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What has happened to the full stop?
Thread poster: Tom in London

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:07
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Trouble Oct 24, 2018

Chris S wrote:

I don't see what the problem is, it's entirely normal for people to write like that these days, get with the times Tom!

More generally, although many people have poor spelling, punctuation, grammar and vocabulary, you can still understand perfectly well what they're saying.

Lawyers are theoretically the most precise and pedantic writers around, yet very often they choose to use no commas at all...


I had trouble understanding that, Chris.

Or as you would probably say: I had trouble understanding that Chris.

Fortunately there don't seem to be any other Chriss around at the moment, or I'd be wondering which Chris was being referred to.

[Edited at 2018-10-24 15:17 GMT]


Arkadiusz Jasiński
Rebecca Davis
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 10:07
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
texting Oct 24, 2018

i think the rot started with txting on awful fones with no keyboard only numbers
wen u had to pres each number 2 or 3 x for the rite leter + there were no ful stops

my sister used to rite nice witty letters b4 she started txting

Sorry about that! But those phones were a pain, and anything considered superfluous was dropped or impossible. Even people who could write well might succumb to cramp and sore thumbs. It is easier with a decent smartphone, but onc
... See more
i think the rot started with txting on awful fones with no keyboard only numbers
wen u had to pres each number 2 or 3 x for the rite leter + there were no ful stops

my sister used to rite nice witty letters b4 she started txting

Sorry about that! But those phones were a pain, and anything considered superfluous was dropped or impossible. Even people who could write well might succumb to cramp and sore thumbs. It is easier with a decent smartphone, but once the trend has started, I fear it won't be easy to stop.
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Rebecca Davis
 

Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:07
Member (2006)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
Comma splice Oct 24, 2018

"Comma splices are rare in most published writing but are common among inexperienced writers of English."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comma_splice


Arabic & More
 

Deborah do Carmo  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 09:07
Member (2004)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Lawyers and commas Oct 27, 2018

Chris S wrote:

Lawyers are theoretically the most precise and pedantic writers around, yet very often they choose to use no commas at all...



Yes, we are. And for good reason.


One recent case in point: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/09/us/oxford-comma-maine.html


I've not seen an increased trend in poor grammar among lawyers. If anything, I've seen improved legal writing over the last few years, due in part to the existence of excellent legal editing software, legal writing courses and the plain legal English campaign. Where have you seen this, Chris? In your own source texts? Genuinely interested in any links or examples you may have (anonymised, of course), as I could use them in a course I'm creating.


Tom in London
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:07
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Wild Oct 27, 2018

Deborah do Carmo wrote:

Chris S wrote:

Lawyers are theoretically the most precise and pedantic writers around, yet very often they choose to use no commas at all...



Yes, we are. And for good reason.


One recent case in point: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/09/us/oxford-comma-maine.html


I've not seen an increased trend in poor grammar among lawyers. If anything, I've seen improved legal writing over the last few years, due in part to the existence of excellent legal editing software, legal writing courses and the plain legal English campaign. Where have you seen this, Chris? In your own source texts? Genuinely interested in any links or examples you may have (anonymised, of course), as I could use them in a course I'm creating.


Chris's wild generalisation doesn't help his case !


 

Rebecca Davis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:07
French to English
+ ...
Sad to observe... Oct 28, 2018

It has gone the way of grammar, syntax, spelling and everything else that makes a text easily understandable and pleasant to read... Just ask any despairing university lecturer or employer dealing with a flock of interns or trainees (and yes, they all have access to a spelling and grammar checking tool on their PCs). Can't remember whose catchline "Am I bovvered" was, but it just about sums it up.

 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:07
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Other languages Oct 29, 2018

Rebecca Davis wrote:

It has gone the way of grammar, syntax, spelling and everything else that makes a text easily understandable and pleasant to read... Just ask any despairing university lecturer or employer dealing with a flock of interns or trainees (and yes, they all have access to a spelling and grammar checking tool on their PCs). Can't remember whose catchline "Am I bovvered" was, but it just about sums it up.


It's happening in other languages too. The Italians call it "analfabetismo di ritorno" (something like "returning illiteracy").


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:07
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Today's example Oct 29, 2018

Quote

http://avherald.com/h?article=4bf90724&opt=0

"Underwater equipment has been moved to the crash site, divers are attempting to locate the victims and the blackboxes."

Intolerable and stupid not only because of the wrongly placed comma, but also because of "blackboxes" (which all the posters in that discussion forum do spell correctly).

[Edit
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Quote

http://avherald.com/h?article=4bf90724&opt=0

"Underwater equipment has been moved to the crash site, divers are attempting to locate the victims and the blackboxes."

Intolerable and stupid not only because of the wrongly placed comma, but also because of "blackboxes" (which all the posters in that discussion forum do spell correctly).

[Edited at 2018-10-29 09:26 GMT]
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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Commas Oct 29, 2018

Deborah do Carmo wrote:
Genuinely interested in any links or examples you may have (anonymised, of course), as I could use them in a course I'm creating.


As I understand it, the use of punctuation, especially commas, has traditionally been avoided in English legal drafting, although that is now changing.

Take the first sample will on Google: https://www.onlinewillwriter.co.uk/sample

I'm sure there are better examples out there.

Tom wrote:
Chris's wild generalisation doesn't help his case !


I'm not making a case, Tom, or a generalisation, wild or otherwise. It's just an observation based on my experience of English legalese.

Nor am I advocating the use of commas instead of full stops (though I would never want to inflict a semi-colon on my clients these days), I just don't think it's "intolerable and stupid", that smacks of elitism to me.

Especially as the article you quote was written by a non-native...


[Edited at 2018-10-29 10:47 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:07
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Quite a lot Oct 29, 2018

Chris S wrote:

....t smacks of elitism to me.



I hear that quite a lot. It amuses me. Getting things right = elitism.

[Edited at 2018-10-29 11:32 GMT]


 

Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:07
German to English
I must have misunderstood. Oct 29, 2018

Tom in London wrote:

Chris S wrote:

....t smacks of elitism to me.



I hear that quite a lot. It amuses me. Getting things right = elitism.

[Edited at 2018-10-29 11:32 GMT]


Because she quoted your "intolerable and stupid" comment (would it be better to add a dash for clarity here?), I assumed that Chris really was complaining specifically about your elitism and not the fact that your corrections are correct.

However, I think it's safe to assume that I've simply misunderstood something and that you are right.

And, regarding your initial point, I feel your pain ... As Erik pointed out a while ago, German is one of the languages where comma splices are perfectly acceptable in good writing, and it can be very hard to convert a well-written German sentence with a comma splice into a well-written English sentence without one.


 
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