Tag Archive | internet

I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why.

A small part of my job is to edit, proof-read, correct, …

The major part is to ensure all the departments are conveying the right message and keep a common house style for all communications. Yet some of the complacent co-workers insist that this means that we (PR&Communications Unit) are just a rabble of plain mortals whose sole ability in life is to put commas here and there.

Dear fellows:

“It’s easier to teach a poet how to read a balance sheet than it is to teach an accountant how to write.”
– Henry R. Luce (1898-1967)

Here’s one for you, sloppy co-worker. It matters. Got the chip on my shoulder now.  Try me. 😉

Via Harvard Business Review

If you think an apostrophe was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, you will never work for me. If you think a semicolon is a regular colon with an identity crisis, I will not hire you. If you scatter commas into a sentence with all the discrimination of a shotgun, you might make it to the foyer before we politely escort you from the building.

Some might call my approach to grammar extreme, but I prefer Lynne Truss’s more cuddly phraseology: I am a grammar “stickler.” And, like Truss — author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves — I have a “zero tolerance approach” to grammar mistakes that make people look stupid.

Now, Truss and I disagree on what it means to have “zero tolerance.” She thinks that people who mix up their itses “deserve to be struck by lightning, hacked up on the spot and buried in an unmarked grave,” while I just think they deserve to be passed over for a job — even if they are otherwise qualified for the position.

Everyone who applies for a position at either of my companies, iFixit or Dozuki, takes a mandatory grammar test. Extenuating circumstances aside (dyslexia, English language learners, etc.), if job hopefuls can’t distinguish between “to” and “too,” their applications go into the bin.

Of course, we write for a living. iFixit.com is the world’s largest online repair manual, and Dozuki helps companies write their own technical documentation, like paperless work instructions and step-by-step user manuals. So, it makes sense that we’ve made a preemptive strike against groan-worthy grammar errors.

But grammar is relevant for all companies. Yes, language is constantly changing, but that doesn’t make grammar unimportant. Good grammar is credibility, especially on the internet. In blog posts, on Facebook statuses, in e-mails, and on company websites, your words are all you have. They are a projection of you in your physical absence. And, for better or worse, people judge you if you can’t tell the difference between their, there, and they’re.

Good grammar makes good business sense — and not just when it comes to hiring writers. Writing isn’t in the official job description of most people in our office. Still, we give our grammar test to everybody, including our salespeople, our operations staff, and our programmers.

On the face of it, my zero tolerance approach to grammar errors might seem a little unfair. After all, grammar has nothing to do with job performance, or creativity, or intelligence, right?

Wrong. If it takes someone more than 20 years to notice how to properly use “it’s,” then that’s not a learning curve I’m comfortable with. So, even in this hyper-competitive market, I will pass on a great programmer who cannot write.

Grammar signifies more than just a person’s ability to remember high school English. I’ve found that people who make fewer mistakes on a grammar test also make fewer mistakes when they are doing something completely unrelated to writing — like stocking shelves or labeling parts.

In the same vein, programmers who pay attention to how they construct written language also tend to pay a lot more attention to how they code. You see, at its core, code is prose. Great programmers are more than just code monkeys; according to Stanford programming legend Donald Knuth they are “essayists who work with traditional aesthetic and literary forms.” The point: programming should be easily understood by real human beings — not just computers.

And just like good writing and good grammar, when it comes to programming, the devil’s in the details. In fact, when it comes to my whole business, details are everything.

I hire people who care about those details. Applicants who don’t think writing is important are likely to think lots of other (important) things also aren’t important. And I guarantee that even if other companies aren’t issuing grammar tests, they pay attention to sloppy mistakes on résumés. After all, sloppy is as sloppy does.

That’s why I grammar test people who walk in the door looking for a job. Grammar is my litmus test. All applicants say they’re detail-oriented; I just make my employees prove it.

Kyle Wiens

Word of the day: n00b

 

A. INTRO
I. What is this?
II. Defining ‘Noob’

B. COMMON NOOB CHARACTERISTICS
I. Noobish
II. Where to find noobs
III. Behavior of noobs
IV. Noob religion
V. More about noob habitats

C. AVOIDING NOOBS
I. Make sure you aren’t one
II. Major noob avoiding strategies

————————

A. INTRO

I. What is this?
This guide is designed to give you a better understanding of what a noob is, how to recognize them, some details about them, and how to avoid or get rid of them. It mostly applies to online forums, which are the main targets of migrating noobs.

II. Defining ‘Noob’

Contrary to the belief of many, a noob/n00b and a newbie/newb are not the same thing. Newbs are those who are new to some task* and are very beginner at it, possibly a little overconfident about it, but they are willing to learn and fix their errors to move out of that stage. n00bs, on the other hand, know little and have no will to learn any more. They expect people to do the work for them and then expect to get praised about it, and make up a unique species of their own. It is the latter we will study in this guide so that the reader is prepared to encounter them in the wild if needed.

Noobs are often referred to as n00bs as a sign of disrespect toward them, and it’s often hella funny, but I will refer to them as noobs during this reading.

* Usually the topic at hand on an internet forum.

B. COMMON NOOB CHARACTERISTICS

I. Noobish
Often, but not always, noobs will attempt to communicate in their own primitive language, known as “n00bish.” It is a variant of the hacker language that exposes them as having little intelligence or will to learn. Here is an example of some noobish. Do not attempt to comprehend it: it cannot be discerned without professionals at hand.

stFU /../..an, i r teh r0xx0rz liek emin3m, u cna go tO EHLL OR ATLE4St help m3 wit hthIS!!111!!!!!!!1~~1!!“!! LOLLOLOLLOLOLlOoLLOlollLLl u n00b

Although you may find this unbelievably funny and/or annoying, it is best to restrain yourself and keep from talking back to them, as they are very territorial and easily angered. This will result in their attempted verbal abuse of you, possibly backed up by other noobs, because they work in packs when doing offensive tasks. It is not an easy task to learn this language because our intelligent accent will keep it from sounding quite right when spoken. You can write some simple noobish of your own, however, by slamming your face into your keyboard repeatedly.

II. Where to find n00bs
On the internet, n00bs make their colonies on forums. They migrate in waves, usually on weekends, and proceed to clog up bandwidth with stupid questions and sometimes even stupid answers. If you happen to be unfortunate enough to be on a board large enough to attract migrating noobs, there will hopefully be authority in charge who is smart enough to take extermination measures before they can make nests and larger colonies. THE BANNER HAMMER is one form of authority.

Larger colonies can result in the mutation of some into spammers. Not commercial spammers, but pointless spammers. A noob can become one of these at any point, but the larger the amount of noobs, the more chance pointless spammers will appear.

Off the internet, noobs appear anywhere the focus is on learning or discussing something specific.

III. Behavior of noobs
Since noobs are basically ignorant bastards, they have a lot in common. The most often seen characteristic is their fluency in noobish, which is why it got its own section. They will also be very self confident as if they were the absolute best at what they are in fact the worst at. Also, they are quite agressive and self-centered, and tend to laugh a lot using many L’s and O’s in rapid sucession (the noobish word for laughing like an ultimate retard).

It is their instinct to assemble in packs for defense, and they often attempt to organize packs that they call teams. Unfortunately for them, teams usually result in a total loss of communication and they can often begin to fight amongst each other. These teams are quite unlike those formed by non-noobs.

Noobs have difficulty reading English and cannot comprehend the idea of authority.

Therefore, they have an all-out disregard for rules, basic or not. A good way to identify a noob (bad) vs. a newb (good) is to tell them (or have an authority tell them) which rule they are unknowingly breaking. If they respond with an apology and fix it, they are probably not a noob. If they react by insulting everything around them in rapid noobish and causing general mayhem, it is because they are a noob and have had a small seizure due to their inability to understand what is happening.

IV. Noob Religion
Noobs follow a variation of the 1337 (sometimes 7331) religion, in which they worship the number in odd rituals and put altars in their forum avatars and signatures. They often call themselves 1337, which experts say is somewhat like calling themselves godly in a human language. It’s best to not interfere with their religious fantasies and practices because that can lead to a noob uprising, which can turn a forum to mush in less than a week.

V. More about noob habitats
Noobs often attempt to maintain their own web pages. Some common features of these lairs are a terrible lack of content, background music, lots of pointless animated gifs, and pages that say some variation of ‘tHEir isnothinG H34r yEtt LOLLOLOL!111!1!!~~~!!`! 13371337’, which means ‘Nothing here yet’ in noobish.

They will also have large, seemingly infinite marquees of 88X31 affiliate buttons replaced with red X’s scattered here and there, and possibly a hit counter showing a number less than 100. These habitats are numerous but fairly easy to avoid because only noobs link to them. So if you can identify a noob, don’t go to its homepage. Simple as that.

C. AVOIDING NOOBS

I. Make sure you aren’t one
Note: This section is bilingual so even noobs can make the discovery if they haven’t already.

English (T4lk)-

Read the above parts of this guide carefully. If you find yourself unable to comprehend any of it but are instead beginning to think about how great you are and how awesome ‘teh 1337’ is, you might want to take one of the many available online quizzes to check your noobancy.

Noobish (133713371337)- Liek, u gott4 re3D teh gudieCAREFUl1y and tehn OMG LIEK I AM R0XX0RZ ya anD ify 0u turn into teh reTARDED u gota go 2 MY WEBP4GE LOLLOLOL!!111~11 ad check 4 warez n stfuu. if u r a n00b go2HELL LOLLOLOlROFLMFAO11!!!11!!!! a/s/l pos gtg n00b suxx0rz ur b0xx0rz OLOOOLOLLLL HELP HELP HELP 1337133713371337

II. Major noob avoiding strategies
The main factor in attracting migrating herds of noobs is a large, active forum. If you find one of these, look to see if it has the management to avoid noob infestation. If not, look for a small or mid-sized forum that covers the same topic so you can enjoy your time there before the noobs find it.

Another way to keep noobs from interfering with your life is to become part of the authority on one of these forums. But that’s often hard to do so you’ll probably be better off avoiding larger forums first off. If you do manage to become part of the authority, however, take full advantage of it and establish extermination policies so that normal people can have a nice time without noob infestations.

Noob Talk: LAlWAlwalwalWAWLAWLAWA!~!~!~!!!11!!! 1M NOtttt N0000BZ
Definitely not one of them,
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