Re: "rehearsing email", one last comment

Subject: Re: "rehearsing email", one last comment
From: Faith Weber <weber -at- EASI -dot- ENET -dot- DEC -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 6 May 1993 17:14:15 PDT

>I'm responding personally, rather than to the list regarding your post.

Norm, I got this through the list so I'm assuming everyone else did
too. (I'm new to the listserv and am not that familiar with its
operation, so if this was sent only to me and I'm posting it for
the first time, sorry -- but maybe I can address thoughts others
are having about this too. I think I came across differently than
I meant to.)

>I disagree with your sentiments, and I think it R for the profession in
>general to set ourselves up as the third grade schoolmasters of grammar.

>Most people I know regard a public correction of their spelling or
>grammar as an insult.

>The feeling is "Who do you think you are, cor to be
>correcting me; who appointed you to the grammar police?

>Would you publically correct a writer who is trying
>to communicate in English when
>English is not his native language? How about a non-college person? How about
>a mentally handicapped person?

>If you can read it and understand the idea,
>do you care if the
>grammar is a little off? Or the spelling?

I think there is some misunderstanding here due to my mention of electronic
conferences. I do not publicly correct spelling or grammar. I correct
spelling and grammar privately, when I review documentation. My
reference to electronic conferences was based on my experience that
a single software feature can be described several different ways
by several different people, and these may bear no resemblance to
one another, and when I try the feature for myself I usually find
out they were all describing the same thing. It's the old "blind men
and the elephant" story (one at each end, describing what it feels
like, and of course it's different at each end even though it's the
same elephant).

I'm really talking about a very small subset of people who truly
believe their ability to communicate is fine, even when evidence
points to the contrary (e.g. most reviewers don't understand it).
In a way I'm sorry I said anything, because it really is a small
group. In most cases people are genuinely trying to communicate,
and sometimes (as was proven by what I see as a total misinterpretation
of my message) they find out it's harder than they thought to say
exactly what they mean!

Anyway, thanks for pointing out that I wasn't clear. I guess what was
on my mind was, interpreting other people's often-unclear writing is
my business, and yes, sometimes I do wish they'd try harder to
explain things clearly the first time. But if they explained things
clearly all the time I'd be out of a job! Meanwhile, a little wishing
and idle kvetching with fellow writers can't hurt, can it? :-)

weber -at- easi -dot- enet -dot- dec -dot- com

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