Since I am relatively new to this site, I like to check out TDs and see what I can learn from other people's techniques. Sometimes trying to read the arguments can put my brain into overload.
I understand that a lot of user on this site are under the legal drinking age, and have had a computer in their hands since they could walk. I also understand that most users, myself included, are avid texters, but this is not a texting site.
Some people on this site act like they are trying to save money on their text plan by using fewer characters. I could understand if you had a 1200 character argument and you need those few precious remaining characters to prove your point. But when your argument is 3 sentences long, must you show us all your intelligence by typing "u" instead of "you"? It's really not that hard to do, it's 2 more little buttons to push.
One thing that I look for when I peruse through arguments is spelling, punctuation, and some sort of coherence. This is where I find that 90% of people on this site are lacking. In a closely matched TD your basic fourth grade English skills can either help you or hurt you. If the TD is close, but one guy spells correctly and has good grammar...I vote his way. If you are going to take the time to look up stats, figures, and write an argument...at least take the time to re-read the thing to catch misspelled words. Use periods, commas, semicolons, apostrophes...well let's just say USE PUNCTUATION. It is there for a reason.
One of the things that annoy me the most is using the wrong word. I'm not talking about not knowing the meaning of a word, no. I am referring to the plague known as "your vs. you're and there vs. their vs. they're". Let me explain this to you offenders of my pet peeve...
your - pronoun - it is used to indicate belonging to oneself or to any person; may also be used informally to indicate all members of a group.
you're - contraction of the words you and are - usage: You're an idiot .
there - adverb - in or at a place; can also be used as a pronoun, noun, adjective, or an interjection.
their - pronoun - possessive case of they, used as an attributive adjective; may also be used after an indefinite singular antecedent in place of the definite masculine form his or the definite feminine form her.
they're - contraction of the words they and are.
Now that I have explained it, do those of you who confuse these words understand the subtle differences?
I guess my biggest question would be: is the education system in this country failing people that badly? I went to public schools, and I managed to not come out completely retarded. How did some people get their high school diploma without being able to tell the difference between simple words?