Use of English on PBS (was: Re: PBS responses)

Lee Poulsen
Tue, 24 Aug 2010 22:43:40 PDT
Mary Sue Ittner wrote:
> It doesn't have anything in it about grammar or spelling as we do have 
> a number of members whose native language is not English and we 
> appreciate their attempts to communicate with us as best they can. The 
> purpose of this list is to communicate with each other.

I would like to strongly second what Mary Sue said here. While I often am silently in agreement with what Rodger Whitlock said about the English spelling, grammar, etc. in some emails--*when I know the writer's native language is English*--I adamantly believe that those for whom English is a second or third language, or that those who don't know English at all and use one of the online translators, should write no matter how poor the English might be. Because I'd much rather hear anything whatsoever from them than nothing at all, even if it takes me a little longer to figure out what they're saying.

And even though I'd much prefer good English from native English speakers (because it makes me wonder about how well English is being taught or not being taught to our children as they grow up in places like the U.S. or the U.K. or Australia-and it's easier to read and understand!), I would still rather hear from them no matter what. I would hate it if someone felt like they ought not participate on PBS because they are poor spellers or are self-conscious about their grammar. (I'm not even sure whether my grammar is good in what I've written here. In fact, I feel like I was never properly taught English grammar growing up, even though I had an excellent education. Nearly all the English grammar I now know was actually learned while studying and/or learning several other languages in high school and college!)

So everyone please write, no matter how you do it. And I'd even venture to say that if you can't write at all in English, write in your native language and there is probably someone else on PBS who can make an attempt at translating it into English for the rest of us. There are an awful lot of *very* bright people on this list!

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena, California, USA - USDA Zone 10a

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