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Thread: Why is ubuntu.com rife with bad grammar?

  1. #1
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    Why is ubuntu.com rife with bad grammar?

    Various parts of Ubuntu's website are a grammatical disaster. I think that the problems with the site should be obvious enough to anyone who's looked it over thoroughly, but I can provide specific examples if necessary.

    I understand that not everyone who creates the content for the site is a native speaker of English, and that some of the errors might be typos more than grammatical oversights (although typos in a sense are worse, because they show that no one even bothered to proofread). But I think that the poor writing reflects very badly on the operating system that ubuntu.com is supposed to promote, and I would very much like to see the issues corrected.

    People subconsciously judge others based on their linguistic practices, and failure to adhere to recognized conventions of proper English (even if those conventions are arbitrary) can make someone seem quite unintelligent and untrustworthy. It's hard to take Ubuntu seriously as an operating system when its promoters can't seem to spell or conjugate verbs correctly.

    I'm wondering how many other people are bothered by this, and how we could go about fixing it. Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Re: Why is ubuntu.com rife with bad grammar?

    Any examples?

    Some posts on these forums seem to be influenced by the abbreviated lingo of text messages on cellphones...they irk me but shouldn't stop us trying to be helpful.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Why is ubuntu.com rife with bad grammar?

    Could you post the specific blotches of text that you've found to have bad grammar?
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    Re: Why is ubuntu.com rife with bad grammar?

    i'm not a native english speaker, and anything syllably readable is fine by me.

    god, "syllably" isn't even a word.

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    Re: Why is ubuntu.com rife with bad grammar?

    I am normally okay at typing, if you ever see a post which has been edited by me it's normally due to incorrect grammar useage.
    I am pleased to say I know not to spell grammar with an "e" in it.

    Edit: I ended up talking about the forums. Although it looks like I can sometimes use correct grammar it seems I can't read, shame that.
    Last edited by tuxsheadache; November 12th, 2008 at 05:42 AM. Reason: Admitting defeat
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  6. #6
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    Re: Why is ubuntu.com rife with bad grammar?

    Different countries have different idioms and different conventions for spelling: it sometimes amuses me to watch American TV shows where the dialogue has someone threatening to kick someone else's donkey.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Why is ubuntu.com rife with bad grammar?

    Yes, links would be nice. I wouldn't say I hav extensively browsed Ubuntu.com but I do have visited quite a few main pages. I didn't find anything grammatically wrong.

  8. #8
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    Re: Why is ubuntu.com rife with bad grammar?

    The site really needs a "report problems" or "propose changes" button, at least for individuals who are a member of a particular Launchpad team. It should tie more closely to a wiki like fedoraproject.org.

    As it is, Ubuntu.com feels a bit detached from the Ubuntu ethos. The site has outdated screenshots, old information and typos that I am yearning to correct but I can't be bothered to because the method of doing that is totally indirect. If it was a moderated wiki, or at least had a straight path to contributing fixes, I (and I am sure many others) would have a lot of fixes ready to be applied.

    Not that there isn't an Ubuntu website mailing list and team, of course
    Last edited by Mr. Picklesworth; November 12th, 2008 at 05:48 AM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Why is ubuntu.com rife with bad grammar?

    Actually, I may need to retract my complaints a bit. I would swear that there used to be some major problems (this is an issue that I had been meaning to raise on the forums for some time), and I did find some, but they may not justify criticism of the site as 'rife with bad grammar'. Nonetheless, here are a few examples:

    1. from http://ubuntu.com:
    Ubuntu is a community developed, Linux-based operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers
    If 'Linux-based' is hyphenated, you should also hyphenate 'community-developed' as well...not a huge problem, but it definitely stands out to me. Hyphenation is inconsistent throughout the rest of the site, too.

    2. from http://www.ubuntu.com/products/whati...u/810features/
    This tour will help you discover this for your self.
    3. from http://www.ubuntu.com/support/communitysupport:

    Ubuntu development, support, and discussion continually takes place within our IRC channel and mailing lists
    'Ubuntu development, support, and discussion' = plural, so the verb should be plural, but 'takes' is singular.

    None of these problems is huge, but they occur on widely-read parts of the site and look quite unprofessional.

    Mr. Picklesworth: you make a good point regarding other parts of the site's contents being outdated or awkward. It certainly would be nice if users could more directly modify the site in order to keep it up-to-date and ensure that it better conforms with modern Ubuntu.
    Last edited by pytheas22; November 12th, 2008 at 06:08 AM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Why is ubuntu.com rife with bad grammar?

    Quote Originally Posted by pytheas22 View Post
    None of these problems is huge, but they occur on widely-read parts of the site and look quite unprofessional.
    It should be "None of these problems are huge"
    Yeah, some of that looks a bit like really minor stuff you would see if a writer was tired or something. Not really major.
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