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September 2019
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Aerden [userpic]
PBEM Application Approval Rant

WHY can't Americans write in proper English, anymore? I have quite a few non-American friends and acquaintances who write much better English than most American gaming applicants I've seen--especially from would-be Star Trek gamers.

I was reading over someone's character biography today. It was, to be honest, not a bad biography in terms of the player thinking out the character's story and developing it. I thought the player did a pretty good job of describing his character's past and explaining how he came to join the ship.

But the player does not use periods to end sentence or (usually) use capital letters to begin them!!!

*bangs head violently against desk*

Maybe I am just Miss Overly Picky Nazi Grammarian. But dammit, if I'm going to have to read this person's stuff day after day, week after week, I for darned sure want it to be a pleasurable experience instead of a constant aggravation to me or to the other players. I don't know what to do with this app. My inclination is to refuse the person on the grounds that his writing is not up to standard.

I am wondering if I could require the person to resubmit the application to me with correct punctuation used. That way, I could at least have some assurance that the player would know what is expected of him, and I could know that I was not letting a lazy player into the game.

This is really causing internal conflict because I used to write with someone who was a fantastic storyteller, but because of dyslexia or something--I never knew what--her writing was sometimes very hard to understand. But the fact that she was a brilliant storyteller still shone through, and I miss reading her posts to this day.

Duste, where are you? *whines*

Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated
Not nitpicky

Send it back and ask them for proper punctuation. This person will be hell to play with in a text-based environment, and the other players will thank you. I can handle misspelled words, the occasional glitch, and some shortcutting. But the disaster you're describing--no way, no how.

If the person doesn't comply, refuse them. If he/she never responds, then that's one less thing you have to do.

There's nothing wrong with having standards. Set them, hold to them.

Re: Not nitpicky

Gerri--*nods* Yeah, that's pretty much what I've decided, too. If he'll resubmit the thing with decent punctuation, then I'll be a lot more willing to accept him in the game.


It would be so neat to have Duste in Ardaea. *sigh* But even her Yahoo email address appears to be invalid now.


733t Sp33k

Welcome to the wonderful world of online grammar!

You're right; the state of the language, if you go by what you see online, is atrocious. Too many shortcuts, too many people who just don't give a damn. I wonder if there's anybody out there who can still diagram a sentence?

If I were you, I'd send it back and require it be resubmitted with proper grammar and spelling. You are not a Grammar Nazi. He is an illiterate buffoon. :) Your players will thank you.

Re: 733t Sp33k

Yeah, I think that's what I'll do. It's not my job to teach grammar; it's my job to make sure that the applicants already know it.

I don't remember ever having this problem in Pern fandom.


Re: 733t Sp33k

That's because most of us in zine-based Pernfandom wanted to learn how to write better. Remember what Sandra and Cheryl used to say to those who were, shall we say, less than perfect with their grammar?

Now, some of the AOL-based clubs...::shudder::

Re: 733t Sp33k

Actually--No, I don't. What did they say? And what are they doing now? Do they still write? I haven't heard from either of them since Children of the Vortex folded.

Yeah, I can imagine that some of the AOL-based clubs had horrible writers. Most of their members were kids, too, right?


Re: 733t Sp33k

Well, they took it very seriously. There was one time Sandra and I almost got into a knockdown-drag out over a minor point of grammar, and I will never forget the time she got a piece that was so bad, grammatically speaking, that Sandra was, literally, unable to speak. All she could do was gesticulate and make little guttural noises...so of course Guy Bradley and myself christened her "Cheetah" after that little incident.

I haven't seen any of the old Sable crowd in years. I know Cheryl got divorced, but that's all I know about them. Too bad...they were a really fun bunch. I especially miss giving her hell about R'gehr on the GEnie boards.

As for the AOLWeyrs...yes, kidz. Lots of kidz. Don't get me wrong...some of them were very good. But most were starry-eyed Mary Sue writers. Still, it was fun while it lasted.

Re: 733t Sp33k

I wonder if there are any zine-based Pern Weyrs around nowadays, aside from Forten and Fort 9? StarRise still exists, but though we can write stories, there's no zine, as far as far as I'm aware. Admittedly, those are the only ones I would join, unless Sandra or Cheryl (or someone) started up Sable and did it the Old Way. The way it's currently being done, as far as I can tell, is by RP. :P


Re: 733t Sp33k

I don't know about any zine-based clubs still out there. The last I knew about was Logres, but I believe they went belly-up some time ago. Most of the old clubs have gone, or, like Kadanzer, are completely web-based. Even Ista 9 seems to have vanished.

There's supposed to be a "best of Pern" Yahoo!group that claims they're going to publish a quarterly zine, though I don't know what's happening with that. ::grin:: Wanna start one? We had a wonderful idea about a Pern 800+ Turns after AIVAS. They thought Thread was gone forever...they were wrong.

Hey, it could be worse. You could be forced to go thru the Pit of Voles (AKA Fanfiction.net) and edit everyone there.

*goes off feeling ill at the thought*

What's really scary is that people who wrote fan fiction--us--we used to be the ones who knew this stuff. When did we start letting the barbarians in? (g)


Possibly when we started having children? It's youth and inexperience (and an unhealthy dose of entitlement in some cases).

And the fact that you get enough people writing, you're going to have a large number of people who aren't doing it out of love for the words.

You think that's bad?

Hell, we have people who seem to do their entire application in txt msg. It's like reading frikken code. If they can't take the time to apply, chances are, they won't take the time to post with intelligence either. I can understand forgetting to spell check (hey, it happens)... but who wants to read endless 'noise'?

There are a few PBEM support sites out there, and they help people learn how to write for PBEMs. You might want to Google them, and add the links to your site.

Oh, and we reject AOL tags on GP. If folks want to play that badly, they can get a free Yahoo account. It's easy to just run the whole thing using Yahoo groups, anyway.

Anyway, you can check us out on http://www.deepspace12.com/ ... yeah, gotta put in a plug for our favorite haunt.

Re: You think that's bad?

I can't even imagine doing an entire application via test messaging. That'd be an awful lot of work.

Thanks for your links!

Destinies Armada