In search of Precision...

The Junk Drawer is for those Off Topical discussions where we can ask questions of the community that we feel might have the ability to help out.

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Harold_V
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Re: In search of Precision...

Post by Harold_V » Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:17 am

Dave_C wrote:Ok,

So what do you do with those of us who have illnesses that cause us to make typos, forget words, type the wrong tense of a word and so on.

I guess it is time to stop posting on this forum as it looks like it is no longer a "home" machinist forum.
That's the precise message we hope NO ONE gets. This isn't about picking on people for their weaknesses--it's about promoting civil behavior and expressing one's self in such a manner that others can understand what message is intended to be conveyed. Naturally, it's going to hit some folks as a personal affront, but I fully expect that isn't the case.

Some folks are naturals at expressing themselves, while others find it a daunting task. The bar has been lowered, including the use of u to express the word you, along with several other "cute" things lazy people have developed, all of which I find very offensive. While I can't speak for others, I spend a considerable amount of my time on this board, daily, every day, all year long. I'm quite offended when some folks can't spend the extra second to spell things properly (when they know better). Fortunately, I do not set policy on this board, for, if I did, using "text lingo" would be grounds for banishment. It was on the gold forum, where dispensing information that was ambiguous could lead to harm to others. We demanded that things were spelled out correctly, with no text lingo permitted.
I really don't feel welcome or comfortable here anymore....we can't even edit our post after 30 minutes when we do find an error later.

Dave C.
Please don't take the comments personally. They affect me just as much as they do anyone else, but I choose to make lemonade instead of becoming offended. I have been rewarded with an improvement in my writing ability, although I understand I still have a long way to go.

In regards to the inability to edit posts---that was a decision made by the board administrator when a reader had a nasty habit of posting, then deleting posts after the fact. Some posts would remain for days before being deleted, which can often destroy a thread. Asking for cooperation in not deleting had no affect, so the decision was made.

Bear in mind, I am always happy to accommodate anyone who would like a post edited. So long as the contents are not changed in a significant way, all one need do is send me the exact words as it should appear, so I can cut and paste. That's all very much a part of the duties I shouldered when I accepted the responsibility to moderate.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

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mklotz
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Re: In search of Precision...

Post by mklotz » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:33 am

Proofreading is essential. After making something in your shop you check the dimensions to ensure that it's made correctly, not so? Do the same for your writing.

Also, use a spell checker. Most typos produce "words" that aren't really English words, e.g., "teh" for "the" and the spell checker will flag them. Other than that, spell checkers are pretty much useless. They'll never find your homophone errors where you use the wrong legitimate word for another legitimate word, e.g., "there" for "their". You're on your own with these; the only solution is learning the distinctions. (Homophones are covered extensively in my aforementioned write-up.) Similarly with tenses, especially past participles. Expressions like "I seen that he had went home" will prejudice people's opinion of your intelligence.

Auto-correctors, programs that attempt to decipher what word you were trying to spell and substitute the correct word, are utterly useless. We're centuries away from being able to write software that can understand what you're writing and, until we can, the only use for auto-correctors is to extract money from gullible, naive people. If you insist on using one of these proofreading is absolutely essential to catch the inevitable, comical mistakes that these things can make.
Regards, Marv

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stephenc
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Re: In search of Precision...

Post by stephenc » Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:09 am

Speaking as one from the wrong side of the fence.
I have very poor writing skills , from the very beginning of my school career to the end . I failed just about every English class I took . Punctuation, syntax ,grammar , spelling. All of it was and is like ancient Greek to me .
It made no sense to me then and hasn't improved over the years . I've often had. People think I am of less then normal intelligence because of it , or at least insinuate it .
That becomes quite tiresome .

If you think it is frustrating to read threw a poorly written post that is incorrectly punctuated with very poor grammer and incomprehensible spelling why not take a moment to think about what life's like on the other side of the fence .

How frustrating would it be to you if you did not have the writing skills needed to properly express yourself .
Would you enjoy posting when you have to limit your vocabulary because you can't be sure of the correct spelling of the words you want to use ... and are tired of the spelling Nazi's.

How much fun would a public forum be for you when you know everything you write is going to grammatically incorrect and no matter how long you agonize over it .. it won't get any better because none of it makes a bit of sense to you .

I struggled threw school , I did poorly in the English classes , along with the art and music classes . Yet the science and mathematics came easily to me .

I guess my point here is ... if you want good grammer and spelling don't read my posts . I can proof read until I turn blue ... it won't help any

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NP317
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Re: In search of Precision...

Post by NP317 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:56 am

To all:
I posted those sentences for informational purposes, with zero intent to correct anyone. Carefully crafted that way.
To anyone who felt defensive from my posting, please know it was not pointed that direction. I believe everyone has good intentions, and never assume negatives. Those negatives get "earned" by individuals actions.
DaveC: Please don't be put off. Not the intent at all. Your contributions continue to be welcome and interesting to me, and I'm sure to others.

I remain amazed at the knowledgeable and intellectual responses posted here. This Chaski Group remains the best I've ever interacted with!
Regardless of spelling or grammar. We're all good at educating each other. A high calling.
So please keep it coming. You Folks are The Best.
And DO feel free to correct my writing mistakes, so I can get better!!

I have a machining mistake rate of about 3-5%. So goes life.
Respectfully,
~RN

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BadDog
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Re: In search of Precision...

Post by BadDog » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:05 pm

I haven't really seen anyone "correct" another's post, much less become spelling/grammar Nazis. There might be a clarification if (I just corrected fumble fingered "is" to "if") the wording is ambiguous or potentially confusing, but that's about it. The only things that frustrate me beyond tolerance are the "text speak" (like "u" as mentioned), all caps, and/or long run on sentences (sometimes combined!). I've seen posts with NO punctuation, no sentences, and more lines than any post on this thread. I simply won't read those (unless found searching and desperation for answers) even if the topic is interesting.

I have no illusions that my posts are going to pass for perfect English, not even on a good day. I was a solid "C" student of English in school, though almost "straight As" in everything else with Science and Math being almost effortlessly so. Through a LOT of hard work, I did mange to achieve a B and an A in College, just to prove I could, but it was not at all easy. But professionally I spend a LOT of time at the keyboard, and type much faster than most people. That also leads to a lot of mistaken word choices, though I catch many on review. I just corrected several words, in this post, but would not be surprised if I still missed a few. Not that long ago I accidentally substituted "your" for "you're" in an email and didn't realize it until just after I sent it. I was a bit embarrassed, but you don't even get 30 minutes to edit emails, so I shrugged and continued knowing that even though the recipient was almost certain to note the discrepancy, there was just nothing I could do about it. I do at least try to proof read, but even in that I'm far from perfect. I also sometimes get a little "creative" in my grammar to try to better convey "feeling" (for lack of a better word, maybe humor, excitement, or emphasis), though that sometimes also fails me. But those deficiencies clearly do not stop me from posting...
Russ
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spro
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Re: In search of Precision...

Post by spro » Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:47 pm

In fact; you among the best. Terse little comments don't get anyone in trouble but a person who tries to lay out all the thought, has a misstep along the way. I really like this place and the people here. I don't care if they are thumbing a message when I know what they are saying.
The problem I've had, is replying like a fool for saying something else which could be seen as outside the acceptable bounds of the Board. Then during that, my laptop goes down or otherwise cannot correct it. Sure I want to delete it. If I saw it had any value, it would remain. In these touchy days, we have to be ... well I'd probably be thrown out without deleting stuff. Dxxxx!

spro
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Re: In search of Precision...

Post by spro » Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:53 pm

Okay. Okay contain my passion. Done. Contained. Man oh Man..

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BigDumbDinosaur
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Re: In search of Precision...

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:20 pm

stephenc wrote:How frustrating would it be to you if you did not have the writing skills needed to properly express yourself . Would you enjoy posting when you have to limit your vocabulary because you can't be sure of the correct spelling of the words you want to use ... and are tired of the spelling Nazi's.
Writing skills are like other skills: you acquire them if you are motivated to acquire them. If wordsmithery is low on your priority list you will have trouble expressing yourself via the written word. It's no different in many ways than being a good weldor, machinist or chef.

Something that I keep handy is a little publication called The Word Book. It's a spelling dictionary for typists (back when businesses had secretarial pools) that is intended as a quick reference—a spelling dictionary does not offer definitions. Many of my acquaintances consider me to be a wordsmith, but in reality, I thumb that spelling dictionary much more often than they might realize. The entirety of the English language runs to well over a half million words, whereas the vocabulary of an average high school graduate is estimated to be 15,000 to 20,000 words. If one is in a scientific or technical field there could be thousands of additional words that one must know, not all of which would be English words.

My point is achieving perfect spelling and usage (e.g., not making homophonic errors, such as using "threw" when you should use "through") is not easy. One not only has to have good basic English skills, one has to have the motivation to seek out and correct errors. English is a complex language, with numerous irregularities in spelling and pronunciation, an artifact of the amount of word borrowing that has occurred over the centuries, especially following the Norman conquest of Great Britain (what we call Modern English didn't exist in those days—the language was a mish-mash of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, French, German, Celtic and who-knows-what). That makes learning English by non-native speakers tough. Nevertheless, it is estimated that more non-native speakers of English exist than native ones.

As we become more and more an information-oriented society, increased demands on literacy will be made on all of us. I foresee a time when employment will become difficult for those who lack good English skills. English is already the de facto language of international commerce, science, engineering, aviation and medicine. Many companies require fluency in English as a condition of employment. A job application with spelling and grammatical errors is shredder fodder.

You have to work at it. In my opinion, it's no more difficult to spell right than it is to spell wrong. If it's important to you you will figure it out.
Science makes it known. Engineering makes it work.

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warmstrong1955
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Re: In search of Precision...

Post by warmstrong1955 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:03 pm

Most of the smartest people I learned from, wore bib overalls. Mechanics, machinists, miners, welders....many walks...
Many, couldn't spell cat if you spotted 'em a 'C'. A couple couldn't it you spotted 'em a 'C' and a 'T'.
I worked for an engineer, who was of the 'spelling & grammar declined'. Identification...had a 'V' in it. Weights....had no 'E', no 'I', and no 'G' or 'H' either. But the man was a genius.
Also used to work with a lot of guys in a lot of different countries, and English, was not their primary language. Made reading telexes fun sometimes.
Didn't matter....we all could figure it out. Often, it was well worth figuring out.

Spelling....grammar....I don't much care. Not so great myself. I'm immune, and like I say, I can noodle it.
And....I was typing the other day...peered up & took a look and 9 out of 12 words....were lysdexic....is is that dyslexic....whatever....the mixed up were letters. ;)
Happens I suppose, when one is a few months past the age of 21.

Post! I do....
No one has called the spel polise on mee.

:)
Today's solutions are tomorrow's problems.

stephenc
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Re: In search of Precision...

Post by stephenc » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:08 pm

Bigdumbdinosaur

That line of thinking reminds me an awful lot of my early education .
I am left handed , but evidently being a lefty was wrong at the time . Up until the fourth grade I was forced to write , color and draw with my right hand .

My right hand is just about as dumb as the rocks in my drive way and as a result I never learned how to write properly .

Think what you may , just because something works for you doesn't mean it works for others .
I could spend the next 10 years studying the English language , and two days after I stopped it would be the exact same mystery as it is now .
Not only does it not make a lick of sense to me , I do not retain what I learn .
Simply put my brain isn't wired right to make sense of the arts , and language is an art .

On the other side of the coin .
I've know people who are the artist type that are nearly helpless outside academia.
If something breaks they have no idea how to fix it .
And just like the arts escape me ..understanding of mechanical things elude them .

Not everyone can see ,understand or learn things the same way .

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BigDumbDinosaur
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Re: In search of Precision...

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:39 am

stephenc wrote:That line of thinking reminds me an awful lot of my early education .
I am left handed , but evidently being a lefty was wrong at the time . Up until the fourth grade I was forced to write , color and draw with my right hand.
That makes two of us.
My right hand is just about as dumb as the rocks in my drive way and as a result I never learned how to write properly.
I cannot cursively write at all with either hand. The closest I can come to writing with pen and paper is by block printing.
Think what you may, just because something works for you doesn't mean it works for others.
I believe you may have missed my point. It's not a matter of something works for me and hence you should try it. It's a matter of being motivated to acquire a skill. If you can diagnose a machine's problem and repair it you can learn to properly express yourself via written language. It all comes out of the same brain.
I could spend the next 10 years studying the English language , and two days after I stopped it would be the exact same mystery as it is now .
Not only does it not make a lick of sense to me , I do not retain what I learn .
Simply put my brain isn't wired right to make sense of the arts , and language is an art.
Language is a skill acquired via imitative learning, which is how you developed the ability to talk. Human beings have likely used language in one form or another for more than a million years (depending on whose opinion you believe). Exactly how long written language has existed is a topic of ongoing scholarly debate—4000 BCE is considered the likely starting point, which would make written language a relatively new thing in terms of human evolution.

Linguists by and large do not consider language to be an "art" in the same sense as music or painting. For example, relatively few people are able to play a musical instrument in a reasonably competent fashion. Virtually everyone alive can or has been able to communicate via spoken language. That said, language can be a tool to create art, as in the writings of Chaucer and Shakespeare.
On the other side of the coin. I've know people who are the artist type that are nearly helpless outside academia.
If something breaks they have no idea how to fix it. And just like the arts escape me ..understanding of mechanical things elude them.
It could be those "artist type[s]" can't fix a broken whatever because they do not have any interest in learning how to fix a broken whatever. Case in point: although my home is air conditioned and I have more than a little knowledge about mechanical refrigeration, I don't know enough about the compressor's workings to repair it, should it fail. Furthermore, I am not interested in learning how to repair it. If it goes on the fritz I will call someone to come and fix it.

Lack of ability is not the same as lack of interest. If it is important enough for an academic to learn how to, for example, repair the air conditioning, he or she will learn.
Not everyone can see ,understand or learn things the same way.
That goes without saying, but doesn't mean that one can't learn. If you think you can't learn ("my brain isn't wired right to make sense of the arts") and rationalize that thinking, the inability to learn will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Science makes it known. Engineering makes it work.

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SteveR
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Re: In search of Precision...

Post by SteveR » Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:53 am

Gents - I'm trying to build a steam locomotive and I believe it's the hardest thing I've ever done. It challenges my persistence often, so I look for inspiration wherever I can find it. One place is in this book by Anne Lamott called "Bird by Bird" that talks about overcoming obstacles. It is actually about the writing process, and so it seems appropriate to provide a link and a quote here:

https://www.brainpickings.org/2013/11/2 ... ne-lamott/ is the link.
At the heart of writing, Lamott argues, lies a capacity for quiet grit and a willingness to decondition the all too human tendency to get so overwhelmed by the enormity of the journey that we’re too paralyzed to take the first step. She recounts this wonderful anecdote, after which the book is titled...
And I will leave the rest to the interested reader.

Steve
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