Sunday, September 02, 2012

Why I hate the internet, Part MXLVI

Here in Indiana the state government issues a thing called a "License To Carry a Handgun". In light of this information, consider this hypothetical internet conversation that hypothetically occurred between two hypothetical Hoosiers on a hypothetical unnamed internet firearms forum:
A: I sent in for my conceal and carry permit 2 months ago. How long does it take?

B: It can take 3 months. You need to have patient's.
And, you know, it's not even worth gently correcting someone anymore, because if I hear "It's the internet, not a spelling contest!" one more time, somebody's getting shot.

This is what comes of the gradual shift of the word "elitist" from an aspiration to a pejorative.


Chris said...

"B" probably works at a hospital shuffling insurance paperwork.

Trav said...


This person did not misspell anything. He/she chose the wrong darned homophone (and used the possessive form as an added bonus).

Murphy's Law said...


A homophone? Isn't that an instrument that they play in a lot of San Francisco high school bands?

Not that there's anything wrong with that... /seinfeld

Borepatch said...

It's odd that one of the few places that the term "elite" has its original meaning (as opposed to a Progressive SWPL checklist) is in the military.

Of course, I find that my spelling is getting poorer. I'm not sure why, but there's no way that carelessness isn't a part of that.

Anonymous said...

It is spellcheck. Turn off the automatic feature and actually look at what it is doing before you send.

Pete said...

Second error: It is a license to "...Carry Handgun". In any manner or style. The word "conceal", does not appear on the license.

Old NFO said...

Conceal AND carry??? Engrish, is lost art... :-)

Alie said...

I have ceased to be astounded at the gross misuse of words, and I've almost become numb to atrocious spelling.

When an author does not know the difference between their, there and they're it's pretty pointless to worry about the i before e stuff.

I'll accommodate the occasional keyboard manipulation failure, but when I see someone who repeatedly has no comprehension of definition, tense or possessive differences I don't bother reading their blog anymore. No matter how great their ideas, if they express them like morons they're just another Joe Biden.

Michael said...

I have given advise to more than one doctor regarding the need for more patients in dealing with others less he loose them. They breed and begat lawyers. We are doomed!

phlegmfatale said...

I'm glad you brought that up. Thursday at work, I received an email informing me of a note a colleague made on a customer account. Note included

"customer said son is death please email him" in the middle of a (surprise!) run-on sentence-ish type writing event.

I emailed for clarification and here's the exchange that ensued:
Me: I'll bet you were typing and talking at the same time-- what does "his son is death" mean? Did his son die?
Co-worker: Can't hear
Me: That's deaf.
Co-worker: Supervisor said close enough

It's crawling with idiots. I'll bring the Crisco and duct-tape if you'll bring the flame-thrower.

JC said...

The phrase of art is "Cupertino". That's when Spellcheck takes a perfectly cromulent word and substitutes its own idea of what you meant to say

Firehand said...

I never got the hang of diagramming sentences, and I can no longer remember most of the rules, etc. of proper English use; but I can write a sentence that people can read and know exactly what I'm saying(I said 'generally', shut up Og). So when I look at something put up for the world to see with the wrong words, bad spelling, no punctuation... makes me wish for a electronic ruler to slap hands with.

Josh said...

I rather doubt that it should be a choice, select, rarefied, or otherwise elitist concept to spell basic words properly. There's a lot of grammar and spelling that fits under some definitions of elite -- you've not seen greater wars over smaller details than the serial comma, and I will offer pistols at dawn to anyone who refuses the One True Usage -- but the issue here is a more fundamental one of people Just Not Caring.

Talk with anyone that's worked in education, and you'll discover, quickly and to your own frustration and rage and gnashing of teeth, that even those who consider themselves elite still can't reliably structure a sentence.

RL said...


I hear tell on the internets that the old spelling of the word "elitist" has been deprecated. The new word form is "elitest" or "133t".

Anonymous said...

Watch those elitist's, they are sneaky!

Buzz said...

Elitist* wasn't a bad thing until those that pretended they were better/smarter than the rest of us started using it as their justification to rule over our daily lives.

AlGore was outed, being shown to be even less of a scholar than W as a drunk, stoned, coke head.
Non-drinkers of Teh Narrative's Kool-Aid® know damned well that Zero sealed his records to prevent the same exposure. (along with the likelihood that he attended with "international" student status)

*(My Mensa creds only qualify me to quickly identify patterns and discern that individual freedom trumps central planning, despite Wal-Mart shopper evidence to the contrary.)

Roberta X said... opposed to elidists, who actually do something about the problem.



Tam said...


"It's odd that one of the few places that the term "elite" has its original meaning (as opposed to a Progressive SWPL checklist)"

It actually seems that the word is regarded as the harshest insult by the populist descendents of WJB who have somehow infested the Republican party (which, you know, used to be the party for elitists.)

Every time Rush disparagingly accuses someone of being an "elitist", the needle on the tachometer attached to Wm. Buckley's grave inches clockwise another couple hash marks...

Kristophr said...

Phlem: Or maybe his son was the grim reaper?

DanH said...

I think I would have responded with a long, well argued, and angry post about the injustice of only doctors, dentists and therapists being allowed to "conceal and carry" ;p

Yeah, I have occasionally engaged in the sport of Trolling Trade Chat.

Ritchie said...

That's just the sort of thing that's going to happen when you let just anyone shuffle indoors and start using language.

And thumbs.

Say, do you suppose that modern practical English is an analogue of pseudocode? It resembles a formal language, but it's made up on the fly.

Greg Tag said...

I think the term " elitist" , when used by Rush and similar is not an indictment of excellence or success. It is, instead, a snide putdown of those have claimed the term for themselves; those who believe they are better educated, better mannered, and more competent to manage the affairs of their inferiors than, say, those self-same inferiors.

This why so many of them dont like guns in the hands of " we the people". We just might not be as responsible as " the right sort" of people.

Their criteria for "elite" status?
An Ivy League education and an unshakeable conviction that the hoi polloi are too stupid to run their own affairs.

I had the misfortune to spend an afternoon with one such turkey; he quite confidently explained to me that his PhD in History from Dartmouth was exponentially better than a similar PhD from Baylor because Dartmouth was Dartmouth and Baylor was in, gasp-wink wink, Texas. He also suggested that a Texas A & M PhD came in a box of Cheerios, and outside of Engineerin' and Farmin' could not be taken seriously.

This short-sighted, pompous churl failed to note my Aggie class ring and was quite annoyed when I disagreed with him.

These are the " Elite" of modern political and cultural discourse. They aim to rule us, for our own good, of course.



Trav said...

Greg is absolutely correct. "Elite" is good. "Elitist" is bad.

Anonymous said...

Look on the bright side: it would be impossible to inflict Newspeak on Americans as we are just so darned good at not only making up new words on the fly, but understanding (usually!) what they mean when we encounter them for the first time.

Now, if you want to taste some REAL pain, go to your local college and peruse the rough drafts of reports and papers the students turn in. Even (mumble) years ago when I was a grad student and before "texting" was a word in our vocabulary, the question, "How did you get out of high school - no, GRAMMAR SCHOOL - with such sh*tty writing skills????" was never far from my lips.

Anonymous said...

Populism has always had both a conservative and a liberal guise. WJB was perhaps the last to combine them in the same body. Cross of Gold + special prosecutor at the Scopes Monkey Trial. Since you apparently don't like populists, the split should make you happy. Populists of both varieties always rise when times are hard and/or the political leadership is perceived as out of touch with the public. Both are true at present.

Tam said...

Anon 8:05,

" Since you apparently don't like populists..."

Two probable reasons for that:

1. The word "populist" is so often followed by "demagogue" that it's hard not to mentally think of the latter when hearing the former. It comes to be associated with rabble just waiting for their rouser.

2. Where I come from, "common" is still used as a term of insult, ranked somewhere between "poor" and "lowdown", if I remember my taxonomy aright. I believe it to be a holdover from the days when America was still the land of the Natural Aristocrat, not the Proud (to be a) Peasant. The latter attitude no doubt came west in steerage.

T.Stahl said...

I know it's a very small quantum of solace but be assured that it's not a tad better on German gun fora and internet fora and comment sections in general.
Now, during most of my thirteen years in school my German grades were Ds, with maybe a C in a good year. Now I'm working and find errors in emails of colleagues with doctor's degrees (born Germans!) and even secretaries!!!
Even when I chat or text I do my best to employ propper German (or English).

Windy Wilson said...

T. Stahl, I miss your Hessian Blog.
As to the original post, I suppose the upshot is that only doctors should have CCW?
I was explaining to someone a few weeks ago why spelling was important. I told him that the correct spelling is like a key to unlock the idea you want to open in the mind of your reader. Spelling the wrong word breaks the train of thought while they jiggle the lock. "Knowing what I wanted to say," "I was close," and "you figured out what I meant" mean you had the wrong key, and your audience was distracted from the pearls of wisdom you were trying to impart. As Mark Twain said, "the difference between the right word and one that is almost right is like the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. Thanks to texting and !@#$%^&* spell checker, we're getting a lot of lightning bugs when we should be getting a bolt of lightning or two.

Justthisguy said...

I have never used any spell-check program except for the one which resides between my ears. I used to win spelling bees when I was a kid.

T. Stahl, I am curious about what you wrote. My German teacher in High School said that spelling bees were pointless among German speakers, as German orthography actually corresponds with pronunciation, which is not the case with English.

Justthisguy said...

p.s. For instance, I can read aloud a document written in Spanish, getting all of the sounds right, and not have the slightest clue about the meaning of what I am saying.

Anonymous said...

"You need to have patient's."

...What? You need to have patient's...what? Are you a doctor?

Just ask them to finish the sentence. I mess with my kids a lot, simply by taking them at their word. Keeps them on their toes. -- Lyle

markm said...

Firehand said...

"I never got the hang of diagramming sentences, and I can no longer remember most of the rules, etc. of proper English use; but I can write a sentence that people can read and know exactly what I'm saying(I said 'generally', shut up Og)."

The last time I can remember diagramming sentences was the 9th grade. As each of us took our turn at the (green) blackboard, it quickly became apparent that the only ones who could diagram sentences were those who needed no more instruction in grammar, while those who couldn't were probably long past the point where anyone could teach them.

One does not learn grammar from studying grammatical theory. One learns it by reading a lot of well-written prose.

Anonymous said...

markm - One does not learn grammar from studying grammatical theory. One learns it by reading a lot of well-written prose.

I agree. One is also exposed to various writing styles.

John B said...

I like it! Knuckle-Dragging in tongues!