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jendf
08-06-2010, 06:33 PM
Drawing a Line Between Law and Grammar (http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2010/aug/04/drawing-a-line-between-law-and-grammar/)

A little punctuation can make a lot of difference.

When Bob Strick and Vicki Tomsha had business at the Spokane County Courthouse on June 2, they drove around from parking lot to parking lot, looking for some free public parking.

Lot after lot required a permit or some cash.

They thought they hit pay dirt in the little lot at Madison Street and College Avenue, just south of the courthouse. Lot D. The sign read: NO PUBLIC PARKING PERMIT REQUIRED.

Most of us would probably infer the sign’s intended meaning: No parking without a permit. But Strick and Tomsha – both of whom are from out of town and rarely go to the courthouse – said they took the sign at its literal, grammatical, face value: No permit required.

“We thought, ‘Cool,’ and we pulled in,” said Strick, a 71-year-old retired mill owner. “We don’t have signs like that in Kettle Falls. We thought it was a long-winded way of saying this was public parking.”

Strick and Tomsha, friends who had driven separately and met there, returned to find $30 parking tickets on each of their cars. Tomsha looked at the sign again. There was no comma or dash or semicolon or period between NO PUBLIC PARKING and PERMIT REQUIRED. The words were the same size and font, not separated by any space.

“I stood there and read it five times,” said Tomsha, a 64-year-old hospice worker from Deer Park. “I thought, OK, I guess if it had some punctuation in it, it would mean an entirely different thing. … But if you just read it at face value, what it says is what it says.”

So Strick and Tomsha took it to court, armed with a cell phone photo.

And won.

One small step for Bob and Vicki. One giant leap for grammar nerds everywhere.

Rest of article and picture of the sign @ link above

You never know when all those grammar scoldings by Linda Numbers could pay off, kids! :D

JB
08-06-2010, 07:02 PM
That's hilarious. Good for them.
You never know when all those grammar scoldings by Linda Numbers could pay off, kids! :DShe doesn't know how to use commas. Like you.

Rockntractor
08-06-2010, 07:05 PM
That's hilarious. Good for them.She doesn't know how to use commas. Like you.
Numbas is more into spelling than grammar.

Apache
08-06-2010, 07:09 PM
Do you really think they were THAT stupid? I don't... but hey they got the "man" ;)

linda22003
08-07-2010, 03:57 PM
This story makes me smile. Punctuation does matter. "Let's eat Grandma!" or, "Let's eat, Grandma!" Two different things.

hampshirebrit
08-07-2010, 04:59 PM
Most of us would probably infer the sign’s intended meaning: No parking without a permit. But Strick and Tomsha – both of whom are from out of town and rarely go to the courthouse – said they took the sign at its literal, grammatical, face value: No permit required.



NO PUBLIC PARKING PERMIT REQUIRED.

"Most of us"?? Please.

To me, this means, park at will. What the hell is this "most of us would probably infer" crap?

That sign means to me that parking is permitted. If "most of us would probably infer" otherwise, then that means that "most of us" would have been better advised to stay awake during Miss Arbuckle's Incredibly Dull English Class.

It is heartening to me that that Tomsha (who we can infer comes from a family whose first language may not have been English), won this case.

PoliCon
08-07-2010, 05:18 PM
Why didn't they just make a sign that said: Permit Parking ONLY. ?

hampshirebrit
08-07-2010, 05:47 PM
Why didn't they just make a sign that said: Permit Parking ONLY. ?

Even better, since "they" cannot construct simple declarative statements such as "do not park here" without being misunderstood, then the universally understood symbol should do it:

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQA8K9yvUe9_rU-j4rGSe9XyqwakxwIIWgyuAvDeHI9ShB3eY8&t=1&usg=__UwWPu9WFkGmUu8Qx1s02bWKcs9Y=

I'm sick to death of seeing my language murdered on signage, at work, by the USG, by my own government, on CU, at Tesco, everywhere.

Please, people, give a shit. It's not cool not to know how to speak, let alone not write one's own language.

Everyone has a point. Everyone's point is best served when delivered in correct English.

PoliCon
08-07-2010, 05:50 PM
Meh. I agree in large part, however, there come a point where you ask: does it really matter in this discussion? If the answer is prolly not - why not have fun with it?? :)

hampshirebrit
08-07-2010, 06:00 PM
Meh. I agree in large part, however, there come a point where you ask: does it really matter in this discussion? If the answer is prolly not - why not have fun with it?? :)

You say that, yet you're a teacher.

There is no reason at all that our standards should drop just because this is a little discussion board, somewhere on the big bad internets. In fact, that alone should give us every reason to maintain a high standard.

To me, language is everything. To me, a badly constructed sentence means that the person who wrote it didn't really care enough if I got the point or not.

PoliCon
08-07-2010, 06:07 PM
You say that, yet you're a teacher.

There is no reason at all that our standards should drop just because this is a little discussion board, somewhere on the big bad internets. In fact, that alone should give us every reason to maintain a high standard.

To me, language is everything. To me, a badly constructed sentence means that the person who wrote it didn't really care enough if I got the point or not.

I generally look at conversations on this board as being casual conversations. As such, I apply the rules and standards expected in casual conversations to what I type. There are, however, instances and conversations where a more formal style is called for, and is of course applied. Personally, I believe that people should be able to converse fluently in both styles - casual and formal.

MountainMan
08-07-2010, 06:07 PM
Please, people, give a shit. It's not cool not to know how to speak, let alone not write one's own language.

Everyone has a point. Everyone's point is best served when delivered in correct English.

:D:D:D
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAYUuspQ6BY

hampshirebrit
08-07-2010, 06:49 PM
I generally look at conversations on this board as being casual conversations. As such, I apply the rules and standards expected in casual conversations to what I type. There are, however, instances and conversations where a more formal style is called for, and is of course applied. Personally, I believe that people should be able to converse fluently in both styles - casual and formal.

You're misunderstanding the terms "casual" and "formal" here.

The term "casual" does not mean all the rules can be broken all of the time. The term "formal" does not mean that no rule can ever be broken.

If either were to be the case, then we could as well reinvent and reconstruct all our posts in LolCat or L33t, or BBC 1940s English. Any of these have their place, but they should be used sparingly, and not as the norm.

It really is not right to misuse to/two/too, there/their/they're, it's/its and so on, and then try to palm such errors off as being "cool", because they are not cool. They are just wilful pig-ignorance.

If people want to make a valid point, then they owe it to themselves, as well as anyone they might care to direct it toward, to make it in standard, well constructed English. All of the rules are amazingly simple to understand and apply. Good English is not rocket science.

This is YOUR LANGUAGE. If you cannot be bothered to use it properly, you are doing your point, your language and yourself a major disservice.

PoliCon
08-07-2010, 06:57 PM
You're misunderstanding the terms "casual" and "formal" here.

The term "casual" does not mean all the rules can be broken all of the time. The term "formal" does not mean that no rule can ever be broken.

Were either were to be the case, then we could as well reinvent and reconstruct all our posts in LolCat or L33t, or BBC 1940s English. Any of these have their place, but they should be used sparingly, and not as the norm.

It really is not right to misuse to/two/too, there/their/they're, it's/its and so on, and then try to palm such errors off as being "cool", because they are not cool. They are just wilful pig-ignorance.

If people want to make a valid point, then they owe it to themselves, as well as anyone they might care to direct it toward, to make it in standard, well constructed English. All of the rules are amazingly simple to understand and apply. Good English is not rocket science.

This is YOUR LANGUAGE. If you cannot be bothered to use it properly, you are doing your point, your language and yourself a major disservice.

Oh I'm not defending ignorant misusage - but I will defend the use of prolly instead of probably, or hafta instead of have to, as well as gonna, wanna, tard, and other such dialectic and "slang" terms. I'm also willing to overlook most punctuation errors and omissions in casual conversations. We need grammar and spelling rules - we need to know how to use them - and we need to know when they can be relaxed.

hampshirebrit
08-07-2010, 07:11 PM
Oh I'm not defending ignorant misusage - but I will defend the use of prolly instead of probably, or hafta instead of have to, as well as gonna, wanna, tard, and other such dialectic and "slang" terms. I'm also willing to overlook most punctuation errors and omissions in casual conversations. We need grammar and spelling rules - we need to know how to use them - and we need to know when they can be relaxed.

And I would agree with almost all of this. Slang and dialect will either become or not become part of the mainstream language.

Punctuation, not so much. Punctuation is apparent in written form only, rather than spoken form, and so lapses in punctuation are clearly obvious only in written form.

"Lapse's in comma's bug's the tit's off me"

Looks like shit, doesn't it?

PoliCon
08-07-2010, 07:16 PM
And I would agree with almost all of this. Slang and dialect will either become or not become part of the mainstream language.

Punctuation, not so much. Punctuation is apparent in written form only, rather than spoken form, and so lapses in punctuation are clearly obvious only in written form.

"Lapse's in comma's bug's the tit's off me"

Looks like shit, doesn't it?

you meant apostrophes rather than commas - right? :p

hampshirebrit
08-07-2010, 07:24 PM
you meant apostrophes rather than commas - right? :p

Smartarse. Yes I did. But you get my point. Language is everything.

PoliCon
08-07-2010, 07:33 PM
Smartarse. Yes I did. But you get my point. Language is everything.

it's spelled ASS. No R in it. :p You Brits and your constant mispronunciation of words. I mean HONESTLY. :D

Yes of COURSE I get your point. Do you get mine? :)

hampshirebrit
08-07-2010, 07:45 PM
it's spelled ASS. No R in it. :p You Brits and your constant mispronunciation of words. I mean HONESTLY. :D

Yes of COURSE I get your point. Do you get mine? :)


LOL:D Yeah I do.

JB
08-07-2010, 08:12 PM
Smartarse. Yes I did. But you get my point. Language is everything.OMG!!!

You rant and rave across several posts about how important language is. Then when you are caught not using language properly you simply dismiss it as "OK, I did not use language properly but you get my point". Please tell me this is a goof I am not privy too.

How arrogant are you. And yes, I meant to leave a question mark off that statement. It's rhetorical.

For the record, you should not have started that sentence with but.

Apache
08-08-2010, 09:53 AM
RUN! The Grammar/ Punctuation Police are expanding!!!111!:eek:





:p

hampshirebrit
08-08-2010, 03:40 PM
OMG!!!

You rant and rave across several posts about how important language is. Then when you are caught not using language properly you simply dismiss it as "OK, I did not use language properly but you get my point". Please tell me this is a goof I am not privy too.

How arrogant are you. And yes, I meant to leave a question mark off that statement. It's rhetorical.

For the record, you should not have started that sentence with but.

Jeepers. I'll consider myself duly chastised, shall I (*). Obviously he's absolutely right, and I am an arrogant dick.

Sorry, everyone (else): many humble apologies. Not! :rolleyes:

(*) So is that.

JB
08-08-2010, 04:37 PM
Jeepers. I'll consider myself duly chastised...The point is, the Queen's English really does not need to be enforced on a messageboard.

In fact, I remember when correcting grammar or spelling was verboten. It takes a thread off topic and it's disruptive. Unfortunately it seems to be encouraged nowadays.

Does it really matter if I say "your an idiot"? While incorrect, the meaning is the same. :D

PoliCon
08-08-2010, 04:47 PM
(*) So is that. dude - if you're gonna text moon some one - you need to add the pants line like this: (_!_) unless you have a fat ass in which case it would be: (_|_) Of course if you're Satanicus and like taking it up the ass then it would be: (_o_)

hampshirebrit
08-08-2010, 06:15 PM
The point is, the Queen's English really does not need to be enforced on a messageboard.

In fact, I remember when correcting grammar or spelling was verboten. It takes a thread off topic and it's disruptive. Unfortunately it seems to be encouraged nowadays.

Does it really matter if I say "your an idiot"? While incorrect, the meaning is the same. :D

Good point. I completely disagree with it, but it still is a good point, and quite well made, too ... the construction of each of your sentences, at least, is perfect.

I think it does matter. You are correct that the Queen's English really does not need to be enforced on a messageboard, but things work so much better when people take the time to honour their linguistic heritage.

Yes, it does take a thread off topic, and yes, you're right to a point that it should not be allowed to do so. But there is also this point, equally valid:

People bang on and on and on about cultural dilution here through various means and mechanisms, and for the most point, I can find common cause with the majority of these complaints.

But the very same people seem, quite often, to be willing to ignore some very basic rules, spelling and grammatical, directly related to the language and culture that they are supposedly defending.

I'm hoping you see my point.

SaintLouieWoman
08-08-2010, 06:29 PM
At this point, I'm almost happy to hear English in any form. Earlier this evening I was clipping grocery store coupons from the local newspaper. They had the coupons printed in both English and Spanish. :eek:

If the non-English speaking residents can't "read" the pictures of the products on the coupon or the large print with the name of the product being pitched, then perhaps they should brush up a bit on rudimentary English. I'm not talking rocket science or being a spelling Nazi or grammatical purist, just basic pictures and words.

In the words of Professor Henry Higgins, "Why can't the English (and aliens in America) learn to speak?" :D

PS Sorry with the rant, don't want to digress too much from the main point of the thread. Continue, gentlemen, with the grammatical discussion. :p

Rockntractor
08-08-2010, 06:36 PM
Good point. I completely disagree with it, but it still is a good point, and quite well made, too ... the construction of each of your sentences, at least, is perfect.

I think it does matter. You are correct that the Queen's English really does not need to be enforced on a messageboard, but things work so much better when people take the time to honour their linguistic heritage.

Yes, it does take a thread off topic, and yes, you're right to a point that it should not be allowed to do so. But there is also this point, equally valid:

People bang on and on and on about cultural dilution here through various means and mechanisms, and for the most point, I can find common cause with the majority of these complaints.

But the very same people seem, quite often, to be willing to ignore some very basic rules, spelling and grammatical, directly related to the language and culture that they are supposedly defending.

I'm hoping you see my point.

Be bah be bah be bah, wrote a bloody novel he did!
http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv230/upyourstruly/sittingPig.gif?t=1281306866

JB
08-08-2010, 06:38 PM
honourYou're spelling it wrong.

hampshirebrit
08-08-2010, 07:46 PM
Be bah be bah be bah, wrote a bloody novel he did!
http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv230/upyourstruly/sittingPig.gif?t=1281306866

LOL :D Nice piggy. That is a pig, right?


You're spelling it wrong.

Now, a cultured chap such as yourself has to realise that just is not so. It has a "U" in it. :D

PoliCon
08-08-2010, 07:51 PM
LOL :D Nice piggy. That is a pig, right?



Now, a cultured chap such as yourself has to realise that just is not so. It has a "U" in it. :D

:o I've always spelled it with a U so does King James so . . . . . :p

Fought with my freshman English teacher over it in high school and won.

Rockntractor
08-08-2010, 07:54 PM
:o I've always spelled it with a U so does King James so . . . . . :p

Fought with my freshman English teacher over it in high school and won.

If you ever get a chance look at the English in a photocopied Geneva bible, you will be amazed.

hampshirebrit
08-08-2010, 08:02 PM
:o I've always spelled it with a U so does King James so . . . . . :p

Fought with my freshman English teacher over it in high school and won.

Whoaah!! You best get ready to be called a pretentious a-hole. Everyone knows that only PBS folk in the US spell it with a U.

Hey, don't look at me, none of this is my fault. I'm British and I've already pretty much admitted that I love stirring shit on linguistic issues. We invented your language, after all :p

Hate away, America. :D

Rockntractor
08-08-2010, 08:22 PM
Whoaah!! You best get ready to be called a pretentious a-hole. Everyone knows that only PBS folk in the US spell it with a U.

Hey, don't look at me, none of this is my fault. I'm British and I've already pretty much admitted that I love stirring shit on linguistic issues. We invented your language, after all :p

Hate away, America. :D
No one invented English, it was the language of the common folk while the royalty spoke French.:cool:

hampshirebrit
08-08-2010, 08:34 PM
No one invented English, it was the language of the common folk while the royalty spoke French.:cool:

So sagt das Schwein :D

PoliCon
08-08-2010, 10:22 PM
Whoaah!! You best get ready to be called a pretentious a-hole. Everyone knows that only PBS folk in the US spell it with a U.

Hey, don't look at me, none of this is my fault. I'm British and I've already pretty much admitted that I love stirring shit on linguistic issues. We invented your language, after all :p

Hate away, America. :D OH I get crap about it - but I don't care. :D

I got my teacher on a technicality with regards to spelling honour. She had marked it as misspelled and I made the case that an alternate acceptable spelling is not the same as misspelled.