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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

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royalestel
royalestel

12 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.

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NachoMahma
NachoMahma

Reply 12 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.

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Goodhart
Goodhart

Reply 12 years ago

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

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Kryptonite
Kryptonite

Reply 10 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!

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kelseymh
kelseymh

Reply 10 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.

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Kryptonite
Kryptonite

Reply 10 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.

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kelseymh
kelseymh

Reply 10 years ago

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

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Kryptonite
Kryptonite

Reply 10 years ago

Evidently so.

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

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Kiteman
Kiteman

Reply 10 years ago

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

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Lithium Rain
Lithium Rain

Reply 10 years ago

 /slaps all round

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Goodhart
Goodhart

Reply 10 years ago

What did I do?  8-|
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DJ Radio
DJ Radio

Reply 10 years ago

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

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Kryptonite
Kryptonite

Reply 10 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.

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Goodhart
Goodhart

Reply 10 years ago

No, no !   Don't shoot yourself !!!  (especially not in the foot  LOL)
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Kryptonite
Kryptonite

Reply 10 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".

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Goodhart
Goodhart

Reply 10 years ago

Ah, a literal occurrence of the age old slang phrase....
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Kryptonite
Kryptonite

Reply 10 years ago

And still, it doesn't follow.

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Goodhart
Goodhart

Reply 10 years ago

"it" doesn't follow, or you are having troubles following? ;-)
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Kryptonite
Kryptonite

Reply 10 years ago

*reads my previous comment*

Argh god what happened there?

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

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kelseymh
kelseymh

Reply 10 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!

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Kryptonite
Kryptonite

Reply 10 years ago

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

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kelseymh
kelseymh

Reply 10 years ago

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

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Kryptonite
Kryptonite

Reply 10 years ago

Damn, I was going for the bridge pun!

And who's bridge is this any way?

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Goodhart
Goodhart

Reply 10 years ago

LOL
Do-not-feed-the-troll.PNG
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Kryptonite
Kryptonite

Reply 10 years ago

 Obvious troll is obvious.

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Kiteman
Kiteman

Reply 10 years ago

*Fare-thee-well

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Lithium Rain
Lithium Rain

Reply 10 years ago

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

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Kiteman
Kiteman

Reply 10 years ago

Upping the pedantry.

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kelseymh
kelseymh

Reply 10 years ago

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

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Kryptonite
Kryptonite

Reply 10 years ago

 Oops, thanks.

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Jayefuu
Jayefuu

10 years ago

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

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Kiteman
Kiteman

Reply 10 years ago

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

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PoisonedV
PoisonedV

12 years ago

lol u tk him 2da bar|?

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yourcat
yourcat

Reply 10 years ago

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

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CameronSS
CameronSS

12 years ago

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

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Kiteman
Kiteman

Reply 12 years ago

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

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NachoMahma
NachoMahma

Reply 12 years ago

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

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Kryptonite
Kryptonite

Reply 10 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.

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CameronSS
CameronSS

Reply 12 years ago

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

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Kiteman
Kiteman

Reply 12 years ago

...modified.

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Goodhart
Goodhart

Reply 12 years ago

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

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gyromild
gyromild

12 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..? =)

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NachoMahma
NachoMahma

Reply 12 years ago

. Repealed!

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INSTRUCTUBAL
INSTRUCTUBAL

Reply 11 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?

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caitlinsdad
caitlinsdad

Reply 11 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.

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Goodhart
Goodhart

Reply 11 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

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caitlinsdad
caitlinsdad

Reply 11 years ago

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

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caitlinsdad
caitlinsdad

Reply 11 years ago

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