FanDuel - WFBC

September 25, 2006

The Write Stuff: Should SportsFilter dump a member for being completely incapable of writing complete sentences and punctuating them correctly?

posted by rcade to editorial policy at 09:40 AM - 59 comments

Please don't name names, but there are a couple members here who write like they were instant messaging and spell like The Artist Formerly Known as Prince. They're not putting much thought into their comments, either. Otherwise, they're passable members -- there's no personal attacks or the like. Should we dump 'em?

posted by rcade at 09:42 AM on September 25

I think so. It's pretty much the point of the guidelines. I doubt that we have any members who do not know how to use a period. More likely, they choose not to use them. So, they are purposely ignoring the guidelines and that seems dump worthy to me.

posted by bperk at 09:45 AM on September 25

Yes. You can do that anywhere. I'd like to see a heavy-handed response to the "Oh noes teh grammer p0p0!!1!" folks.

posted by yerfatma at 09:50 AM on September 25

I can't stand mispelling and poor grammer and the propensity to abbreviate everything. It's just so damn lazy. However, I'm not sure I'd kick a brother out for it. Rather the ol' three strikes rule feels right. However, it's not like we're suffering for membership. So, I'll back admin's play regardless.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:54 AM on September 25

How does the three strikes system work? Emailing the offender?

posted by jerseygirl at 09:58 AM on September 25

It is a complete lack of effort on their part and shows a lack of respect for the community. You are forced to preview before posting and it has been possible for some time to edit a comment immediately after making it. The best threads aren't threads where everyone is in agreement but where you can at least read and understand the different points without having to struggle with grammar and spelling.

posted by geekyguy at 10:09 AM on September 25

I've seen about all the "how r u lol!!1!1!eleventyone" that I want to see in this life, and also the less-prevalent but equally-annoying "the Lord God Jehovah said he would smite me if I ever placed a space after a punctuation mark" style of writing. I'm okay with a warning or two, but I'm all in favor of establishing "no illiterate gibberish" as a posting standard.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:17 AM on September 25

I think the users who cannot write a coherent sentence or spell so horribly one cannot understand what they are saying should be banned. However, I do not think a user should be banned just for being a bad speller. I can think of one specific user who acknowlages that they're a poor speller in their profile, but other than that they make good points and arguements.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 10:43 AM on September 25

You spelled arguments wrong. Acknowledges too. Case in point, we all have bad spelling moments. Some words slip by. Happens to everyone. The other day, someone used "Aloud" instead of "Allowed" as another example. The point is, there are spellcheckers available everywhere - from Google toolbar to websites to most email programs. It takes but a moment of effort to select-all, cut and paste into your spellchecker and make sure you have everything covered if you are a bad speller or if you're unsure about a word (as I am from time to time, too.) No one expects absolute perfection, but effort goes a long way. Putting "I spell bad" in your profile kind of isn't good enough.

posted by jerseygirl at 10:58 AM on September 25

Look, most people aren't used to spellchecking their comments in an internet forum. It doesn't occur to them that "eruifaskdvjba4i7w,er,fe sox0rz r0x0rs woo fuken rite onz0rz11!" isn't how we roll here, and that it might be offensive in a place where people are trying to do a bit better than that. That said, this is the internet, and semiliterate morons occasionally have something of value to offer, even if it's just the voice of the Sports Radio listener. I don't want to lose that just because someone uses their dictionary mostly as a doorstop. Ain't none us is mostly a Nobel Laureate in here and shit, knowmsayin? But yeah, the extended monosyllabic haikus are a bit much.

posted by chicobangs at 11:10 AM on September 25

How about "I no read werds good?"

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:10 AM on September 25

I don't know if you need to kick them out, but some sort of reminder about punctuation, spelling and abbreviation would be nice. One idea might be to replace the offending comment with a basic reminder. So, instead of someone seeing: "i think da ays r improveing and its a matter of time b4 they catch da redsox in the standings and u'll see its bcause of tha pitchin and tha small ball play of the yung players like rios & lind & barker" they'll see: "The following comment was removed because of lack of punctuation, atrocious spelling and failure to use proper capitalization." If you do that enough, then people might learn to take the time to write something worth reading.

posted by grum@work at 11:16 AM on September 25

I like grum's idea, if it's not too much work for the admins. If people are unwilling to modify their behaviour, then they'll just go away anyway. If they think it's worth the effort, then we'll see if they have anything to say that's worth reading.

posted by Amateur at 11:51 AM on September 25

Grum has a great suggestion there. It makes it a known fact that those types of comments are ones that are not tolerated.

posted by YukonGold at 11:53 AM on September 25

Of course, the evil part of me wants some sort of cool database logic at work where everyone else sees the "The following comment..." message, but the perpetrator of the assault on the English language gets to see a picture of Don Mossi and the sentence: "Your writing is as ugly as this guy. Fix it!"

posted by grum@work at 12:18 PM on September 25

does this mean i have to start using the shift key?

posted by goddam at 12:54 PM on September 25

YOU ONLY HAVE TO USE IT THE ONE TIME AND THEN YOU'RE OKAY FOR A WHILE.

posted by chicobangs at 02:36 PM on September 25

So.. what if someone makes occasional errors every once in a while? I know that I often make errors, but I also try to correct them as much as I can. I dont know if its possible, but can the administration add on a spell check button to the comment entry box? If so, that would be really helpful. But either way, I think that everyone just has to step it up a little and make the effort to avoid mistakes.

posted by Kendall at 02:42 PM on September 25

Actually, kendall, I think it's fairly obvious as to who takes some time and who doesn't. Occassional errors are not really an issue. I like grum's idea. It sends a message to the whole team when you embarass the shit outta someone.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:17 PM on September 25

Yeah, goddam and Kendall, I would hope this sort of thing only applies to the AOL/733t speakers amongst us.

posted by yerfatma at 07:48 PM on September 25

Do we have to be politically correct also?

posted by sgtcookzane at 08:47 PM on September 25

www.sportsfilter.info/guidelines That should answer it for you, sgt.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:05 PM on September 25

Do we have to be politically correct also? I find it interesting that those who ask that sort of question are usually in the mood for saying something hurtful about someone else, and are preparing to throw up the "the world is too PC for me!" as a shield against the obvious flames. It's interesting that stopping someone from posting a comment/fpp about an insulting topic is considered "too PC". How many of those that shout that defence remember that the term "PC" originated not as a way to stop hurtful comments/thoughts/discussions about other people, but to fix words/phrases that didn't properly reflect the new age of employment where women were holding jobs that were traditionally male-dominated. For example, it was "politically correct" to use the term "police officer" instead of "policeman", or "member of council" instead of "councilman". I don't think anyone really believes that's such a bad thing, do they?

posted by grum@work at 11:10 PM on September 25

That should answer it for you, sgt. ...and, although it's not explicitly stated in the guidelines, the posting of comments stating that [thread subject] is not a sport is also strongly discouraged. Also, what grum said. Asking if "we have to be politically correct" raises the exact same warning flags as the statement, "I don't have a prejudiced bone in my body, but..." In other words: here comes a doozy.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:25 AM on September 26

There's only two types of people I hate in this world: Racists... and The Chinese....

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:23 AM on September 26

Do we have to be politically correct also? What does the ability to form a sentence have to do with the PC boogeyman?

posted by rcade at 09:53 AM on September 26

I like the idea of an email warning to offenders, with a request that they respond to the email indicating that the message was received and understood. If the email goes unanswered then that adds another "strike." If the email receives a nasty (and poorly written response) then that counts as a "strike." Three strikes and the offender is banned.

posted by scully at 11:02 AM on September 26

What does the ability to form a sentence have to do with the PC boogeyman? cuz,all yu edoocated libruls think yuall bettor then othr folks with yur gramer an shiit.

posted by scully at 11:08 AM on September 26

Weedy thats the best one I've seen on here in a while. I almost fell out of my chair.

posted by jojomfd1 at 01:15 PM on September 26

Yeah! Let's put up a fence and teach the people we have here to speak english.

posted by Fillyfan711 at 09:41 PM on September 26

Well, it's topical, at least. BTW, Fillyfan711, the word "English" is capitalized except when describing that funky thing some people can do with a cue ball. Also: "your": possessive, as in, "This is your baseball." "you're": contraction of "you are". If you write a sentence containing the word "your", and you could replace it with the words "you are", it should be "you're" instead.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:28 AM on September 27

Did someone up the you're/your issue or am I not caffeinated enough yet?

posted by jerseygirl at 08:22 AM on September 27

up = screw up. I guess that, in part, answers my caffeinated question.

posted by jerseygirl at 08:55 AM on September 27

Where'd that come from? I've had at least 8oz of coffee and I don't see it. Besides, correcting someone on the incorrect use of your/you're is only funny in interoffice email.

posted by YukonGold at 09:07 AM on September 27

It wasn't intended to give you a laugh, Yukon. It's a reference to a cry to "teach the people we have here to speak english" in a thread on "The Write Stuff". Consider the source.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:31 AM on September 27

Comming soon to spofi.(sorry I just had to when I saw it.)

posted by jojomfd1 at 09:42 AM on September 27

I dont know what that was. workfilter.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:47 AM on September 27

This thread is beginning to make me wince. I'm as pedantic as anyone, but until we all get jobs at ESPN.com (which, at the rate they're going through sportswriters, should be sometime next week), we don't necessarily need to spellcheck and syntacticize every thought that comes out of our fool mouths like we're Joan Friggin' Didion or something. I was the one who made sure the phrase "Take pride in what you're writing" was mentioned twice in the guidelines, and I meant it. The better you write, the better we get whatever you're saying. But I'm not really much of a believer in a bottom bar that needs to be cleared to stay on the site. Monosyllabic idiots weed themselves out. It's the price of having public sign-ups. You want a gated community, where every comment is Stepford-perfect? That's what Deadspin is for.

posted by chicobangs at 09:53 AM on September 27

there has tobea differencebetween perfectwritingand writing so poorthat it causesred flags tocomeup.imnot talking about spellingerrors only folks who makenoeffort

posted by bperk at 10:12 AM on September 27

It wasn't intended to give you a laugh, Yukon. Mine was. Someone will think it's funny.

posted by YukonGold at 11:28 AM on September 27

I'm pretty neutral on the spelling issue and am actually more distracted by the attempts to correct the offenders within the thread. I scan right past a comment that leaves out any punctuation and/or capitalization and move on to those comments less offensive to the eyes and, usually, more relevant to the topic at-hand. Delete the specific comment or ban them outright and I wouldn't care, although, grum's idea seems to be the most even-handed. Then again, at best, I lurk here and don't get the constant day-in, day-out barrage so my opinion probably won't carry that much weight.

posted by redsnare at 02:48 PM on September 27

It definitely matters, redsnare.

posted by jerseygirl at 03:28 PM on September 27

I thought I had joined sportsfilter not English101filter. I understand you need to make an effort but come on people you are taking this thing too far. Maybe someone is just grammatically dumb, does that mean they don't have something to say that will actually enhance the conversation? I am not perfect and really don't expect anyone else to be either.

posted by skydivemom at 05:03 PM on September 27

I thought I had joined sportsfilter not English101filter. I understand you need to make an effort but come on people you are taking this thing too far. Who is taking this thing too far, and how, precisely? Keep in mind, this is just a discussion; this is where stuff like this is supposed to be thrashed out. How does a discussion go "too far" (and how does a hyperbolic phrase like "English101filter" help that discussion)? Maybe someone is just grammatically dumb, does that mean they don't have something to say that will actually enhance the conversation? I don't buy the "grammatically dumb" argument: grammatically ignorant, perhaps, whichi is not the same thing. But your question is more or less what rcade was asking when he started this thread, only he was asking it sincerely, not rhetorically: is there a point at which one's having something to say is completely obscured by poor grammar, AOLesque "spelling", refusal to use the space bar, etc? I think that there is such a point, but maybe you don't. So, what's your opinion?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:33 PM on September 27

I don't buy the "grammatically dumb" argument either. First off, you're defending a class of individual who does not exist on Spofi. As I understand this, we're talking about people who type something barely comprehensible as English, bereft of meaning, slap "!!! LOL!!!" on the end and want us to vet this as meaningful human interaction. To me, someone who has problems with grammar so severe they can't express themselves tend to have an aphasia or similar issue. And they aren't posting on Sportsfilter.

posted by yerfatma at 05:51 PM on September 27

You know what sometimes I write your instead of you're without even thinking about it. Does this mean I should be kicked off this site, I don't think so. When someone doesn't use spaces well it makes it hard to read but you can always skip it. I see nothing wrong with saying we don't want AOLesque spelling in the guidelines but come on do we not have enough trolls around right now that we have to complain about the your/you're thing? Are we serously considering banning people because they continously make non offensive grammer mistakes? I can spell check until I am blue in the face and it will never tell me when I should use your instead of you're. How many chances do I get? If I always get drunk on Friday night and post with drunken bad spelling do I get banned? I also know alot of people who would have failed an English test but can carry on one heck of a sports conversation!

posted by skydivemom at 10:26 PM on September 27

skydivemom, lbb didn't say that you had to get "your" and "you're" right all the time to stick around here. She was taking a well-aimed shot at a commenter who can't get it right to save his life, and yet still visited this thread to criticize the english of others. I assumed FillyFan was making a bad joke, but maybe not.

posted by Amateur at 10:41 PM on September 27

Thanks for the heads up LBB. I'll remember to keep my head in the game. BTW, I actually almost spelled it "ur". Does "BTW" qualify as AOLesque? How many i's in "which" there, teach? I'll be bracing myself for your next barrage. You're grumpy in the morning.

posted by Fillyfan711 at 10:41 PM on September 27

Mine was. Someone will think it's funny. Not funny at all. You're trying to tell me that this isn't my interoffice e-mail? Yeah, right... like I don't really work here. Pfft. I don't buy the "grammatically dumb" argument: grammatically ignorant, perhaps, whichi is not the same thing. Are you really pointing out that dumb, as in stupid, is not really the same thing as ignorant? If so...you are so fired. there has tobea differencebetween perfectwritingand writing so poorthat it causesred flags tocomeup.imnot talking about spellingerrors only folks who makenoeffort I'm not sure if you can really know that someone who would type like that made an effort or not. Maybe that was their best effort. AOL speak? Uhm, take it to AOL. I think it's pretty effective when an admin or elder member tells someone who wants to go down the "IF ITS BRWN FLSH IT DWN!!! GO BENGALS!!!LOL!!!FUMF!," road to go somewhere else. On preview...SDM, they don't like it when you spell a lot, alot. Oh, and there is no such thing as drunken bad spelling. You can be a drunkard that smells bad...but if you are a drunken bad speller...well then you're just a drunkard who spells poorly?

posted by tselson at 10:43 PM on September 27

If we don't want AOL speak in the posts then we should also not use it there either.

posted by jojomfd1 at 11:13 PM on September 27

I don't buy the "grammatically dumb" argument: grammatically ignorant, perhaps, whichi is not the same thing. It's spelled, "witchy".

posted by tron7 at 01:41 AM on September 28

Not funny at all. Whatever, we can't all be carrot top!

posted by YukonGold at 07:25 AM on September 28

AnYbOdY wHo SpElLs ThEiR nAmE lIkE tHiS sHoUlD bE bAnNeD iMmEdIaTeLy. !!!LOL!!! cuz,all yu edoocated libruls think yuall bettor then othr folks with yur gramer an shiit. Terrapin, that's the funniest thing I've seen today. It's early yet, but still. Pretty work.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 08:11 AM on September 28

I remember the good old days when we had to walk to school, bare-foot, in the snow, up hill, both ways...

posted by garfield at 09:31 AM on September 28

I would ask that any user with "defrag" in their name be given a special dispensation.

posted by yerfatma at 10:20 AM on September 28

Whenever I go out to eat and there's a buffet, I have a hard time resisting. I like a bit of everything. But usually I don't try everything. I've found that if something looks as interesting as stale dog turd, it probably tastes like it too (I'm just guessing, of course.) That's that same approach I take here on SpoFi. If it looks like crap, it probably is crap. So I just step over it to the next comment. If I'm missing out on something beautiful, well, that's too bad for me. Honestly, members who have to have the last word get on my nerves more than lazy/inarticulate ones. But unless a member is being purposely abusive or obtuse, I see no need to dump anyone.

posted by forrestv at 01:23 PM on September 28

But unless a member is being purposely abusive or obtuse, I see no need to dump anyone. Am I the only one who automatically flashes back to the Shawshank Redemption any time I hear this word? I believe that there is a difference between poor grammar/spelling/typos and the use of instant messaging shorthand. I don't mind the mistakes, but the IM shorthand has got to go.

posted by hawkguy at 02:25 PM on September 28

ROTFLMAO OMG CU BYEK CALLME ... By the way, I will gladly assume the mantle of "The William Safire of SpoFi" and be a curmudgeon to all abuses of the language. To keep me interested, I would also suggest that the Pantheon activate my "RemoveUserWhoDon'tWriteDaEnglishSoGood" powers.

posted by worldcup2002 at 02:22 PM on September 30

gary n rcade, u guys want 2 talk 2 this dude please? i figure u may have his email from registration because it's not currently in his profile. that would b great. thanks again. its his first comment so may-b nipping it in da bud would b good so no more of there comments r like this in da future. i didnt want 2 intarupt da thread with a "guidelines comment" figgering he was new n mite not b checking da thread reggerly.

posted by jerseygirl at 05:30 AM on October 02

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