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Do spelling and grammar matter anymore?

Wood Guy

They do to me, though the more time I spend on social media the worse I get at it, and the less I care. But I still think that following standard conventions is fairly important, especially in professional correspondence and on contract/construction documents. Do you agree or disagree, and why?

 
Aug 8, 22 10:12 am
SneakyPete

U old, lul.

Aug 8, 22 10:18 am  · 
6  · 
SneakyPete

Seriously, though, it matters to me. I spend a lot of time wishing Revit allowed me to spell check view names and families, because many of my colleagues are smart people who skipped spelling class.

Aug 8, 22 10:19 am  · 
2  · 
Wood Guy

Tell me about it! Getting older every day.

Aug 8, 22 11:23 am  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

All grammar matters... as does naming conventions, drafting standards, and drawing layouts.  I definitively red-line spelling errors and inane abbreviated words.  I get that English is not everyone's main language (it's not mine, for example), but there is no excuse for bad spelling, anywhere, within an office setting.

It's nap time now.


Aug 8, 22 10:28 am  · 
4  · 
SneakyPete

Definately. Defiantly. Definitely.

Aug 8, 22 10:38 am  · 
4  · 
Wood Guy

I knew you spoke French but didn't realize that English isn't your first language. Is that common in your city? I know it is in Quebec and Montreal.

Aug 8, 22 11:24 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

Very common WG... but only in Ottawa, and in most non-toronto/GTA areas.

Aug 8, 22 11:27 am  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

Good to know, thanks. I didn't mention Ottawa partly because I wasn't sure how private you are about it, and partly because I always end up spelling it "Ottowa," despite knowing better.

Aug 8, 22 11:29 am  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

meh, as long as Jawknee does not find out, then I'm safe. Pretty sure he's not browsing a discussion on spelling. 8-)

Aug 8, 22 11:52 am  · 
2  · 
atelier nobody

...as DO naming conventions, drafting standards, and drawing layouts.

Aug 9, 22 4:29 pm  · 
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citizen

Ouch!

Aug 10, 22 6:04 pm  · 
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Almosthip

People who write 'tryna' instead of 'trying' should succumb to a fiery death.

Aug 8, 22 10:29 am  · 
3  · 
SneakyPete

Heyna.

Aug 8, 22 10:38 am  · 
1  · 

Ya'll tyrna keep people from code-switching? 

Oh wait- 

Yinz tryna keep people from code-switching?

Aug 8, 22 3:56 pm  · 
3  · 
SneakyPete

You from da burgh 'n'at?

Aug 8, 22 4:17 pm  · 
1  · 

I use 'prolly' and I cringe at myself every time.

Aug 25, 22 10:01 am  · 
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Almosthip7

Don’t even understand prolly. Probably?

Aug 25, 22 12:16 pm  · 
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Wood Guy

I'd really like to hear a defense of why spelling and grammar DON'T matter. I don't care what you do, I'm just curious what the arguments are. 

And for those who don't know me, I'm not judging anyone who has trouble with spelling or grammar; I also think it's important to be able to speak clearly yet I have struggled with stuttering since I was a kid. I'd trade being able to speak fluently for my talents for spelling and grammar any day. 

Aug 8, 22 11:25 am  · 
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My only defense of why it doesn't matter would be contextual (really more a question of *when* it doesn't matter rather than *why*). There might be times where I might contend that spelling/grammar aren't as important as communicating effectively and efficiently ... but I'd also argue many spelling/grammar errors are antithetical to effective communication.

Aug 8, 22 1:03 pm  · 
4  · 
Wood Guy

Good points. I'm definitely (defiantly?) lazy when it comes to texting or commenting online. For me it usually shows up as liberal use of comma splices instead of semi-colons or other sentence structures, and sometimes sentence fragments. I also believe that English is a living language and conventions do change over time.

Aug 8, 22 1:37 pm  · 
1  · 
bowling_ball

WG, it matters a lot to me. Specifically because I deal with contracts, where one misplaced comma can have potentially disastrous consequences. And it takes a lot of time, especially dealing with most contractors who seem to think that throwing some English-sounding words together makes me automatically understand every implication of what they're asking. This is the way I'm wired - I don't mind calling a contractor 3 times if I feel like their poor command of English (regardless of first language, there seems to be no difference in my experience) and I think it will affect something. But maybe I should have been a lawyer

Aug 8, 22 1:45 pm  · 
4  · 
Non Sequitur

I have a client with a email signature that says " please excuse the spelling mistakes, this email was composed on mobile device".

Aug 8, 22 2:09 pm  · 
3  · 
SneakyPete

Reminds me of the print out I used to see in my basement: To err is human. To really foul things up takes a computer.

Aug 8, 22 3:31 pm  · 
1  · 
atelier nobody

My mother, who majored in linguistics and then taught HS English (including both ESL and "regular" English for native-speakers), would make the point that the sole purpose of grammar was to be understood, so if you could understand what someone was saying then it was, by definition, grammatical.

She would then explain to her students that there was nothing wrong with the way they spoke among themselves, but that if they wanted to be taken seriously outside their immediate communities they needed to learn "standard" English grammar.

Aug 9, 22 4:37 pm  · 
1  · 
citizen

Please excuse the spelling mistakes; this email was composed on mobile device. Plus, I don't give a sh!t.

Aug 10, 22 6:06 pm  · 
2  · 
monosierra

Surely it matters, not just for professional etiquette, but also for all manners of architectural work that involves text - specs, labels, callouts etc.

Aug 8, 22 12:23 pm  · 
3  · 
citizen

Don't call me Shirley.

Aug 10, 22 6:07 pm  · 
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  They matter. Clarity matters more. They help sister Clarity. I have those problems I struggle with every day and all the time when I am writing. Thanks to Grammarly's free version there are fewer typos and spellos.      Add to that, being bilingual puts you in a place of ambiguity. That's a real curveball. I am for peace between the cultures because I know they can get along well and have a lot in common.;)
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<Say No To Culture Wars>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Aug 8, 22 8:13 pm  · 
3  · 
marley.roman96

it always matters

Aug 9, 22 2:25 am  · 
1  · 
proto

@wood guy, yes, they matter

Aug 9, 22 1:32 pm  · 
1  · 
RJ87

It's still relevant if you want to be taken seriously but it's important to remember that according to the U.S. Department of Education, 54% of adults in the United States have prose literacy below the 6th-grade level. 

A good number of people aren't writing like idiots on purpose, it just is what it is.

Aug 9, 22 1:34 pm  · 
1  · 

On this lovely matter, I have but one contribution...

I always get tired of people spelling it "hose bib". It's got two b's in it, as far as I'm concerned. Others are always entitled to their wrong opinion.

Aug 9, 22 3:57 pm  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

BIB has two Bs. What's the probblem?

Aug 9, 22 4:16 pm  · 
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Oh... I guess I meant 3. "HOSE BIBB".

Aug 9, 22 4:17 pm  · 
1  · 
atelier nobody

I'm with you on "hose bibb" - I also get worked up about people who use "story" when they mean "storey" or "molding" when they mean "moulding" (although, technically, some plaster profiles can be both moldings and mouldings).

Aug 9, 22 4:43 pm  · 
1  · 

I always use "moulding". I honestly would have assumed "story" is the correct spelling, but that may be regional.

Another one I constantly see is the mis-spelling of "cementitious" as "cemetitious", as in "cemetitious backer board". And I know it's intentional as I see the exact same spelling over and over.

Aug 9, 22 5:01 pm  · 
1  · 

Hose bibb ends with two Bs.

Aug 9, 22 5:08 pm  · 
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b3tadine[sutures]

Oh, it's "brake metal", not "break metal".

Aug 9, 22 6:22 pm  · 
5  · 
Miyadaiku

I dealt with many a contractor that shared their "ideals" about "masonary" walls. Now I have to deal with people using the wrong moon runes. 建築管理

Aug 9, 22 10:47 pm  · 
3  · 
atelier nobody

When I was a plan checker, easily 85%+ of the house plans I looked at had a "Dinning Room" and it made me want to scream, but eventually I just became resigned to it...

The hill I am currently willing to die on is the use of "of" as the auxiliary verb in past perfect tense, but I'm getting more and more beaten down...

Aug 9, 22 4:28 pm  · 
2  · 

Can you give an example of your crusade against "of"? I have no idea what "auxiliary verb in past perfect tense" means.

Aug 9, 22 4:43 pm  · 
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atelier nobody

When one says "should have", "would have", "could have", etc, that is called the past perfect tense and "have" is called the auxiliary verb.

These can also be contracted: "should've", "could've", "would've", etc, but "should of", "could of", "would of", etc are ALWAYS WRONG!!!!!

Aug 9, 22 4:48 pm  · 
4  · 

I feel that one... but as they say, it's what it's.

Aug 9, 22 4:49 pm  · 
2  · 
citizen

Atelier, could you just add my moniker to yours?  I agree with just about all of your beefs (or is it beeves?), and it would save me typing and clicking a thumbs-up for you.

Of course, you omitted the copy-paste problem on multi-family unit plan sheets, where one might be treated to a dozen or more "dinning room" tags. Gaaaaah!

Aug 10, 22 6:11 pm  · 
1  · 
SneakyPete

Revit won't save you, it can't spell check tags.

Aug 10, 22 6:33 pm  · 
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atelier nobody

The more I get to know Revit, the more I love my 2D AutoCAD LT...

Aug 10, 22 9:55 pm  · 
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gual

My impression from working in a few different types of corporate environments is that AEC people are loose with spelling and grammar. I don't know why. Maybe because they don't write much during their education? It used to irritate me but I've learned to accept it. "Dinning room" stopped bothering me years ago.

Aug 23, 22 3:37 pm  · 
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derek00

In my opinion, it is still important that I follow these rules and at least try to follow them

Aug 25, 22 2:41 am  · 
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In my opinion good grammar matters alot

Aug 25, 22 10:05 am  · 
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I actually have a lot of thoughts on this as it relates to equity and diversity in our profession and others. Basically, demanding formal English at all times is another way of gatekeeping. In many cases less formal language helps not only convey meaning but also build a communal understanding.


I’ve realized as I’ve gotten older that my former insistence on formal language, and also formal dress, is a way of shutting the door on people who might have really great things to offer but just don’t look or act the way that I think they *should*. In my company we refer to this as Asset Framing, in other words looking for the positive value of everything, rather than closing down because something doesn’t fit our preconceived notion of what it *should* look like or be. Value takes all forms.

Aug 25, 22 5:18 pm  · 
4  ·  1
SneakyPete

I don't have an issue with informal language, and I think your point is well made. I do find spelling errors in documents frustrating, however, especially when the person is a native English speaker.

Aug 25, 22 5:27 pm  · 
2  · 

I agree with this. I also think that abbreviation errors can be much more harmful than spelling errors. I once made the personal mistake of using "S.S." in a note to refer to standing seam (i.e. "S.S. MTL. CLADDING"), and only realized my obvious error when the G.C. was pricing and said "The owner's asking for stainless steel cladding here??".

Aug 26, 22 6:04 am  · 
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midlander

i think it depends on context more than anything. expectations for project documentation should prioritize clarity, accuracy and convenience over perfection. whereas a formal letter to an individual does require more care, if only to show respect for the reader and a willingness to try to impress them. in my own work i've realized my spelling and grammar has gotten worse with my age - because most of the time i'm simply too busy to care. only if i really care about the judgement of the audience is it worth my time to check and edit my writing.

Aug 26, 22 6:49 pm  · 
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midlander

also, i work in a country where english isn't the primary language, which has made me much more tolerant of clumsy writing in order to encourage open communication. too many people will say nothing out of fear of making mistakes. it takes a lot of work to encourage people to find any way they can to express an idea.

Aug 26, 22 6:54 pm  · 
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