making request its best to make it easy for the reader to 'read it'. It does not have to be perfect.

Alot of times when the english is really bad, it makes the reader think that maybe its a 'scam' by those people from other countries.

I am not trying to be rude or anything. Sorry if I offended anyone.

Take care

PS. All of my errors & wrong grammer are on purpose. LOL


Talk to Anonymous40784

I have to believe this is either some kind of hoax or is a joke. How can you possibly be a so called professional when you obviously have no writing skills!
I find your article to be choppy, miss- directed and down right rude to parents that are looking for advice.

Please tell me that this person is actually a  teenager in disguise trying to prove to the world they are grown and not some pimply faced smart Alec that wishes to look important!

If you really are a so called "professional" let me give you some advice. Go back to school and learn something called compassion. Or how about this....knowledge of the English language. Then come here and do what you should  have done yourself.....teach.

Talk to chachagirl
Tia Morgan

This article is so poorly written I simply cannot believe you have the gall to criticize anyone's writing skills.


And I find it appalling that you would discount a parent's plea for help simply because you deem their writing skills to be lacking. 


I really hope you aren't really a teacher because you appear to be heartless, inconsiderate, snobbish and cruel. 


Shame on you.  This article should be removed from aidpage immediately and I can't believe it's been up for almost a year. 

Talk to Tia Morgan