Talk:Most Common Writing Errors

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I'm thinking we might want to change this to "Most Common Grammar Errors", as spelling errors would otherwise be on the list, and I wonder why they aren't. DavidCalman 23:29, 25 January 2013 (EST)

Perhaps the list could also be expanded to include poor organization and other writing errors (to the extent that such errors can be classified into rules like spelling and grammar rules). I know that Mr. Schlafly, as someone who has legal training, appreciates the art of communicating a difficult-to-comprehend point persuasively, clearly, accurately, and succinctly. GregG 00:00, 26 January 2013 (EST)
I think it may cause some ructions, Greg. Keeping certain Administrators to the laws of English may be abridge too far. (As I think you knew when you wrote the above :-)) I am also reminded of Churchill's great put down of grammatical orthodoxy: "Ending a sentence with a preposition is the sort of thing up with which I shall not put." And we have continental divides - America, Britain, NZ. Australia, FNQ. It's not long ago I stopped having to slap down frequent assaults on my own spelling. Then what do we do with such as User:Alex00? A Conservapedia style manual would not be worth the effort, I'm afraid. AlanE 00:51, 26 January 2013 (EST)
I am not convinced that all the so-called grammar rules are all that helpful. 'Not ending a sentence with a preposition' is one that I would single out as being marginal at best. Often, attempts to comply with this rule leave sentences unclear and unwieldy. Here is one take on the issue [1] In any case, I suggest that the article reflect the fact that opinion is divided on the merits of many of these "rules". --DamianJohn 01:32, 26 January 2013 (EST)
I think we've said sorta the same thing in two different ways which proves our point, don't you think? AlanE 01:40, 26 January 2013 (EST)
Yeah, although I was purposely being a bit more blunt about it. I have found being direct works better here. What do you think of the first rule? I must admit I prefer the "wrong" sentence to the "correct" one. --DamianJohn 01:42, 26 January 2013 (EST)

It's the last one that gets me. I am a liberal. I am considered by those who know me to be dependable and honest. (Unless my friends, both liberal and conservative, are being deceitful.)Therefore the writer of the three examples must be considered guilty of gross generalisation which can be thought of as a form of deceit. AlanE 01:54, 26 January 2013 (EST)

Re first rule. Example No.1 is correct in this modern "genderless" age. I don't necessarily like it but I think it needs to be. (The language is to blame here - in Latin there would be a gender attached to the "someone" so the problem would not arise.AlanE 02:05, 26 January 2013 (EST)
I just think the example is bad. If you say "someone" parked the car, that implies prima facie that you don't know the gender of the person. If you did, you would write a man or a woman. If you don't know the gender then you should write either "he or she" or "they". I understand the point that the author is making, but *he* has chosen a poor example. --DamianJohn 02:14, 26 January 2013 (EST)
When are we going to get to the section on generalisations (AKA sweeping statements.) AlanE 14:36, 27 January 2013 (EST)
Well when said generalisations are 100% true with no exceptions, such a generalisation is ok. I have been doing some research at a popular wiki encyclopedia, and I have discovered that all liberals are deceitful and all conservatives are trustworthy! Any purported conservative that is deceitful is actually just a liberal pretending to be a conservative. Noted liberals like Ted Haggard and Richard Nixon are pretty strong evidence of this phenomenon in action. --DamianJohn 16:38, 27 January 2013 (EST)
Of course - silly of me! AlanE 14:20, 29 January 2013 (EST)


  • NB that I can use he here because I know that the author is Andy, a male. If I were unsure of which gender the author was (or if it were one or multiple authors) I would use "they"
  • Exactly.