yesterday's activities

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by fascination, May 10, 2009.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Being able to write well has been incredibly important throughout my career. Note: Choosing to write with poor grammar for the sake of style is a different ball of wax. I do this in DF, in emails, etc. When I write with poor grammar, it's usually a conscious choice. (When I spell poorly, well ... that's different. lol)

    In the sixteen years that I did engineering and design, ones career hinged on being able to write up results, patent proposals, etc. Excellent public speaking skills were also necessary. As a bonus, I was also able to use both to create a lot of visibility for myself around my avocation -- diversity activism, at work and in the community. I also edited all of the ex's technical papers at work and in academia. Later, I edited his white papers and grant proposals, when he started his own high tech firm. I used to tease him that he'd never have started dating me if I couldn't find and correct his grammar errors. (Maybe this was true; I taught him to write then he divorced me. *grin*)

    I now work in public relations. Writing well is integral to every single day. I find it ironic that, many moons ago, I changed my major from from English to engineering, because I thought I'd never be able to make a living by writing. Uhh. In my world, everybody makes a living by writing.

    I'll add a quasi-personal anecdote. A close GF graduated with a fairly high GPA from a good university. The problem was that she spoke and wrote with a lot of non-standard English. When she presented her very first paper in her first class at graduate school, her professor told her, in front of the rest of the class, that she was, "not graduate school material." Brutal. One could argue that his comments were not true, condescending, prejudiced, etc, but, had my friend demonstrated a good grasp of standard English usage, she never would have had that humiliating experience.

    I think your student needs help. *sigh*
  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    And just FTR *donning food hoarder hat* I have at least twelve cans of diced tomatoes, as we speak. I never, ever buy them at full price. I wait for a sale, then buy enough to last me through a nuclear winter. :D Just sayin. Yes. I admit I have issues, but I'm just sayin.
  3. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Back to grammar for a minute. Have you ever watched Obama speak at a Black church? It's really funny. He's not the world's best at code switching, but code switching he does. Gotta give the man props. There are ain'ts and gonnas popping out all over the place. He knows his audience and knows better than to sound stuffy. This is also a man who held his own and won the honor of editing the Harvard Law Review.

    (Let us please not turn this into a political discussion. Bush, Clinton, the other Bush, Carter, Ford, LBJ, all did code switching, as well, IMV. Not so sure about Nixon, but that's another story.)

    Good grammar is a tool, unless you don't know how to use it. If you don't know how to use it, it's a hammer that bops you upside the head. *grin*
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Thank God. If you had what I was fearing you might have, you'd be hospitalized and possibly under the knife by now. One of my sisters (who lived in south Central Texas at the time) had a big chunk of her thigh removed after she was bitten by a brown reclusive spider. As far as I know, there's no anti-venom for its bite. It's just a matter of catching the problem early and excising the wound before the tissue around it starts to die.

    A GF back in Florida ended up on disability for six weeks with the same thing -- brown reclusive spider bite, which she ignored for a couple days. She finally called 911 when she woke up to find her entire lower leg was black. ( I don't mean African-American cafe au lait colored. I mean charcoal black.) ETA: I don't know what they did for her. I do know that she was hospitalized for a while and that, ultimately, she did not lose the leg, although it was touch and go for a while.

    Since I moved South, I have learned to respect insect bites and stings. Yes. I watch and wait and do sensible first aid. I also keep the po-po on speed dial. (Channeling Tyler Perry's Medea, in case you don't catch the reference. lol)
  5. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Yesterday: Going through process of getting Level 4 (lower of two levels, which for some reason are called 2 and 4) gaming license, which involved more details and filling out than job applications. Have assignment for orientation which is a few weeks off. Yays. Texted Rhythm Pro to warn him he may get a call as a personal reference (warned NP same thing today.) Stopped at favorite antique mall and found perfect birthday present/s for brother. And of course, some stuff for me. Cannot leave antique mall without stuff. Also found a glass that will work as a birthday present for Dad ("No more books, haven't caught up with the ones from Christmas") that features his favorite dog "breed": Curbstone Sitter. One thing I got from the ephemera dealer had no price on it. By the time they'd tallied up everything else, he still hadn't called back with a price, and one of the owners said "She's in here all the time, just give it to her, I'll pay for it when he calls with a price." Yay me! (It's an ad page from a NG magazine from 1928 for IMM White Star-Red Star-America Lines. It'll go nicely with the Cunard White Star ad I already have.) This is also the antique mall that no longer takes my driver's license or phone when I pay with a cheque. Possibly, I am there a lot.

    pygmalion: LOL, but it's "brown recluse", not "reclusive." Auto-correct helping out?
  6. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    As a matter of fact, yeah. I told y'all I can't spell. :D
  7. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    CCM, with all due respect, I cannot believe you are truly asking that question...particularly given your examples. (Although I must confess that the construction in the first sentence is similar to something I prefer: "Seeing as how you are blah blah blah..." That said, I'd never EVER use that in a professional context.)

    I can accept non-standard English from someone who is not a native English speaker. The nuances of the language are difficult, and it is generally pretty easy to tell when that is the cause. However, flat-out bad English, with exceptionally bad grammar... Well, I was going to say that there is no excuse for that but, sadly, the state of the school system means that there could well be such an excuse. That said, excuse or genuine reason or laziness or what-have-you is not going to cut it when it comes to a professional context, IMO. (And this is me "speaking," and i don't have stellar grammar to begin with...although I know those sentences are hideously bad.)

    In my workplace, I'd say that being able to write grammatically isn't very important: it's taken for granted that you can. Period. You may or may not need proper English in order to write, say, program specifications (which are practically their own separate language to begin with!), but at some point you are going to have to brief a supervisor, or write a report, or document something. And THEN you have got to have proper English. Period. Perhaps I'm old fashioned, but being able to write grammatically (or relatively grammatically) doesn't get to "count" in the work world, the same way that showing up having showered and put on clothing shouldn't "count" in the work world--it's just so basic it should be able to be taken for granted. You don't get credit for doing what you should be doing as a minimum baseline.

    (And I do understand the difference between bad grammar because you don't know better and bad grammar because you've used it for effect. I get that. Work is not the place for that. And if a student cannot understand when it is, and is not, acceptable to be using bad grammar for effect--and I'd most certainly argue that a standard essay is not an appropriate place--well, that's just as much of a problem.)'ve touched a nerve with me here. ;) It's a topic I feel EXTREMELY strongly about.
    Lioness and pygmalion like this.
  8. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Agreed. He is good at it. (The other one who stands out in this regard is Bill Clinton, IMO.)

    I wish I could remember (or that I had the time right now to look up) the part of To Kill a Mockingbird where that topic is addressed. Something about the housekeeper (who is black, although I believe she was called "negro," times being what they were) code switching between her employer's house and among her family. I believe it is Scout who comments on it.
  9. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yeah. What bothers me is when people don't know bad grammar when they see it.

    It's one thing to choose a less formal or even just plain wrong sentence structure for fun, among friends. At work, poor grammar is one of those things that sidelines careers. It's just like wearing borderline suggestive clothes. Nobody ever says anything, but, for some unknown reason, you never get on the fast track for promotion. Nobody will ever tell you that it's about your pink fluffy sweater that's unbuttoned one button too many or the double negatives in your speech. You just never get promoted.
  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    drive from rock springs wy to hemiston oregon, which is fairly least at the exit...but there is a comfort inn and I am uber platinum there so...oh well....a quiet night tonight, then I wil pick up son at airport tomo...then...cutest baby in the world for days and days and days....
    pygmalion likes this.
  11. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Absolutely important. Most of the stuff we write is so loaded with jargon and acronyms that if it doesn't have some standard English to hold it together, it's utterly unreadable.
  12. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

  13. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I will not see him til sunday and will not have picture sharing til I get home...I will try to remember to get around to it when I get home
  14. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Thanks. Whatever works for you, of course. It's just that I enjoyed seeing his pix, last time around. :) That picture of you with him, all chunky and cute, on your hip, is priceless.
  15. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Back to bites and stings for a moment. Now I know I'm not crazy or, if I am, I have good company. I was watching an episode of The World's Strictest Parents this morning. In it, the host parent, who is the Chief of Police in an Oklahoma town, rushed his guest/visiting child to the ER. The young lady had reported insect bites and appeared to have become unresponsive.

    We Southwest folks take our bug bites seriously. As it turned out, she was faking it (long story,) but, in all seriousness, when it comes to insect venom, IMV, better safe than sorry.

    ETA: I should add that I did google it. Although the brown recluse is seen mostly in the Southwest, some have been sighted as far north as Ohio.

    Also ETA: Love the World's Strictest Parents. I watched two episodes this morning (instead of DFing. So sue me. :D ) The other episode transplanted two unruly teens to a gated, 100% strict, Orthodox Jewish community outside Tel Aviv. It was really fascinating to watch the girl, especially, learn to treat herself with respect by learning to dress modestly enough to meet the community's requirements. Really interesting to see how parents that seem ridiculously tough by my standards can parent strangers' kids with so much love. I'm learning. :)
  16. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    I was asking seriously. I think sometimes our students think that ONLY ENGLISH PROFESSORS care about this stuff. I think they are wrong. Sometimes, it is nice to get outside confirmation that even people in fields FAR REMOVED from the humanities care about grammar and standard written English.

    I'm very in favor of being able to code switch. I do it too, and students are always amused when I pull out something obviously and intentionally ungrammatical. Spoken English has lots of flavors, and so can informal writing. But there's a difference between pulling out an "Ain't nobody got time for that!" for effect and writing formal reports using non-standard English.

    Thanks for providing evidence to back up my assertions.
  17. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry. Poor communication on my part. I know you were asking seriously. What I should have said was that I can't believe you are having to ask it seriously.
  18. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    I question what may have changed in the school curriculum today vs. say ~20 yrs ago to cause the inability to write properly to be so prevalent these days, even in native english speakers. Is it that children born in the computer age no longer put pencil to paper? Is grammar not being taught?

    This has probably earned its own thread, but for now I'll leave this comment here. Right or wrong, I can't help but form opinions on a person based on how they speak and write.
  19. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I think it's that kids don't read actual books or hear books read to them, so that they can't hear/see what poor grammar looks/sounds like.

    Everything's on a five-inch screen. *sigh*

    I don't think it has to do with school curriculum. I think it has to do with parents or other caring adults reading with their children instead of allowing them to entertain themselves with electronics.

    I am prejudiced, but that's what I see. *shrug*
    danceronice likes this.
  20. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Saturday: Slept in after dog 1 woke me up at almost 2, wanting to go out, where he did nothing, came in, climbed on the bed, wouldn't relax, and I finally put him out in the living room with dog 2 and cats. No idea what his problem was. Did taxes. Somehow am getting money back from the feds, which is always a nice surprise, in certain ways (my goal is to have no liability and no refund, meaning I withheld perfectly. Like that'll happen.) Walked dogs, dog 1 is still whiny and generally uneasy until I put his Thundershirt on. Going through seed catalogs as it's pretty much that time as far as starting things in the Aerogarden goes. Trying not to to spend all my money at PineTree Seeds as I don't even HAVE that much room (and I still have a load of bushes and such to get from Jung Seeds and Plants...) Must begin plotting for county fair (cross your fingers and pray for my pumpkins, heirloom Small Sugar, and watermelons, heirloom Tom Watsons, which are supposed to come in at 90 days or less).

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