A long time ago I used to think people writing fiction had at least a small clue about things. Not all the cop and murder and spy things. Guys like Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov and Aurthur Clarke had actual science in their science fiction. I figured most of the little facts around the characters were accurate.
John D. MacDonald's character, Travis McGee, always asked for the aisle seat on a bulkhead row because that seat row had more leg room. I figured things like that were probably accurate just as I knew from research that the basic scientific theory in many of the books I read was accurate.
I joined the army at 17 and one day after maybe 20,000 air miles I remembered John D.MacDonald's advice about seating. I'm a big guy. I tried it out. Some of you are laughing already because you know the best seat is in an exit row. Worst seat for a tall guy ever is a bulkhead seat.
Most people do not cram things under their seats. That means guys like me with long legs can actually shove them far under the seat in front of us so a bulk head aisle would suck. I figured the seat had to be pretty far back to give me more leg room but I had never thought about it walking past the bulkhead seating before so I tried it out on a whim.
There are thousands of people who understand English grammar and spelling well enough to make a living at writing. Some of those create great characters and really capture the reader in a story. People in the United States have focused for so long on the spelling and grammar necessary for creative writing that often they ignore the communication as they evaluate the quality of the prose.
Ah, the quality of the English Prose. A shit dipped rose by any other name would still stink.
The idiots in the English speaking western nations have destroyed themselves with their insistence on English and their focusing on spelling, grammar and prose instead of accuracy.
Scientists in non-English speaking nations often communicate in English. Kind of sucks, but, that focus on English communication in Science is a beautiful thing except for people who speak English.
Most people whose first language is anything else but English focus on understanding what the communication is about. Way too many people whose first language is English focus on the spelling and the grammar of the communication. Misuse of punctuation destroys the focus of the communication for the English speaker while the non-English speaker never even notices it.
There is one and only one goal for language. Communication. If language fails to achieve this goal the language is a failure.
What is really hilarious is that while English is failing as a communication tool for the English speaking population it is succeeding for non-English people who work hard at understanding the focus of the communication.
In other words, English is a failed language among English speakers and a successful language among non_English speakers. That is hilarious!
Ignorant creative writers whose skills in English spelling and grammar achieve great honors in the United States while incredibly intelligent people who are illiterate are ignored.
Thousands of years ago people in the west began creating a series of cultural skill sets that allowed people to identify others that were in their cultural group. In ancient Rome people of the aristocracy had particular ways of doing things. Plebeians had a different way of doing things. As people rose in rank and the empire grew it became necessary to identify people who had never been in contact as belonging to a specific cultural group such as Roman military officers or Roman civil authorities. There were letters and seals of course as well as secret methods of communications, handshakes and signs and mannerisms.
Today those cultural mannerisms are found all over the United States in handshakes and gang-signs. People use the same methods to identify themselves today that they used thousands of years ago.
Watching someone eat soup could tell you a lot about their position in society. There are many droll comments about bourgeoisie mannerisms. These comments are groundless because they ignore the underlying necessity of the culturally identifying mannerisms which simple organizations such as street gangs have rediscovered. In some cases improperly using specific cultural mannerisms such as gang-signs can get a person killed.
Grammar and spelling are cultural mannerisms.
At one time in history the way a person spelled a word in the English language identified the university that person had attended. Today spelling and grammar are used to identify education by the intelligent and intelligence by the ignorant..
Of course English spelling and grammar do not identify education as a whole, they simply identify people who are educated in English spelling and grammar.
Among the ignorant and bigoted in the western English speaking cultures education in English spelling and grammar are identified with intelligence. This is not an opinion, this is a fact. Bigots make individual determinations about people based on stereotypes. The idea that intelligence can be determined by the quality of written communication is an inaccurate stereotype.
All people are self educated and they all educate themselves in the areas they want to become experts in. If a person is an expert industrial maintenance person with an incredible level of mechanical systems intelligence they may never feel English grammar and spelling or even reading and writing is important. Especially if they are Chinese, but even if they are from the States.
Some people feel math is an unimportant subject.
The other day a clerk in a hardware store game me the wrong change and when I pointed it out she was confused by the math, two quarters and two dimes equals 70 cents, not 80 cents. She couldn't do it, raised on charge cards, debit cards her simple addition skills were absent. She never needed to develop them past the skills necessary to pass the required classes in high school.
The Verizon Business unit sucks at math too. http://verizonmath.blogspot.com/2006/12/verizon-doesnt-know-dollars-from-cents.html
The Verizon issue identifies a specific math problem witch (sic :-) is based on written miscommunication.
(yes, I know sic is only properly used in a quote. If you don't get that inference I can't help you)
When I was young I didn't understand the sociological importance of using the correct eating utensil. I thought it was stupid and actually I still do. I would often ignore the bourgeois cultural mannerisms. As I became older I realized what ignorant bigots most people were and how badly they treat people who ignore or are ignorant of what they believe are important cultural mannerisms no matter how bourgeois I felt those cultural mannerisms were.
People are often stereotyped based on their acceptance and usage of bourgeois mannerisms.
Ignorant Bigots use bourgeois mannerisms to "prove their own superiority".
Today ignorant bigots use English spelling and grammar as a cultural mannerism to "identify superiority in communication"
Non-English speakers focus on the essence of the communication
The English speaking ignorant bigot focuses on the quality of the prose learning fascinating things like the way community organizers "bring people together" using methods devised by Saul Alinsky such as his "Rules for Radicals". (bet some moron is already criticizing the grammar and punctuation there :-)
It is hilarious to me that the our nation, based on insistence by ignorant bigoted "elitists" that proper English spelling and grammar identify intelligence, is ignoring incredibly important communications and refusing to educate themselves.
Now that is beyond ignorant, it is pure stupidity.