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Too much importance is placed upon correct spelling and grammar

All languages undeniably change over the years, and these changes reflect how the words are used. The most important thing about written communication is that it is understood, not that it follows an arcane set of rules that benefit nobody.

All the Yes points:

  1. Mistakes can actually be changes in the language.
  2. Creativity.
  3. English grammar doesn’t work.
  4. Local dialects.
  5. People need to be more tolerant of those with dyslexia and whose first language isn’t English.
  6. In the Debate.

All the No points:

  1. Preciseness.
  2. Bad spelling and grammar are incredibly annoying.
  3. If someone doesn’t even know the basics, how can they know specifics?
  4. … placed on …
  5. If they cannot learn do they expect to earn.

Mistakes can actually be changes in the language.

Yes because…

Many mistakes that constantly crop up may actually be inevitable changes that indicate the direction that the language is trying to evolve. Txt speak and netspeak both evolved because the context required faster updates in communication and because phones and Facebook have a character limit. By correcting these perceived mistakes, we may only be using an archaic form of English no longer relevant to society and not teaching children the kind of language they will need in everyday life.

No because…

Text speak and netspeak as mentioned don’t undergo thorough editing processes, thus no one really cares how one speaks to friends or family online or on a cell phone; therefore this argument does not stand.


Yes because…

Some of the best fiction doesn’t constrain itself with the conventional rules of spelling, grammar and vocabulary. Playing with new words can have a humorous or satirical effect and non standard sentence structures are useful for portraying dream sequences etc. where the reader’s mind needs to be disrupted for a surreal effect. Many invented words are adopted into the dictionary.

No because…

Emphasizing on grammar and spelling is like a judge ruling by its precedent; they are rules that have already been widely accepted and established, even printed in the best grammar books by famous companies, such the grammar book by Oxford. Let us not forget that printing companies have editors that completely redden the pages of written work by some of the best authors, and fiction is just one genre. This means, that grammar and spelling had not stopped ‘creativity’ as mentioned in the opponent’s argument. Grammar and spelling does not stop the ability to play with new words. Rather, grammar’s purpose is to make a sentence comprehensible and establish a clear idea, and spelling’s purpose is to make sure a word is correctly used or pronounced. Therefore, placing importance on grammar and writing does not deter creativity; in fact, there are new words added to the dictionary frequently.

English grammar doesn’t work.

Yes because…

It is a mish-mash of cobbled together rules from different languages with as many exceptions as there are words that obey the rules. People argue over the rules constantly and very few people know them or use them correctly. In many cases, such as inflammable vs. flammable, disorient vs. disorientate, the correct version sounds more awkward than the incorrect version. How can it be said to be a good thing to follow a system that doesn’t work?

No because…

Abusing the few rules that do exist and do work will only make the situation worse.

A word sounding awkward does not mean the system of grammar does not work. It works too well to improve clarity in writing and in speeches. In addition, there are no clear negative effects of obeying grammar.

Local dialects.

Yes because…

Many authors like to write in their local dialect because it shows that they have pride in their community or because it adds atmosphere when writing about their home town. If children regularly hear their dialect being spoken and see it used on signs in local shops, if it is the away they communicate in everyday situations and the language they will need to get through life, they should be allowed to use it.

No because…

Dialects are supposed to be variations in spoken language, there are very few, if any, legitimate reasons to write in dialect.

People need to be more tolerant of those with dyslexia and whose first language isn’t English.

Yes because…

When people can’t read or write because of a disability or because they are still learning the language, it is both rude and fruitless to pick them up on every single mistake they make. It is an advantage of a flexible language that we can make ourselves understood even when we can’t communicate one hundred per cent clearly over every medium.

No because…

Constantly seeing incorrect grammar and spelling when trying to learn a language makes it more difficult to learn in the first place.

Also, there is a difference between being understood and making sense (i.e. using correct grammar and punctuation). Consider the sentences,

“Their parents went.” and
“There parents went.”

The reason why it is wrong to mistake ‘their’ for ‘there’ is because the meaning of the sentence changes. Just because someone else is capable of understanding the meaning you intended, rather than the meaning you wrote, does not make you correct in writing it.

In the Debate.

Yes because…

The key factor of debate is matter. Let’s assume 2 people. One use English based on correct grammar and spelling, but he/she does not have evidence to prove his/her argument. Why? Let’s assume because of his/her lack of knowledge. He/she could suggest his/her argument and the reason, but he/she might have high possibility not to convince others. But the other use English mistakenly sometimes in the aspect of grammar and spelling. But he/she have evidence so he/she could fulfill the burden of proof. Unless his/her English makes other persons cannot understand their argument, the person who shows incorrect grammar and spelling does better than the person who shows correct spelling and grammar.

No because…

If correcting and grammar is not much important, why online debate sites have the spelling/grammar checking system for debaters? And even the 1 word have various usage. Just a different interpretation from same word can make messy debate. If the mistake is occured in the aspect of grammar or spelling, the debate can goes to the mountain.


No because…

A misspelled word, a poor choice of words, a comma or set of brackets in the wrong place, can give a sentence a completely different meaning. In sensitive situations, the consequences could be disastrous – consider ‘I wouldn’t leave you for anything’ versus ‘I’d leave you for nothing’. Absolute preciseness is especially important in legal language, mathematics or programming.

Indeed, English can be manipulated to be gripping and compelling in a novel or a short story. However, broken English in a speech, for example, can sound non-professional. Imagine Obama saying “I has needed to go to bathroom when I pondered about the fly on a wall.” It does not grip the audience, rather it gives the impression that the speaker either never learned grammar properly in school, has not prepared his or her speech, or does not know how to give a speech. It disappoints the audience who expected to hear a compelling speech, which Obama usually succeeds in giving.

Yes because…

While precision is key in technical situations, such as in writing/presenting a mathematical proof, artistic forms such as literature and poetry emphasis emotional response and atmosphere over precision of grammar.

Creativity requires invention. This could be an aberration from conventional grammar or spelling. Authors, particularly of dystopian fiction, create their own words/languages/dialects or using existing variations to capture and convey their characters`thoughts. In certain texts a taste of broken English is far more gripping than using plain perfect (bland) English.

Bad spelling and grammar are incredibly annoying.

No because…

Everyone has their pet hates – personally I hate the grocer’s apostrophe. Incorrect use of language, especially when the speaker should know better and refuses to correct themselves, is jarring, distracting and irritating.

Crying babies are human beings, while spelling and grammar are rules. Rules are set on rationality. For example, if people experience unfairness in a law, then it is the government’s job to either fix or abolish it, not let it be.

Yes because…

Many people also hate pedantry about language. Reactions of hatred aren’t always rational, crying babies annoy us but we can’t abolish them.

If someone doesn’t even know the basics, how can they know specifics?

No because…

Grammar is very simple, and when used in a formal and important situation, it is key to sound like you know what you are talking about. If you cannot even use simple grammar and misspell words that are in a normal person’s vocabulary or words that you should know for the debate then you look and sound like you know nothing. This discredits everything you say, no matter how valid the information is.

The informal English are different in many countries. For example, english used in England and Canada differ vastly. A person who speaks in rural England english and a person who speaks in rural Canadian english may not comprehend each other. Spelling and grammar is a way to unify a language called english in a global generation. Without these, english, though supposed to be ONE language, may not be constant. Therefore, english grammar and spelling are the keys to communication.

Yes because…

This all depends on your audience/readers.

If that audience is from a particular region it/they would prefer it if you used their dialect in speech and literature. Americans prefer Americanisms. Malay like it when you throw in a few lahs. South Asians appreciate an overuse/misuse of thes.

If you cannot connect with your audience then any information you share is also discredited.
Alienating an audience in an effort to stress on regimental English can damage communication just as well.

Counter argument:

So, by your count Shakespeare has no relevance in written English. Since you claim that time/space variants of English have no place in literature.

Need I elaborate on the brain-dead nature of the argument presented on the right with a stormy panoply of further examples? Or are you enlightened?

American,Canadian,Australian and English spellings are all different: colour is color in American, for example. That claim on the right is absolutely wrong.

… placed on …

No because…

The title should read,


‘Upon’ is reserved in modern usage for formal writing and established phrases and idiom.[[http://oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_gb0915460#m_en_gb0915460]]

Please now take the tongue out of my cheek.

Yes because…

According to the source the opposition has absurdly cited [[http://oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_gb0915460#m_en_gb0915460]] : ‘Upon’ is a formal way of saying ‘On’.

That, oh wonderful and great throngs of debate-wise readers, does not ‘technically’ make it wrong; only not colloquial.

Counterargument addressed to the author of the opposing argumentation on the right: You are more than welcome to keep your tongue in your cheek, and take a good look in the mirror at the person who should be the proverbial butt of your joke. You need glasses and/or classes William, something has to be done about your lack of reading skills.

If they cannot learn do they expect to earn.

No because…

I like many look at the cv, and if the grammar is sloppy then so must the person be. If they could not bother to learn at school what choice does the prospective employer have ?,plenty,look at the next applicants,there are more tryers there.

Yes because…

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