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I am not able to write too casually. Do people notice?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by musicalman, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. musicalman

    musicalman Active Member

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    Hi all,
    So first I should give a bit of background, so that those who think I'm just weird will know where I'm coming from and why I am different.

    Basically I am blind and grew up learning braille, but as I went through school, I used braille less and less, and started using my IPhone and laptop more, with adaptive software that speaks. Such software does have braille support, outputting to braille displays (kinda like computer monitors for the blind), but I don't use those because a laptop and phone are more portable, and I can speed the speech up to faster rates than I can read braille.

    When I was in school learning to read and write, I was told to end sentences with either a period, question mark or exclamation mark, except for titles where you use title case. Nobody ever told me you could get away with doing any different, and being the type of person who does a lot of what he's told most of the time until directed otherwise, I didn't really question it. Not even when I got on a computer and started typing e-mails and eventually getting into Skype when I was 15-16.

    Until my early 20s when I was starting to branch out into forums, Twitter, Discord, and a host of other social media apps to varying degrees, I kinda assumed that all but the laziest of people capitalized the first letter of every sentence, and ended statements with punctuation. Even single words weren't exempt from this rule. If someone for instance asked me if I wanted to do something which I didn't feel like doing, I would literally write "No." Without the quotes obviously. I don't write like this to be a writing snob, it just comes from my desire to produce neat things I guess. There's a certain neatness I perceive from a string of text that could well be a sentence which begins and ends like one. It's more the concept of a proper start and end than it is about good writing.

    Most people I talk to don't write messages like me, which I only recently found out. They either omit capitalization, omit that last punctuation mark, or omit both. To be honest, this actually surprised me quite a bit. Now I am not the type of person to judge, so I don't think any less of them. It baffles me and leads to a curiosity about how people decide their standards, but it goes no further.

    Another thing, for a time I also avoided abbreviations like the plague, though I like the word lol for some reason and that's stuck with me, but I still don't like saying brb, or btw, because obviously when the messages are read to me, I hear the letters "b r b", or "b t w" which is a little weird to me. And in some cases, such as iirc, the letters aren't read as individual, but strung together into a fake word like "eark." I could make exceptions to this to expand these abbreviations or change them to read in more intuitive ways, but that feels wrong somehow. I'm more lax about it now, mainly because of my compulsion to fit in, but I still feel awkward about it.

    I'm pretty sure that if I stuck with braille, no doubt I would've noticed trends sooner, since in braille, punctuation is as clear as it is in print. But when stuff is read to you, punctuation isn't read to you unless you specifically request it most of the time. If I was using braille, odds are that during my first few Skype chats I probably would've begun jumping on the wagon of the majority and started following them, since things I read in braille stick with me more. I think I would still experience some of the same awkwardness, but would find a happy ground that I could eventually accept. But now the extra effort to be semi formal is reflexive and trying to be more casual is painful, so I feel like I will always be less casual than most. That is hard to accept sometimes since throughout my life I have always been an outcast.

    I'm not going to make a big deal of it off this thread though, since nobody has made it out to be a bad thing yet, so why should I? In fact, if someone does bring it up, it would be an interesting discussion. If someone hacked into one of my accounts, everyone who had at least had some IM correspondence with me would instantly be able to tell I was hacked. Or would they? That's what stems this curiosity. ?Do these differences even matter to people who actually read print? Or braille for that matter, since I honestly don't know at this stage.

    So, I'm interested in any insight you can give after reading all this, but there are a few main points that drew this 5300-character post out of me in the first place.
    1. If you are one of the few who is religious about writing complete sentences even in the most informal conversations, why? How pedantic are you about it?

    2. Do you find it difficult to change your style from informal to formal? Do you even have a distinction between the two? I don't have a big distinction. I'm not always this wordy, but I always write the same way, perhaps with slightly different word choice when being more formal.

    3. Would your attention be drawn if you met a new friend who wrote messages the same way I said I write mine? If you notice that sort of thing, what would be your reaction if any?

    Few, that's all I think. So what are your thoughts? And no I promise I will not proof them like an English nazi. That's not at all why I'm here.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
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  2. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    You type normally, from my perspective.

    In texts, I end most sentences with exclamation points to avoid sounding anything but positive.

    Most people I converse with type how we are, in all mediums, with small inconsistencies. Since I don't text with many teenagers, I don't see things like "brb" and other such stuff much.
     
  3. Kyou Nukui

    Kyou Nukui music is amazing

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    I do that to some extent on technical, mechanics and engineering forums where precise information is required.
    I have learned to mimic others tho, so I can relax the rules when I feel like it. I did write to teens for a while on one forum which helped me to type more informally, lolz.
    But if I don't use at least nearly correct punctuation here, it is usually because I am accessing this forum from my phone and it is a lot more difficult to type using a phone. This is also a difficult site to use, especially when editing posts.

    I don't think people mind your punctuation. They tend to care more about the content and whether you seem to be listening to and empathising with them, and expressing emotions, IME/IMHO.
     
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  4. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative

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    When it comes to what other people write, one reason why the lack of punctuation and such happens is because alot of people just dont really know how to type properly. Typing properly is a difficult to learn skill, since it involves all 10 fingers going in all different directions pretty much constantly with no breaks. Doing this really quickly is even harder. I learned it in highschool, and the class that taught it took a good few months to do so, to make sure the whole class could keep up.

    But when someone doesnt really know how to type, they'll do the 2-finger method, which is slower than a snail in sludge. As they're already focusing alot on looking at the keyboard so they can poke the correct letters (wheras someone doing proper typing doesnt even look at the keyboard at all) the idea of skipping punctuation and such makes it a little easier for them, and a little faster.

    That's also why phone texts in particular tend to be even more lacking in proper punctuation and spelling; you have no choice but to use one or two fingers, so unless you're super coordinated, you cannot do it very fast.

    All of that leads to, well, stuff that isnt at all formatted properly, and that probably includes all sorts of abbreviations and stuff like that.


    Now as for whether or not people will actually notice how YOU type, probably not. As long as they understand the things you're saying at them, most wont really care, let alone notice.

    However, if you were to abruptly change your writing style, people that know you might immediately notice and find it rather odd.
     
  5. tlc

    tlc Well-Known Member

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    How I write makes me feel like a different person, so I choose what I want for the occassion. For example, if I do technical writing or service manuals at work, they are excellent. It's published works with my name on it. A post on a forum like this, maybe a little less formal. A chatroom or text, very informal. If I everything with excellent spelling and grammar, I'd feel like a professor or executive, and I don't want to feel like that. Most of the time I just want to feel like a regular guy.
     
  6. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I appreciate someone taking the time to follow the rules in their writing.

    One comma too many can change the meaning in a sentence.
    ..."eats, shoots and leaves"
    Gangster Panda!
    Interpreting an intended meaning can sometimes be taxing enough without punctuation adding futher confusion.
     
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  7. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    I was taught strict discipline where it comes to punctuation and spelling, both in school and univerisity, at a time where mobile phones and other texting devices had not yet become widely popular. I find poorly punctuated text very hard work to read and understand, and if I'm faced with a wall of text without appropiate paragraphing and punctuation, I simply won't read it. I also find texts written on mobile devices where there are no paragraphs, but disjointed sentences on separate lines like poetry difficult to follow. Far from helping the user, auto-correction and predictive text on devices merely serve to hinder and cause people to make even more grammar and spelling errors, and I never use them - I always type out my text manually, even if it takes me longer. I'm not a grammar nazi; I understand that people are using these devices which don't make typing easy, that people might have dyslexia or other reasons why they don't use paragraphs, correct spelling or punctuation, it just makes it harder to read and understand.

    One thing that does drive me mad is abbreviations and acronyms. People use these relentlessly with no thought as to whether the other person is going to understand them or not. They think that because they know the acronym and it is obvious to them, everybody must know it, and I don't mean the really common ones like OMG or lol or brb that everyone uses, nor do I expect that everyone is going to write ASD as Autism Spectum Disorder on a forum like this, but acronyms relating to the legal system of one particular country for example, or the initials of a person is famous in one country, may not be understood by other members from other countries on an international forum and therefore should be written out in full at least the first time they are mentioned. People have a tendency to forget that not all the people on the forum come from their country and many simply won't understand the acronym. I often don't understand a post because acronyms have been used and so I don't reply. @musicalman, you mention "IM correspondence" - this is meaningless if you don't understand that "IM" is "Instant Messaging" - I was able to work this one out, but often I can't, and Googling doesn't always help and just makes it hard work to read - if I have time and energy, great, if I don't, I'm not going to bother.
     
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  8. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    I follow all the grammatical rules, even when texting. I understand all the latest text slang and abbreviations, but I don't use them. It was the same even when I was in school and all my peers adapted all the latest slang - I never felt comfortable using any word for anything other than its formal definition.

    So, I am the exact opposite of Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking Glass, who said, "When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."
     
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  9. H-Kath

    H-Kath Member

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    Yeah, this is called style shifting. I've improved with age but it's something I've always struggled with and one of the reasons people in my life mention my odd speech. I learned most of my English growing up on Star Trek and constantly reading speculative fiction. As an adult I had to learn to speak differently to get along with my co-workers when I was a janitor, or with people I met at shows. Neither group respects speech that sounds formal or academic. My tendency is to mix styles.

    It's considered a subconscious change in speech to create the subtext of group belonging. Shifting to match the group your speaking with signals a sense of comradely or group belonging while deliberately using different form signals the the speaker does not associate themself with that group. In the case of using more prestigious forms, this can be taken as signalling a sense of superiority.
     
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  10. Solphire

    Solphire Learning to drop the mask

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    @musicalman

    I write similarly to you. I use capitalization and punctuation correctly in all of my written messages, including texts. Even the simple abbreviations, such as "k", instead if "okay" annoys me. I can see that it is a trend now to omit these things, however to me, it just seems lazy.
     
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  11. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard V.I.P Member

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    I’m very formal in my writing (and speaking) as well.
     
  12. Vindicator Phoenix

    Vindicator Phoenix Active Member

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    3. Would your attention be drawn if you met a new friend who wrote messages the same way I said I write mine? If you notice that sort of thing, what would be your reaction if any?

    Oh my goodness! My friend doesn't hide or imply meaning! Hooray! They value my comprehension! They also don't use colloquial abbreviations and slang that possess too many connotations to allow me to pinpoint the meaning they meant. This friend is such a lord!
     
  13. musicalman

    musicalman Active Member

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    Hey guys, thanks for the responses! I love reading different perspectives.
    Wow so you spell okay out too.
    It's funny, I have a few friends who think similarly to you, including my girlfriend as a matter of fact, but it's interesting to hear a stranger talk about it that way.
     
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