1414: "Writing Skills"

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Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby SparkOut » Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:36 am UTC

With the correlation/causation issue, I think it's not so much an argument that texting improves spelling and grammar as a disproof of the argument that texting reduces the standard of those who habitually use it.
[edit] as I see was said already:
xtifr wrote:
Minstrel wrote:This one raised a big "correlation...causation" red flag for me.

If indeed grammar and spelling scores are higher now (and I'll assume that's true because Randall usually does his research well), maybe it's because:

* We're teaching kids better?
* The tests are different or graded differently?
* The population has shifted?

You're missing the point. The argument is not that texting improves grammar; the argument is that texting does not (contrary to some popular opinions) ruin grammar. The causation is irrelevant. Correlation may not imply causation, but a lack of correlation can often rule out any causation. And what we see here is a lack of correlation between texting and bad grammar.

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Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby orthogon » Sun Aug 31, 2014 5:21 pm UTC

Mental Mouse wrote:And why would we want to write Ulysses, again? ;-)

Borges provides a fascinating answer to almost this exact question in his story Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote, in which he imagines a 20th century French author rewriting Cervantes's novel word for word in the original Spanish. In his classic absurd style he argues that Menard's work is superior in several ways to the original; for example what for Cervantes was merely observation of everyday life becomes immaculate historical period detail when written by the Frenchman.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby jigawatt » Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:51 pm UTC

It's missing a panel.

White Hat Guy: Yeah, like how kids who constantly play air guitar should be better guitar players. Or how kids who make bad analogies should be better persuasive writers.

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Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby Klear » Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:11 pm UTC

jigawatt wrote:It's missing a panel.

White Hat Guy: Yeah, like how kids who constantly play air guitar should be better guitar players. Or how kids who make bad analogies should be better persuasive writers.

I really hoped you wrote something like "Or how kids who made bad analogies should be... better at... something.

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Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby Bloopy » Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:48 am UTC

Alsadius wrote:Why on earth would I want to write like James Joyce? I'd rather gouge out my eyeballs with ice-cream scoops.

:mrgreen: I read Ulysses last year and posted in the relevant xkcd thread. I think one great writer who trained with "sloppy" skills is enough.

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Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby addams » Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:21 am UTC

Thank you for That link, Bloopy
What a funny thread.

I have heard those words, before.
One of the few books for which I actually recommend a reader's guide.
Of course, you are welcome to question the merit of a book that is so genius you need an entire other book to point out how genius it is.
Like if the world's funniest joke always needed to be laboriously explained for people to get it.

Attorneys and Judges have reading groups that meet weekly to read that book.
I am beginning to get curious about it. Not curious enough to read it.

If people write to be understood, in a functional language, (shrug) What do we care?
Of course, we Can respond like the Tea Baggers. "No language we don't understand and we don't understand much!"
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

Postby goofy » Sat Sep 13, 2014 5:34 pm UTC


Text messages aren’t full of abbreviations – typically less than ten percent of the words use them. [Frequency Illusion]
These abbreviations aren't a new language – they’ve been around for decades. [Recency Illusion]
They aren't just used by kids – adults of all ages and institutions are the leading texters these days. [Adolescent Illusion]
Pupils don't routinely put them into their school-work or examinations.
It isn't a cause of bad spelling: you have to know how to spell before you can text.
Texting actually improves your literacy, as it gives you more practice in reading and writing.

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