The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

OT: Grammar

obrien1984's picture

OT: Grammar

I have to apologize in advance for this grossly off-topic comment.

Over the last few weeks, I have noticed an increasing number of posts that are almost beyond comprehension due to incorrect grammar and spelling. I'm not talking about the minor mistakes we all make, but truly incoherant, incomprehensible sentences that neglect standard grammatical structure of even the most simply written English. I have noticed this on several different forums and mailing lists, so the problem is not exclusive to TFL. 

Has any one else noticed the same thing? Am I alone in believing that this is a recent trend, occuring mostly within the last few weeks? I wonder if this speaks to the international nature of TFL, where English might not be the first language of all participants? 

Please know that it is not my intention to be prudish, critical, or insulting. I am entirely willing to accept that the problem lies in my perception, not in reality.

Any thoughts?



Janedo's picture

There are a LOT of foreigners here and so you should just let that sort of thing slide because the beauty of the English language is that it can be understood even when mistakes are made.

I haven't noticed any terrible grammar and even the few mistakes made by foreigners haven't been a big deal. As long as the message gets across, I really don't mind


krekdayam's picture

Sum uv us is ingineers an hav an excuz. Y if wez livun in a furin countriz, mebe la gramatica aint tan importante as las ideas.

 Just an idea, but the older we get, the better it wuz...

karladiane's picture

I think that an additional cause of your observation may just be the nature of writing via the internet medium. It tends to be fast, stream of consciousness, and conversational in tone, so people don't tend to be too, too worried about form. With that said, as a former tutor of learning disabled children & adults, reading and writing is very difficult for some people - but I would hate for that to keep anyone from sharing thoughts & recipes on TFL.

By the way, not to be prudish or critical, but incoherent is spelled with an 'e'.



hansjoakim's picture

English is not my first language, I know that much...

So this is something you've observed not only on TFL, but on the web in general? Hmm. I'm thinking that it's either the work of terrorist infiltrators or that of disillusioned republicans, fearing that Mac won't win through in tomorrow's elections. Or, you know, it could be Big Brother, O'Brien?

Hans Joakim

CountryBoy's picture

i wrekun we git all soorts of folks here bouts...  ifn i donna understann wat it is that folks is sayin i guess i jes gotta rekon i gotta git movin on.....yup; yu betcha....wink..wink.

Stringbean42's picture

"incoherent is spelled with an 'e'"

Sir (/madam), you have just been pwnz0r3D.

You are duly just in pointing out that many Fresh loafers are foreign, though I believe the only complete solution to your dilemma would be to cancel your internet service; sadly, it just happens. We can only hope it's a trend (along with wonder bread). ;)

obrien1984's picture



OK, OK, I guess I was asking for it. I should have known better than to post this.


Funny how everyone so far has picked up on one little part of my post about the "international nature" of TFL. It really wasn't my intent to focus on this at all.



For the record, I don't really think that the problems I'm seeing have to do with non-native English speakers.  Their English is often more precise than my own, and when there are mistakes, they are usually nothing more than subject-verb agreement. These are infinitely forgivable, because subject-verb agreement in English is absolutely confounding and often illogical.



Karladiane, I think you're right in suggesting that the nature of the internet is more "stream of consciousness, and conversational in tone." The kind of posts I have the most trouble with appear to be dictated (not read). They remind me more of extended text messages. I guess that's the future of communication, though. (Nice catch on my spelling mistake. Even though I'm a notoriously poor speller, I turn off my spell-check to force me to be careful. Guess I wasn't careful enough!).




Soundman's picture

One of the many beauties of TFL is that you don't have to read a single post you don't want to. If a post appears incoherent, save yourself time and frustration: skip it.

I would add to the caveats offered by some of the other responders here, that some of our posters may have physical difficulty typing at a keyboard. I.e. I wouldn't assume that everyone is as adept as you are. (Full disclosure: I work with people with disabilities.)

Another beauty of TFL is that tolerance of others is a by-product, intentional or not, of the openness Floyd has fostered, and easily practiced and maintained by observing the first beauty mentioned above.

Soundman (David)

nbicomputers's picture

after 25 years plus of pro baking my base is in baking not english which is why i am working with a writer for book one in delevopment. you want to learn to shape a kaiser roll talk to me you want to write a book about kaiser rolls talk to an english student


proth5's picture

I am sure that other Fresh Loafians are as excited as I to hear that you are working on a book.

What you need to do is use this newfangled technology to supplement your book with a DVD that shows us how to shape a kaiser roll.  Now that would be great!

Hope you are doing well and Happy Baking!

nbicomputers's picture
proth5's picture

I must have missed it.  Thanks so much!

LindyD's picture

I've noticed such posts, Joseph, and I'm sorry you've been ridiculed for commenting about them. 

Let's just be thankful NetSpeak wasn't around when Milton and Shakespeare were.



cady's picture




Aye agree. Ewe are wright. It is aweful. It may seam coaled, but dew they have good cents? Deer, what shall we due? This foul thing has bin going on inn hour bred sight for daze. It is not fare. Eye mown and grown wen it is knot rite.

This is the wurst, weak humerous whit, threw and threw.

Eye tolled him too weight two sea yore wry roles.


Paddyscake's picture

enough! It is off topic.  Do not discourage those who do not meet up to your standards. They are interested in learning to make and enjoy bread.


Patf's picture

Never mind the grammar and spelling - can you bake an edible loaf of bread? That's the important thing on here. Reminds me of the geordie folk song (edited):

Can she bake a loaf of bread, Joey boy Joeyboy

Can she bake a loaf of bread me Joeyboy ?

Aye she can bake a loaf of bread, and she sees that I'm well fed

And me Nancy tickles me fancy - oh me charming Joeyboy.

qahtan's picture

  I have a S I L like that and I hate it. grrr grrrrr

  I know full well my grammar and spelling leave a lot to be desired, but if you don't like what or how I write then don't even try to read my post.......

 We obviously were not all as lucky as you with our education, my self, well I went to 8 schools in 7 years .     qahtan


 I always thought 'I talked proper like what I should,":-)))) :-)))))

Floydm's picture

Please let's put this thread to bed.

I don't believe the original poster meant to be snobbish, but clearly his post has rubbed people the wrong way. We all have gripes about various things, but TFL really isn't the place for airing those complaints.

leemid's picture

I don't know if there is anyone else from the Portland, Or area who remembers Barney Keep and the Keep Time Show...

When I first posted to this sight, I commented about the incorrect usage of the term 'artisan' instead of 'artisanal' for the type of bread we often make. I, of course, was correct. The acceptance of the gradual and ever eroding decay of our language (the one we stole from the Brits) is frightful and alarming. Those of us who appreciate the beauty of English, whether in its pure form, or Americanabalized, are in constant horror as we watch the huddled masses tread it under foot. And if the inhabitants of the world weren't so hell-bent on being offended, they would agree.

That said, I am sure the same process is perverting all or most of the other languages of the world, as it has for millenia. And, frankly, I deserved to be TFL flamed for my arrogance (although I wasn't really being arrogant, just accurate at the wrong time and the wrong place). There is a time and place. I agree this is not it. What this has been for me over the years is a place of very bright and witty bread enthusiasts who can flame you and make you laugh while they do it, and gather you into their arms with a firm hug. Is that going away? Perhaps there are some now, as the numbers have increased, who are not as tolerant as the old-timers. Seems to me (James Gang) that the less tolerant in this thread are those who have chosen to be offended, not the original poster, who, frankly, was very kind and pre-apologetic.

THAT said, I still enjoyed the many fun grammatical plays. For the most part, I think we are still a fun crowd. But let's be fair. If you were offended by the original post, and think he should be more selective, to skip over the poor grammer/spelling posts, don't be hypocritical; grant him the same consideration and don't read his. Anything I hate is a dammed hippocritter; you know, who block the stream and lie just below the surface of the backwashed pond, nothing showing but the eyes...

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.


PS. A suggestion: always read your post before committing it. Proof-read. And then secondary proof read. Then final proof read.