300Views84Replies

Author Options:

Notes on Specific Laws - the First Law Answered

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.

Discussions

0
None
royalestel

11 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.

0
None
NachoMahmaroyalestel

Reply 11 years ago

. 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.

0
None
GoodhartNachoMahma

Reply 11 years ago

Oops one moment, I have to see a man about a horse again ;-)

0
None
KryptoniteGoodhart

Reply 9 years ago

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!

0
None
kelseymhKryptonite

Reply 9 years ago

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.

0
None
Kryptonitekelseymh

Reply 9 years ago

 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.

0
None
kelseymhKryptonite

Reply 9 years ago

It's old-people talk.  You're just too young :-)

0
None
Kryptonitekelseymh

Reply 9 years ago

Evidently so.

Meh, I'ma go Bebo your Yahoo while I Google your MySpace.

0
None
KitemanKryptonite

Reply 9 years ago

I'd have to check, but I think Lira would slap you for that.

0
None
DJ RadioLithium Rain

Reply 9 years ago

Ooh, you guys should have said "rub off" before she slapped you like that.

0
None
KryptoniteLithium Rain

Reply 9 years ago

If you were to slap my hand, that would be a hi-five.

Just thinking about your name, how did that come to be? Just sounds cool? I'd love it if Lithium fell out of the sky like rain, but if you ask me, I'd be inside.

0
None
GoodhartKryptonite

Reply 9 years ago

No, no !   Don't shoot yourself !!!  (especially not in the foot  LOL)
 
0
None
KryptoniteGoodhart

Reply 9 years ago

 On Youtube there's a video of a police officer, training others about gun safety. He then shot himself in the foot with an "unloaded pistol".

0
None
GoodhartKryptonite

Reply 9 years ago

Ah, a literal occurrence of the age old slang phrase....
 
0
None
GoodhartKryptonite

Reply 9 years ago

"it" doesn't follow, or you are having troubles following? ;-)
 
0
None
KryptoniteGoodhart

Reply 9 years ago

*reads my previous comment*

Argh god what happened there?

It should have read And still, it is not followed.

0
None
kelseymhKryptonite

Reply 9 years ago

I don't think that well is fair at all!  In fact, it seems awfully unfair to me.

>cocks gun<

Farewell, bad grammar!

0
None
Kryptonitekelseymh

Reply 9 years ago

 One word. One simple word and you pick on me. I call troll!

0
None
kelseymhKryptonite

Reply 9 years ago

Hey, you walk under the troll's bridge, and the troll has every right to a little snack :-)

0
None
Kryptonitekelseymh

Reply 9 years ago

Damn, I was going for the bridge pun!

And who's bridge is this any way?

0
None
Lithium RainKiteman

Reply 9 years ago

*I'm not going anywhere; what is this supposed to be, a hint?

0
None
kelseymhKiteman

Reply 9 years ago

Hey, up your pedantry!  Or you'll be hoist by your pedant :-)

0
None
Jayefuu

9 years ago

Last word in the third paragraph, Inclusiveness. Advice or advise? In this context isn't it advice? :D

0
None
KitemanJayefuu

Reply 9 years ago

Gosh, you're right!  Two years this has been posted, and nobody noticed!

0
None
PoisonedV

11 years ago

lol u tk him 2da bar|?

0
None
yourcatPoisonedV

Reply 9 years ago

I have to wonder... is there anyone in the world who actually talks like that (normally)?

0
None
CameronSS

11 years ago

Should this law be modified to allow the use of other languages? Officially, Instructables is not English-exclusive ( ref.).

0
None
KitemanCameronSS

Reply 11 years ago

Would replacing the word "English" with the phrase "spelling and grammar" be an acceptable change?

0
None
NachoMahmaKiteman

Reply 11 years ago

. Personally, I think it's required. I have no problem imagining Ibles being multi-lingual in a few years.

0
None
KryptoniteNachoMahma

Reply 9 years ago

I think that would be great if they were either seperated into different categories in the website or made into a copy, translated to English.

0
None
CameronSSKiteman

Reply 11 years ago

That would work. I can't tell you what to do, they're your laws. I'm simply suggesting a modification.

0
None
GoodhartCameronSS

Reply 11 years ago

For a minute, I thought you all were going to get into the 3 laws of robotics LOL

0
None
gyromild

11 years ago

There's a Kiteman's Law now?
Whatever happen to the freedom to exercise bad english guaranteed by the constitution of the interweb..? =)

0
None
INSTRUCTUBALNachoMahma

Reply 10 years ago

can i just ask you something? everywhere ive seen you make a comment, you always put a period at the beggining. why is that?

0
None
caitlinsdadINSTRUCTUBAL

Reply 10 years ago

Good luck in trying to find out. Many have asked and failed before you. It's either an ancient curse or secret, Nacho may have been involved in inventing the internet and may be the only one who knows its origins. Or he has a bad keyboard with the . key stuck on it.

0
None
Goodhartcaitlinsdad

Reply 10 years ago

Actually, he has explained it so many times, I think he has it recorded somewhere, and at the press of a button......whoosh, out comes the appropriate post LOL

0
None
caitlinsdadGoodhart

Reply 10 years ago

Linky? I too seek this unobtainable knowledge of the ancients...

0
None
caitlinsdadGoodhart

Reply 10 years ago

Awwww, man, this is like opening Al Capone's vault.