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Notes on Specific Laws - the First Law

First Law

On the Instructables website, the use of correct spelling and grammar shall be a constant criterion.


Note: Edited Law


There are several reasons for using correct English in all of our work on this site, but the most important ones are:
  • It shows that you have taken time over your project, put some effort in and are proud of it. Like a smooth finish is the sign of a careful craftsman, a well-formed sentence is a sign of an Instructable that is worth trying.
  • Clarity - the use of poor grammar or spelling can completely mangle or disguise the meaning of a piece of work, causing problems and wasting time as readers seek clarification.
  • Inclusiveness - Whilst it may be cool to use the most current street slang or message-board abbreviations, there are those (myself included) who do not move in the internet circles where these terms originate. Excluding part of the membership by making the slang impenetrable also cuts you off from a deep well of information and advice.
  • Time - slang dates, and changes rapidly. For instance, the word "gay" originally meant "carefree", then "happy", then "homosexual". Now, to the pupils at my school, it means "annoying" or "sad". Imagine what your latest slang could mean to future generations of readers.
  • The web is a multi-lingual place. It would be conceited of us to assume that all readers speak English as their first, or even their second languages. There are a growing number of members and casual readers that rely on translation software to read this site. Translation software cannot deal with poor spelling or new abbreviations, and will render our words as gibberish.

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royalestel9 years ago
I'm not a big stickler on this point. Slang is quite fun. And it is one of the tools I use to get my message across in an otherwise toneless medium.
. From my POV there's a big difference between using slang and poor English (or whatever one's language is). Slang can be an effective technique (as you point out), whereas poor grammar/spelling is confusing, at best.
Oops one moment, I have to see a man about a horse again ;-)
Scrolling through the comments and I come across this. Twice. Do you know how annoying this is? Do you? Really? Well I bet you don't. Just because you do know what it means.

*cocks gun*

Fair well, confusing slang!
And more to the point, I don't think you should be criticizing an older gentleman about problems of urgency.  Someday, when you start having nice medical professionals making you think you've been abducted by aliens, you'll understand how we feel.
 I was criticizing? No, no! I did not mean to come across that way. I was merely expressing my annoyance at not knowing certain terms of the English language.
It's old-people talk.  You're just too young :-)
Evidently so.

Meh, I'ma go Bebo your Yahoo while I Google your MySpace.
Kiteman (author)  Kryptonite7 years ago
I'd have to check, but I think Lira would slap you for that.
 /slaps all round
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