What’s the worth of having good English/Grammar

Amazon / Consultant Steel-man
Nov 29, 2018 32 Comments

So, here’s the deal. I know quite a few people who are damn good at their jobs with limited English skills. And, several of these guys are at every FAANG company. And whenever they post something here the comments have some depth in them. But as usual the grammar nazis try to troll these guys about grammar/English. Is it just an ego booster for the trolls to comment about someone’s grammar, and many a time the trolls itself have horrendous grammar.

Edit: By the way I see billionaire hedge fund guys(Americans) English being corrected on Twitter. So, the question is, Are some people
inherently trying to find flaws?While few others try to understand the content?

Edit2: Also good writing skills don’t automatically translate to great speaking/presenting skills/showmanship

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TOP 32 Comments
  • Microsoft QQ??
    If you’re born in an English-speaking country, after many years of school and college there’s no excuse for you not to be able to spell properly while writing in English.

    1. Communication is important
    2. Poor grammar means you can be misunderstood
    3. Makes you look stupid
    Nov 29, 2018 2
    • Indeed / Eng
      kodez4772

      Indeed Eng

      BIO
      Eng. lead
      kodez4772more
      I think you mean “not to be able to spell”
      Nov 29, 2018
    • Microsoft QQ??
      Yes, sorry, typo (I see the irony)
      Nov 29, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng GHskann
    The inability to write with proper English says either A) they are a bit of a dick and not putting in due diligence, or B) they aren’t competent enough to write basic English.

    Choose your poison
    Nov 29, 2018 5
    • Spotify WizzAir
      C) spend time on more important things than fixing grammar. Not like we are turning in assignments for college English class
      Nov 29, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng GHskann
      There’s a range of acceptable levels of correctness
      Nov 29, 2018
    • Microsoft QQ??
      Agree with Amazon. No one expects an engineer to be writing like a poet, but knowing the difference between “its” and “it’s” is just basic grammar. Worse: those principal engineers who spell their own job title principle.
      Nov 29, 2018
    • Deloitte / Legal
      nohomobro

      Deloitte Legal

      PRE
      Deloitte
      nohomobromore
      @Microsoft: for those engineers, stupid is as stupid does. /sigh

      Also, *worst ;)
      Nov 29, 2018
    • Spotify WizzAir
      What i alwayz thot its principle engineer. Like high school principle.
      Nov 29, 2018
  • Deloitte / Legal
    nohomobro

    Deloitte Legal

    PRE
    Deloitte
    nohomobromore
    Because if you can’t figure out basic English you’re really not as smart as you think you are. Compared to the Scandinavian languages and Mandarin, for example, it is *easy.*

    Also, chances are good they’re using the same garbage spelling and grammar to butcher tech documentation and coding variables to the point of iincomprehensibility. Having to sift through and clean up that mess is infuriating.
    Nov 29, 2018 3
    • Amazon / Eng GHskann
      This! Ugh it’s super easy to tell when documentation is written by non native English speakers, because it makes no sense and is over complicated. Reading their docs is the worst experience. It’s horrible.
      Nov 29, 2018
    • Microsoft QQ??
      I’ve met many Americans who write much worse than foreigners.
      Nov 29, 2018
    • Deloitte / Legal
      nohomobro

      Deloitte Legal

      PRE
      Deloitte
      nohomobromore
      @Microsoft: quite so and even less excusable.
      Nov 29, 2018
  • Intel burrrp
    On the contrary, ppl who have good speaking and grammar skills end up higher than those with better technical know-how. With average English you have to be lucky or a bit more smarter than usual to get noticed.
    Nov 29, 2018 0
  • Facebook Whateverrs
    This whole post is horrifically bad grammar and it hurts my brain to try to parse it. It's so bad it makes me feel like you're trolling us. If you're a native English speaker and this isn't a joke, the post demonstrates clearly that you aren't very bright or aren't very attentive. If I worked with you, knew you were American, and you wrote like this in work emails, I'd certainly judge you for it.

    If you are not a native English speaker and this is an honest effort at a language you don't know well, congratulations! You're probably brighter than most of us.

    It's hard to learn a foreign language, but keep learning. It should be obvious that being more difficult to understand is going to hold you back in your career and life. You can be successful without good communication skills, but that doesn't mean you're getting as far as you could. Barely getting a point across, taking more time from your reader, or just putting your head down and writing nothing but code isn't going to allow you to reach your full potential.

    And sure, I've seen typos from Elon musk. Everyone makes mistakes. A slip of the fingers, on his phone, while high on ambien and joking on Twitter isn't what made him his first billion dollars.

    I mean, honestly, did you even read your own post before clicking send? Even as a non native English speaker, you could put a little effort in. 21 people replied to your post, and probably many more read it. At least 21x as much reading happened as writing, and you couldn't even be bothered to proof read once to save us some time?
    Nov 29, 2018 1
    • Amazon / Consultant Steel-man
      OP
      I sincerely apologize for not proof reading my post. I’ve read it now and made some changes. I can’t give any excuses, I totally appreciate your thoughtful response. There’s a lot to learn from your comment.
      Nov 29, 2018
  • WeWork / IT TaylorHart
    I used to poke fun and imitate my best friend (Ukrainian) since he has a pretty strong accent, years ago. One day he was like, “alright, enough with the accent jokes. It just means I know multiple languages.”

    I never did it again. We’re still best friends ~5yrs later. I respect people with accents, because shit, i can barely speak anything other than English
    Nov 29, 2018 1
    • Deloitte / Legal
      nohomobro

      Deloitte Legal

      PRE
      Deloitte
      nohomobromore
      I don’t think people are dogging accents so much as a lazy or inept approach to spelling and grammar. Of course, if your position requires people to comprehend your verbal speech, a heavy accent could indeed be a problem. That’s why most foreign language classes - the ones worth taking at least - almost always devote ~33% of the early curriculum to neutralizing it. Otherwise, what is the point of speaking another language if you can’t actually speak it to a native speaker?

      Understanding, ofc, your friend’s accent was merely heavy as opposed to crippling. I tend to find Ukrainian and Russian accents in English to be pleasing instead of grating anyhow.
      Nov 29, 2018
  • Google / Mgmt Lovedoo
    As long as you are not making blatant grammatical faux pas, you are fine. You get judged more for written than spoken English. The point of any invented language is to ensure communication of thoughts, ideas and instructions. All language evolves.
    And English has over 200 variants depending on which part of the world you live in. I made a faux pas, ending the sentence in preposition. I feel just the same, and my TC did not change
    Nov 30, 2018 0
  • New DuQvV7x
    Isn’t this like saying what’s the point of bug-Free code?
    Nov 30, 2018 1
    • Amazon thealpha
      “In most cases” it’s like room for improving variable/function names, documentation and for future refactoring :D
      Nov 30, 2018
  • Microsoft cout<<
    If I’m confused I’ll ask. Or I might point something out if I think it’s helpful.

    Mocking someone communicating in a non-native language is just a dick.

    If you feel better about yourself because of your superior grammar, good for you.

    Hmm, I wonder if the guys claiming anyone should be able to write well are the some ones complaining that leetcode medium questions are too hard.
    Nov 29, 2018 1
    • Microsoft QQ??
      If you read the posts above, starting with mine, most are specifically talking about native English speakers.
      Personally, I have much more tolerance for people who are not native (although I’d still expect them to make improvements with time).
      Nov 29, 2018
  • Apple / Eng Marijuana
    Because I can’t fucking understand what they’re saying
    Nov 29, 2018 0
  • Intuit Uz1h6d
    Appearances. Intellect.
    Nov 29, 2018 0
  • Oath / Eng fat
    That falls under “communication skills” and it’s important.
    Nov 29, 2018 0
  • Amazon thealpha
    Disclaimer: not an Indian here

    Look at POTUS tweets. Hoe many times he has confused spelling of common words?

    I think it’s just a new tool for venting racist feelings especially when someone is lacking technical substance (where the skill gap can be huge and can make big impact unlike Indian style English which conveys the meaning in a somewhat decent manner).

    I have also seen my Us born white colleagues not knowing some of the common words like consolation, confusing between its & it’s, confusing usage of “among” and “between,” belief and believe and so on. It’s quite common.

    Also, the target has been mostly the Indians and their written english. But I’ve had much worse experience with various nationalities from Europe, East Asia, Middle East. In these case listening to them was extremely painful because of the pronunciation (even at word level). Such obstacle in everyday conversation is much more painful than written style of the Indian engineers. Also, how ridiculous is this to expect people to write proper sentence on an anonymous forum like Blind?

    But their writing is targeted anyway by these Nazis. Do, I think it’s the disgust they’re expressing. They are probably the whose only contribution to code reviews are like: rename that variable, add an extra space there, and so on.
    Nov 30, 2018 2
    • Intuit Uz1h6d
      Basing any rationale on POTUS tweets is bad logic. He’s clearly a little senile. Bad grammar makes white people look dumb too.
      Nov 30, 2018
    • Amazon thealpha
      Mine was not based only on that. Just an extreme example of things can be done even with the shortcomings. Then I ended the paragraph and moved on to more details (in different paragraphs) about other arguments.

      I know it makes anyone look dumb and I didn’t advocate against improving English. But there are more important things when something is good enough (80-20 rule) when people are getting things done with much worse conversational English skill. There are many PhDs from India working here do you think their technical writing is bad than people who were born here and just did college or bootcamps?

      But my point is the troll look very much fixated on obsessed with Indians.
      Nov 30, 2018
  • Amazon PAxv45
    Sounds like you are trying to find excuses for not improving your grammar skills.
    Nov 30, 2018 0
  • Visa
    fjh

    Visa

    BIO
    .
    fjhmore
    Because we all speak one common language. And effective communication in that language is important, yo.
    Nov 29, 2018 0
  • MuleSoft Damndaniel
    This^
    Nov 29, 2018 0