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Posted by frustrated 
August 11, 2011 01:55PM
As Popeye used to say, "I can't stands it 'cause I can't stands it no more!"

I fully understand people having problems with spelling and grammar, my own father is dyslexic. Knowing this, he makes stringent efforts to have his work checked before sending it out; having been a skilled professional metal modeler, he takes real pride in any and all work he does.

If our writing is problematic, could we PLEASE type our responses into a word processor and hit the "spell check" or "grammar check" icons and then make the needed corrections?

Before anyone gets bent out of shape, I am NOT picking on anyone in particular, there are enough examples to go around and I sometimes regret the grammatical quality of my own submissions.

We are all visible on the internet, and improved presentation could be important for a variety of reasons, including but certainly not limited to:

• Potential investors, especially those not technically trained, may judge the entire field of light steam by its advocates. This site is one of the larger promoters of light steam power. High quality submissions always make a more favorable impression; poor submissions can readily damage credibility.

• Investors often perform research and may base their opinions on such things as internet discussion forums. An individual guilty of excessive misspelling, punctuation and grammatical errors might lead investors to suspicions of sloppy and imprecise work in other areas.

• Let’s not overlook the simple matter of courtesy. Deciphering a technical argument may often be tedious enough without the added effort of deciphering the English it is written in. Since the writer desires others to read his work, it thereby should fall on his shoulders to do the proofreading rather than the multitude of readers.

• Let us not forget simple pride and vanity. Our work, including our writing, represents us. We should assume we will be judged based on the face we present to the world.

I’m sure there are going to be howls of indignation; I'd suggest anyone preparing to make a scathing reply pause a second. Is an argument stating that using spell and grammar check is too taxing likely to draw sympathy? I suspect most people will think it better for the writer fix his mistakes rather than expect all the readers wade through them. Maybe we shouldn’t be judged on how we write, but we are. Of course, it could be bandied about that I’m an obnoxious elitist. I'll take that argument away and plead guilty; the English language is a wonderful creation and I feel it deserves far more respect than it currently receives.


August 11, 2011 04:07PM
Hi Ken,

I have to admit that as a dabbler in foreign languages, codes, and cyphers, I take a perverse secret pleasure in interpreting some of the spelling and grammar which appears here.

That being said, I agree with your points here.

Actually, the real reason I am writing is to congratulate you on the most absolutely hilarious combination of "title and author" which I have ever seen.

"AAAAAARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!", by Frustrated.

I hope I spelled that correctly. smiling smiley


August 11, 2011 08:01PM
Thank you for expressing my feelings so clearly and bravely.
August 11, 2011 08:16PM
I have a simple solution.

I assume most of more notorious culprits are using Internet Explorer.

IE is quite possibly the worst browser out there.


Firefox is a very good internet browser that, among other things, include an automatic spellcheck in any word field you type it. When you misspell something, a squiggly red line appears underneath it, and you simply have to right click and choose the correct spelling.

For those looking for a simple, yet rock solid browser (with a spell check), I would suggest google chrome's web browser.
google chrome

If you have any questions about those two browsers I'd be more than happy to help to the best of my ability.
August 11, 2011 11:21PM
Hi Ken,
Thank you for pointing out that potential investors also come to the forum for intel before making thier decisions. I did not think of things in that way, but clearly see the point you are making. Personally I would hope that any investor doing his research would narrow his search field to the posts made by the persons associated with the company where he would be making his contrubition to a more efficent and cleaner engine technology and not judge his opinion souly on ones who have an interest in steam power for nostalgia and as a hobby. I find myself falling into the later catagorys, but at the same time would like to build an efficent and advanced engine and not just something that runs 10 miles on a gallon of fuel. Thats why im here to gain knowledge and insight from the best in the field, to better myself, and to get encouragement.

Thank you all,
David Flowers

PS Please dont let Jim hit me with the bat.... and I am open to any suggestions you may have. Just shoot me a PM, it will be most welcomed.
August 12, 2011 08:24AM
Hi Peter,

You'd almost think I'd been saving that title for an appropriate moment. I didn't want to waste it, which was dumb, in true cinematic fashion I could have followed up with:

Argh! Part 2, Son of Argh!, The Argh! Files, The Argh! Chronicles, Argh! the Next Generation, The Good, Bad and Arghly!, Argh-iana! Jones and the Feed Pump of Doom and so on.


Potential employers, investors, spouses, best buddies and retribution-bent bureaucrats all check the internet, making it a sort of jalapeno; what you do today may burn your butt tomorrow. Aesop noted 'birds of a feather flock together' and more commonly we say that 'you are judged by the company you keep'; perception often trumps reality and it is dangerous to assume an investigator will carefully separate different participants in a forum. Junior high and boot camp are living embodiments of this principle. Forum participants can bouy each other up or drag each other down, so some kind of peer pressure to maintain norms is advisable.


I'm not sure bravery has much to do with it, could be I just snapped. But thanks for the kind words in any case!


August 14, 2011 04:45AM
Hi Ken,

LOL! I can't top that... hey, "Raiders Of The Lost Argh!" Badum-bump. Damn I'm hot. LOL

Well, hopefully there won't be more occasions for "argh" titles.

Oh, who am I kidding. It's a steam car internet forum. Regardless of one's views, anything "internet" or "alt-tech" -- let alone both -- is -always- going to be full of "things that make you go argh!"

My laid-back SoCal approach to Internet Argh: just "Chumlee" my way through it. Channel my Inner Idiot. Comic relief is cosmic relief. Then spend my time seriously designing and building, instead of debating, and let the product speak for itself. Others have their own paths to follow, for good or ill. Life is short.

Anyway, be cool, man, and "don't feed the trolls".

smiling smiley

August 14, 2011 08:47PM
I read that Firefox will automatically spell check when composing messages. I see that it works because this is being composed in Firefox browser and it caught my spelling funnies I did on purpose. It does not catch correctly spelled words that are used in error like "there" for "their", but it is a heap better than Internet Explorer in which you cannot spell check on the Phorum posts at all. Go figure.

Karl Petersen
August 14, 2011 10:53PM
My spelling is so bad that a spell checker a lot of times can not figure the
word I meant. I just knows it's wrong and I have to keep guessing till I get
close enough it figures it out. I recently acquired UltraStudio. It is a
peace of software for developing programs etc. It is based on their Ultra Edit
program and is vary good at figuring out spelling errors. It gives you a choice
of words to chose from. It makes a good try it selecting the right one and
that is the default should you just pick OK. But the list of other passable
words are there to chose from and it usually includes the word I meant. And that
is saying a great deal. I am sure you can tell when I don't use it. Like on
this. This laptop keyboard has me making typos I usually don't make. And my
eyes now get tired and make it hard to see after a lot of hours.

August 24, 2011 04:17PM
Andy is rite on.
12 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District (with many perfect attendance awards) getting Ds & Fs throughout.

I had tried to convince my second grade teacher that the flag on the back of a Niña, Pinta and the Santa María would fly forward in a wall mural the whole class was painting.

No Go, i was forever recorded as a "slow lurner"...a misfit.

Noah Webster was a reactionary elitist who intentionally solidified a language that would brutally filter out the "undereducated" lower caste and/or non-Christion immigrants from "proper" commerce and polite society; a hundred years before America began to lock down its borders to immigrant "illegals"( excepting the Chinese ).

Thus the unschooled would spend out their lives in a Malthuse model of America.

The costume of the "business suit", designed to look ridiculous on men with visible upper body strength, eliminates the rest of us who "work" with more than our thumb and forefinger.

P.S. [nq.oxfordjournals.org]
August 25, 2011 08:06AM
That is weird, I had gotten the impression that steam knowledge and ability to spell were mutually exclusive, or that the workings of steam machinery could not be expressed through ordinary english, so I have mostly disregarded the posts that weren't written in "steamlish", up to this point. I will have to revise this conjecture.

Edit: Reiterating that statement; some of the best education on this forum comes from those who spell least correctly.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/25/2011 08:41AM by sidrug.
December 18, 2011 01:52PM
7H15 M3554G3 53RV35 7O PR0V3 H0W 0UR M1ND5 C4N D0 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5! 1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5! 1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG 17 WA5 H4RD BU7 N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3 Y0UR M1ND 1S R34D1NG 17 4U70M471C4LLY W17H 0U7 3V3N 7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17, B3 PROUD! 0NLY C3R741N P30PL3 C4N R3AD 7H15.

PL3453 F0RW4RD 1F U C4N R34D 7H15.
December 18, 2011 02:44PM
HAHA. Took me a few seconds.
December 18, 2011 07:16PM
Y34H, Y34H... 4M421NG 1ND33D!
December 19, 2011 12:28AM

That message reminds me of when I first experienced the absent minded reader effect, as well as the literal minded reader effect. This is when one is reading along in a novel and then notices then they have been thinking of something unrelated to the book, yet have read three or four pages! The latter is when all of a sudden ones mind snaps out of "imiganition land" and into "words on page land" where no matter how hard you try the image is lost and you have to take a break.

I can't be the only one who has experienced those effects!

K33P $AN3

Caleb Ramsby
December 19, 2011 04:18PM
70 73LL Y0U 7H3 7RU7H, 1 7H0UGH7 7H3 WH0L3 7H1NG W45 50 N347 7H47 1 5L4PP3D 70G37H3R 4N 3XC3L 5PR34D5H337 70 M4K3 7YP1NG M3554G35 L1K3 7H15 F4573R!

Which says a lot for my need to get a life....

Funny, I spent 4 years in high school reading one thing while my mind was doing something else! Maybe that's some kind of indictment of the level of text bood writing, or a condemnation of my self discipline. I do know I was recently looking at one of my nephews high school science books and found myself aghast by how far it had been dumbed down since I was in school; and I'm not holding the texts we used up as premier purveyors of pedagogy...
December 19, 2011 06:32PM
Arg indeed-

Stained Epiphany

The Church - Under The Milky Way (HQ music video)

Pi - Super bon bon

RED MARTIAN - YOUR COMPUTER [1993] - ROLAND VOCODER (A nice anthropology [computers] find related to the 20th century)

CAKE - The Distance (Official Music Video)



-edit 1- second youtube link-
-edit 2- 3rd & 4th youtube links-
-edit 3- 5th youtube link-

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 12/20/2011 05:59PM by Jeremy Holmes.
January 25, 2012 11:35PM
We would find that some of the best technical persons, very good with machines and physical skills, are very bad at language skills. I find myself that way. Fortunately I had a good teacher (my mother who had been a grade school teacher specializing in reading with 1-2 grades) who made sure I could read very well. She did that by waiting till I was around 9 to teach me to read, because she could tell my mind was not ready for it till then. At 13 I was buying my own college level technical books. Home schooled all the way except 7th grade, sort of finished 9th, took the GED at 18 and got second highest score of the quarter at the community college where I took the test.

All of my uncles read poorly. (my mother's brothers) but were successful businessmen, one of them a housing contractor. My mothers grandfather was a portable steam powered sawmill owner, and his father/uncles built what was said to be the first floating dredge in Indiana, and were hired by Russia to dredge the Moskva river.

So when I see bad grammer in technical forums I understand, but not everyone does, and first impressions mean a lot. So best be it to talk with correct english.
February 16, 2012 07:20AM
One friend told me in his metallurgy classes at Ohio State all papers got two grades. They were marked by the professor for technical merit, then turned over to an English prof for literacy. Poor papers had to be rewritten, which in the days of typewriters was a real pain, so they got better quickly.

February 16, 2012 08:17AM
We had a similar phenomenon in Accounting classes, you received a certain amount of point reduction for every error. Errors in accounting prinicples taking the biggest hit and slightly less for math and English errors. One or my classmates complained about receiving what I recall as a C for a test that had no accounting or math errors, the professor explained that customers and employers might be frightened off by an accountant incapable of spelling "Receivables" and that it behooved the student to start thinking professionally.

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