This goes for English-speakers from our former colonies, and even from our glorious native homelands of Britannia Herself. It is also applicable (although more forgivable) to those amongst us for whom English is not a first language, but in your case I am more lenient specifically because you have had to learn it in addition to your native tongue as opposed to it actually being your native tongue learned from birth. Sure, a few of our native English-speakers have had significantly less years than me to actually pick up fluent English (a fact all too bloody apparent around here...I'm convinced the average age of a Revorian is 9, with a mental age far lower.)
For a kickoff, 1337sp33k or txt shrthnd is right out. Seriously. There are a lot of people who fought in wars to maintain the beautiful thing that is the English language, and this is an English forum. Please treat our language with respect.
So, with that particular point of note out of the way, let's move on to some basic 'do's and don'ts' of English.
Sentence StructureSentences begin with a capital letter. They also end with a full stop. Sometimes, pauses and clauses can be highlighted with a comma. These help break up text to stop it being an impenetrable cube, let us know where one sentence ends and another begins, and stop the author of the passage of text looking like a complete dribbling retard. In the immortal words of Coman Tosmiov:
Come on, people. It isn't rocket science.
"If you cannot write and punctuate a sentence, nobody will take you seriously."
Other Common Punctuation
Capital letters are also mandatory for denoting Proper Nouns. Now, I know I occasionally lapse on this, particularly on MSN though it has been known on here. But if you are naming a person or a place (e.g, Mars, America, Ash, Theodore Roosevelt), you need capital letters.
! - Exclamation mark. Used to denote anger, emphasis or surprise. You only need to use one; at a push, two, or at very most, three. Three is the number thou shalt limit to, and the number to which thou shalt be limited shall be three. Five is right out.
? - Question mark. Used to denote a query. Even though he has the 'queer-eye-for-the-straight-guy' look compared to his upstanding friend Exclamation Mark, he's still best used in small doses.
' - Apostrophe. Used in words such as 'it's' and 'that's' to show where two words have become one. 'it's' is short for 'it is' or 'it has'. The word 'its' does exist in English, however it denotes a possessive. Allow me to explain:
"It's got a plastic shell."
"Its shell is made of plastic."
Two sentences say and mean the same thing. Note the difference in use. The former is telling you about 'it', whereas the latter is telling you about the shell that belongs to 'it'.
Another use of an apostrophe is to remove a letter from a word to show you're usin' an accent.
& - Ampersand. Crazy little fella. If you can't be bothered to type 'and', lessen your keystrokes and the amount your hands need to move by simply using Ampersand. Some people like to write two on their Facebooks/Twitters. You only need the one though, otherwise you're just saying and twice, and will be referred to the Department of Redundancy Department.
... - Ellipsis. Three full-stops put together denotes a long pause, or a truncated (cut short) sentence, as if wistfully going away. Just as with his sentence-finishing friends ! and ?, you only need three dots. Any more and you either look like an emo douche, or a complete douche. And believe me, you don't want to be in either category.
If Lolcats/Icanhazcheesburger wrote it, it is an example of how things are not written. If you write like that, then you fail. Epically.
SHOUTING should be used much more sparingly than a lot of you pukes like to. I am known to shout on occasion. The odd word is fine. Maybe even a whole particular sentence for emphasis, however it's still better practice to use italic or bold text, as I've tried to get myself into the habit of doing. Nobody likes to read a cube of capital letters.
Physical actions are fine to denote, if you're trying to act more natural. Double-asterisks are good for this. *Shrugs* There isn't a lot of need for them on a forum, but the option is there. At least denote that that's what you're doing rather than leave it up to the reader to guess. On the whole, keep this for Facebook messages or MSN chatter, rather than a (supposedly) mature forum.
Look at that sentence. Tell me it is not annoying. It actually took me longer to write that than it would've taken me to write each word out correctly. I actually had to put conscious thought into writing poorly! The primitive brains that seem to inhabit this forum can surely do without this extra process hogging its resources, particularly if it's trying to post something cogent in the House of Parliament or Deep Thought section. Now, I know not everyone is a spelling bee. That's fine. That's why Firefox has an inbuilt spell-checker if you can bother to turn it on. This site explains how to install a dictionary to your Firefox so you don't even have to copypaste text out of Word anymore! Just right-click on your forum reply text-box and add a dictionary! I recommend the OED, especially to the Americans among us (That was just a little joke). Don't forget your punctuation either. This is not a fucking MSN conversation. You have as long as your little heart desires to write your post, so take a bit of pride in it.
speling shud b propr n not lyk ur riting a txt 2 ur gf or ur m8 ova msn lol!
Don't abbreviate words unnecessarily, type out the full thing. Is it really such an effort to put a 'y' and an 'o' before the 'u' in 'you'? Most of the words you're shortening are literally three letters long. It ain't worth it. But if you mess up or typo, please, for the love of God, edit your post. There is no shame in it. Honest. I do it all the time. No harm in looking over your post either to check for this kind of thing. By all means use your regular net abbreviations like 'wtf' or 'lol', but the latter shouldn't be the end of your sentence lol. See how annoying that is? It disjoints the sentence and makes you seem like a fucking retard. Not the impression we're trying to get across.
Smiley posts. Avoid. A couple is fine, but one for every sentence, or several at the end of each sentence (or at the end of the post) just serves to piss people off. Use one to either denote the fact you're joking or being ironic, or just to show the emotion you want to convey. Your emotion doesn't fluctuate that much between the beginning of a post and the end, so neither should you do in your posts. Does your face jerk wildly from a smile to a wink to a frown with each sentence? No! Why should this be any different?
You'regoing to get your book from the days of yore.
You're = You Are.
Your = Belonging to you.
Yore = Ancient history, or time immemorial.
They're going to get their book from over there.
Their = Belonging to them.
They're = They Are.
There = A location other than the current one.
Which = Refers to a choice between a known number of options.
Witch = A wicked spell-casting female magician, or a member of the pagan religion.
I before E except after C
Basically what it says on the tin. Believe it when you conceive of it. Retrieve it from the ceiling. Only a couple of occasions is the rule broken (e.g., science), but it's no excuse for you to break it all the time.
If you can't spell a word, or aren't sure (or the spell-checker isn't working), try to find a simpler word. Unless you know how to spell obfuscate, don't bother with it, especially when you might know how to say 'make it unclear' or 'make it confusing', which mean exactly the same thing. Antidisestablishmentarianism is all well and good, but it basically means 'being against the abolition of organised religion'. See, there are always easier ways to say things. That's what's so great about English - even idiots can use it properly and not be thought less of unless they absolutely mangle the language by pretending that the Revora forum is their fucking Facebook status or a txt msg to their 'm8'. Well newsflash, champ: We aren't your 'm8'. You aren't limited to 255 characters before you're charged for a second text, and nobody here cares about what you just did five seconds ago. You have all the time in the world to write this post - the post message box doesn't expire and your message will benefit immeasurably by actually being cogent and intelligent-looking.
There's a fact that says a good message is 70% how you look, 20% how you sound and only 10% what you say. If you make your post look good, you sound more like you know what you're on about (or at least as if you've put a bit of reasoned thought into your answer) and therefore people take that 10% of what you say with a bit more credence rather than dismissing it out of hand because your poor writing skill makes you look like a retard.
Please, just adhere to these simple fucking rules and we'll get along just famously. If you see yourself typo, change it before you post. Don't just think 'oh, it'll be ok'. Because no. It fucking won't. You wouldn't write a letter to a prospective employer or hand in work to your schoolteacher (the latter more likely for the most of you) that looked like half the drivel you post on this forum. Why do you think so little of Revora that you are quite happy to throw any old crap at it? And let's face it, whether you're a native English-speaker or not, it's good practice. If you actually learn how to write English, it will stand you in better stead to get into the habit now, while (most of) you are still at school rather than leave it until you're older and not be able to get your head around it.
This has been a public service announcement from the Quality Control Bureau. And if you're confused by any of the words I used in this post, look them the fuck up. Call it your homework assignment for after you've learned how to actually use the words you do know.
Further reading: http://www.antimoon....istakes-how.htm
Use of the words HAVE, OFF and OF
The two are not interchangeable. There is no such phrase as 'should OF', or 'would OF'. Also, one F and 2 Fs have totally different meanings.
"I should have got those shoes."
"The chicken is what I would have"
"Any chance of getting a cigarette?"
"What is this painting of?"
"Get off this bus."
"This beef looks off to me."
Get it right.