Language errors due to expertise.

  1 comment for “Language_Errors_Expert.238

  1. tj_
    June 6, 2011 at 10:55 am

    It’s a bit of a stretch to call counting F’s as “language” processing. It is character processing, a task for computers. An expert character counter would never get the answer wrong. Editors learn to parse text backwards so that the unconventional usages and spellings can be weeded out.

    The example that works for experts or even reasonably competent people making errors is the triangle with “Paris in the the Spring” where the second “the” gets missed.

    Andrew Jackson said, “It is a damn poor mind that cannot think of more than one way to spell a word.” I have to agree with him. The only time I care about spelling errors is when the meaning changes because of the spelling AND I can’t easily determine which meaning was intended.

    Particularly in English, spelling, thanks mostly to Webster, is a rather arbitrary mapping. American English is bad enough. Pity the Brits and a few New Englanders who have to put in whole syllables where there are none spoken. sound Wooster –> Worchester ?!!!!???

    It is high time that we separate “language processing” from character processing. There may be overlapping domains of interest, but they are not the same thing.

    TJ Olney

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