Not Perfect English is Fine, So does Correction

After I arrived to home, ate a banana, took a hot bath, and logged onto my home computer at around 11:00 PM, I was surprised to see hot argument in my previous entry: Removed my Email from Blog. I wasn’t able to checkout comments at day time yet.

The thread started by bob’s correction of a sentence in my English writing. Itself, to be honest, does NOT seem offensive to me.

Not So Perfect English is OK…

I know, that I am not writing perfect English. And I also know that recently (in the latest half year), the misspelling and grammar mistakes are worse. I didn’t always have time to read what I typed for the second time as I did before. And I didn’t always copy and paste the content from MovableType into Word for spelling checking. As you may notice, most of my entries were created around mid-night, the time my IQ for language is among the lowest. I guess fifteen minutes more sleep is more appreciated for a sleepyhead like me in mid-night.

However, I also remember that keeping the most basic spelling and grammar checking is also critical for a good blog (as stated in bulletin 10 of Writing Good Website Content).

… So does Correction

I admit I felt a little bit embarrassed whenever someone pointed out some errors on my blog. I felt even stronger when the erros are so obvious. I tried to correct the original version if the suggestion makes sense. Don’t worry. I am not discouraged at all for these cases.

I think I have built enough confidence after the three years of blogging. Being confident means to truly understand what one can do and what one cannot, and to accept imperfectness.

Peace, Please

I appreciate everyone’s encouragement to keep on blogging with the “creative spelling” (as Carroll put it in her privous comment. It does give me much courage. However, I felt not good for some later comments with some not-so-respectful tone toward bob. As I outlined in this article: Peace in Discussion, I cannot bear anyone writing flaming comment against my other readers, no matter what attitude he has toward me. Here are some points I selected from the article:

  • As you can see again, there is a comment system on this site. I value everyone’s post and it is part of the blog – actually, it is very large portion of this website.
  • The comment entries provide very informative and updated content to the readers. I have my principle on comments (check the My principle on comments section).
  • I cannot bear anyone writing flaming comment against my other readers
  • Thank you for your defense for me, but I just want to make it clear that I value any disagreement as much as those supporting comments.
  • I don’t think (helping me by flaming other commenters) hurts me as much as people’s attempt to discourage others from express their opinion.

I have hidden the comments with offensive comment to bob in that thread. I hope a peaceful environment for everyone to participate. Meanwhile, let me give blogging more time to correct those obvious grammar and spelling errors. :-)

Have a wonderful night – sleepyhead Jian Shuo is going to bed now.

29 thoughts on “Not Perfect English is Fine, So does Correction

  1. Its pretty amazing, Jian Shuo, how passionate your readers are!

    I think you handled that well. Encouraging people to have open discussion with differing view points without personal attacks is something to be applauded.

  2. I also write an english blog. But I always make mistakes, I use MS word for splling correct.

    But I think there was still many gramma issues.

    But, so what, one of the ponit why I have my english blog, is to practise my English. ;-)

  3. actually, when we speak to foreign friends or customers, our words contain lots of grammar mistakes, but they can still understand us, and we read blog just to get information, I think that it is enough if you can understand the meaning of the sentence.

  4. “Have a wonderful night – sleepyhead Jian Shuo is going bed now.”

    You mean “… going TO bed now.” :-)

    Truely – just joking.

  5. Don’t worry, any where in the world you will find people who thought they know everything. It’s just not worth to fight against them every time

  6. I still cannot understand why a simple suggestion of wording can develop into battle of word.

    I shall feel happy if someone can point out my mistakes in a friendly way.

  7. There is a sheer difference between pointing out someone’s mistake and simply judging someone’s English. One is constructive help which is universally appreciated, the other is cocky and arrogant which only attracts hatred and despise.

  8. JS, I’m glad you have many loyal readers and I am one of them. I am getting a little confused with many of the comments that are being made here in the last couple of days regarding Bob’s comment .

    I actually don’t agree with all of Bob’s suggestions/corrections. But what I don’t understand is why people got so upset? I thought about this for a long time, but still do not understand what is wrong with Bob/ or anyone else making suggestions? What is wrong with people pointing out one’s mistakes or making stylistic suggestions. I realize Bob was not necessarily pointing out grammar or spelling errors, rather he felt that there were better ways to say a few things. Is that why people were upset? Would people be less upset if Bob pointed out spelling/grammar errors instead? (Since stylistic changes are more of a personal preference) I always believed that suggestions and criticism given in a constructive manner are great ways to help one improve. It certainly is not a sign of in-tolerance and disrespect, as one of your reader suggested. For example when JS noticed the spelling errors in SH metro stations, he tried hard to get that corrected(many readers supported him). I certainly don’t think that was done out of disrespect. I may even go as far as to say he did it out his love for the city (I know that maybe a little sappy)

    Some of the readers defended JS by saying that his English is better than most. I agree that for a person who have never lived in an English speaking country his English skills are quite impressive, but it does not mean he is perfect. So there is always room for improvement right? I don’t know JS, but from his entries, I gather he’s the type of person who would want to improve, and welcome other people’s suggestions.

    One of the readers mentioned that he knows that he makes mistakes while speaking to his clients, but it was good enough as long as they understand each other. Why is it good enough? Shouldn’t we always try to do the best we can? If you know you are making mistakes, then it is possible to correct it. If we can improve, why shouldn’t we? Perhaps the same should apply to your clients. If they are dealing with a Chinese company, perhaps they should learn to speak Chinese as well as they can.

    Yet another reader said that he writes an English blog to practice his English writing skills. I gather from the statement that he would like to improve his English writing. So wouldn’t it be helpful to him, if someone corrected his mistakes, or made suggestions in the way he writes?

    Sorry, this comment is so long. JS, I truly enjoy reading your blog, and all the comments that go with it too :-) I admire your spirit, confidence, and humility.

  9. Well, in my country almost everyone speak broken english. We just make sure we can get our message across and they understand. English will be the first lanuage and chinese be the second lanuage. But in china, i think that will be the opposite or else What do you think “China” mean. Ans: Of course, it mean chinese. Ha ha, Just Joking.

  10. Hi Jian Shuo.

    I am your fan. Fasinating on reading your blog. I am not an English native speaker. I used to work hard to be much more improved in English. After long years of studying in class and in daily life. I am satisfied myself to be able to communicate well. Eventhough, my English is not perfect, sometime gramma are incorrect. That’s not a big deal as I can communicate and understand. It’s good if I can write perfectly and I dream to have this skill someday. I think it’s need more energy and time to be devoted for the perfect things. My thought was changed when I discover the Chinese language is the perfect challenging. To be able to fluently speaking, reading and writing, it’s very very difficult. That’s the point of change. I thought that there are many things to be discovered. English is just a western language. We should open up our mind to learn another language of the eastern side. Then, we will have the balance of our knowledge / experience. Eastern has so many things to be discovered.

  11. Jian Shuo,

    I like your blog because I love your insights on everyday things.

    Gramma does not matter but content does.

    Keep going!

    Here is a look at you!

  12. hi, Wang Jian shuo, you handled it with grace. I am impressed.

    even native english speakers at times make mistake.

    Some English people think of Americans as pollutting the language.

    Some American people can’t stand the obsolete register of Britons.

    so what? the world needs differences. The sensible thing we can do is to make the best from the criticism, as you’ve already done, brilliantly.

  13. now i am used to reading jianshuo’s blog every moring.i think it is very interesting and useful.just like it,so keep on!

  14. I can assume you do not mean me. I’m an American who believes they way you do. It is the content of what you write…not the words, grammar or spelling. Traveling to China for the last 15 years or so I’m amazed on how many people are learning english over such a short time. As you can see from past posts I do not spell especially well.

  15. JS,

    It’s okay. I can understand everything you are trying to say despite some grammer errors here and there. I know it’s not easy. And I understand that it’s not productive to try to take rid of most errors. The key is to get the message across to your audiences. In that way, you’ve done a fabulous job!

    Keep on the good job, telling us the stories, information about Shanghai, that’s most important.

  16. I think your English is just fine. If you want to improv then that is good. If you don’t have the time to improve that is good too. I’ll enjoy reading your blog whatever you decide.

  17. better that i posted my former comments here.

    coz it was more about English than that specific blog.. xixi

    also i’m a bit curious about how this happened:

    “Wangjianshuo’s Blog was voted as Top 10 China Blogs, mentioned by BusinessWeek, MSNBC, UK Telegraph, China Radio International and many local magazines. It is visited 300,000 times by 45,000 visitors from 109 countries every month. ”

    have you done any promotions or what? as i can see from some of your words, you have a solid education and working experience. easy for you to access to those medias, hehe

    no offense, but some msn space bloggers write almost as well as you do, if not better..heihei

  18. to add:

    sometimes using English correctly is a habit. it doesn’t really require a lot of time.

    maybe i need more time to digest more of your blogs..let’s see where your charm lies. :-p

  19. Since he is existing, man want to fly like bird that he saw in the sky

    After a long, unfruitful and many deaths of attempts. The progress in mecanic helped a man to make his first contolled fly which was by the Wright brothers in 1903 but it was Clément ADER the first man who take off with a heavier than air machine he had invented the word “avion”… It was the begining of a great story.

    After thise first fly, make record was a sport because industry give a lot of price for the new record. Kind of records are always airbus sloggan : farther faster higher…

    Most famous record of this time was the Louis BLERIOT flight across english channel

    World War I stimulate aviation idustry. At the begining, plane was just used for recognition, but when athorities see that the war will be harder than they thought, they decided to give to the plane offensive mission and new labotory were created.

    After the war progress benefit to aviation sport, as before the war. The most famous record was the first fly across atlantic ocean from New york to Paris by Charles lindbergh on his spirit of st Louis. It was the begin of the commercial aviation.

    It was the time of pioneer, first comercial fly was created to transport mail from toulouse to the maroc and after to the Senegal at Dakar.Most famous name are the trio : Jean MERMOZ, Henri GUILLAUMET and Antoine DE ST EXUPERY but of course there were not alone.They flew across the atlantic ocean from Dakar to Brasil and all the South America. Just before WWII allmost of industry country had their own commercial aviation.

    For sure WWII , contribute a lot for aviation progress, and the motto was that plane can fly evrywere at all time by all weather…After WWII progress was considerable. Aircraft were able to fly at 10km higher with the pressurization and reaction aparition it s also he beginin’ of space discovery.

  20. Do not bother with spelling or grammar issues anymore. Even native speakers make erros too. And they think it is quite normal! What impressed me most is that you really start to think in English and write your blog in a fairly natural way. I think you are on the right track.

    I am from Suzhou in China. Now I am studying in Australia. It really takes patience and courage to hang on with English studying for a person from Asia, especially in speaking. In tutorial, I am the most active student, speaking up fluently. But that does mean I can do equally well in causual conversation with native speakers. Because what I am focusing on now is academic English realted to my major. If I am to speak fluently in other areas, I have to first study related English expressions for three days! That’s frustrating!

  21. I dont mind there are some typing errors and grammar error, it’s ok, my last boss is a American, everytime he email us, there fully of typing errors, we know, he may on travelling or maybe he is tired. my english is not good, I sure there are many grammar errors in it…

  22. The more important is the quality of the content of your blog, some spelling mistakes can be found in anybody’s blog, so no worries about that. Just try to check yout posts from time to time before actually post them and they will be ok!

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