Are Grammar and Spelling a Telling Sign?
On a whim this evening, I went to the Rift forums to see if there were any interesting threads that had new information, and one caught my interest because of something Elementalistly said on Twitter a day before.
Elementalistly was, to put it succinctly, asking folks if one should judge a guild application on the basis of grammar and spelling. While 140 characters doesn’t directly explain everything that needs be said, I imagine that he is looking for a modicum of proficiency or care with the English language to facilitate not only better understanding, but also to weed out people who may not be mature enough to be in the guild he’s setting up for Rift.
Now, I’ll go back to my opinion on the spelling thing in a moment. Let’s go to the forum post now.
The forum post that caught my attention (which may be locked at any moment) is basically a call for help from an amateur writer who wishes to write Rift-based fiction for himself that adheres to the lore of the game.
Now, his grammar isn’t perfect, and I admitted in a comment on the thread that the first reaction I had to the thread was to be annoyed at the title, but then I started reading the thread and realized it wouldn’t help to be mean-spirited. So I did some quick research, found two links, and sent them to him, along with trying to deflect some trolls away from disheartening the original poster.
My line of thinking was simple: I don’t know anything about this poster, and I don’t know what the context of his life is, so who am I to say that his misspellings are intentional, unintentional or a mixture of both? I might as well just answer his points and help him out.
From the way he writes and what information he’s willingly divulged though, I found him to be a rather nice fellow. He has his own set of issues that he’s dealing with, and I wouldn’t have known that if I put him through an intellectual grinder to turn his ego into squishy bits.
Still, people skip to the latest post and miss that, and keep on getting peeved with him or bickering among themselves.
Back to Elementalistly’s Twitter thought now. While I do feel that spelling and grammar are important, I feel the content written by the person and the context of why a person writes a certain way is equally important. You can always have rules that spelling and grammar must be 95% spot-on, but you should also leave contingencies that allow inclusion of people who have good heads on their shoulders rather than exclusion of immature fools.
Of course, that would require a huge paradigm shift in a ton of people to be successful, but it could happen.
In any event, I extended a hand of friendship to the original poster, and offered to help him find more info on the lore of Rift. Making friends rather than pissing people off: that sounds like a good slogan for a positively-powered forum if I ever heard of one. 🙂
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