Graham Ellis sharing years of experience as a thought on each day
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Poor english? Then speak to them in Norwegian ;-)

This campaign tip (no. 10) was published on Thursday, 10th January 2019
There's a tendency to speak down to people who's command of English (as their 2nd, 3rd or 4th language) is limited. Before you do ... think how poorly you might do in Portuguese, Serbo-Croat, Urdu or Mandrin Chinese. The stereotypical Englishman is caricatured as speaking at half the speed and twice as loudly when he finds someone doesn't understand him; there is some justification in slowing down (and simplifying wording) but none at all in shouting or in adopting a "you are being thick" tone.

The story / tip actually goes wider. Let me tell you a story. ... "I can recall being a moderator on a forum many, many years ago. And having a member SHOUTING ALL OF HIS MESSAGES - all caps, and unpunctuated too. This was irritation the bejeebers out of members, and moderators were asked / discussing what to do about it. Cutting a long story short, it turned out that the poster was severely disabled, and using a special input devices where every single character he wrote was a struggle. In thems days, technology wasn't as advanced as it was today, his device was limited, and it was impractical for him to shift-in and shift-out ...". I'm so glad we asked gently "please could you ..." when we raised the topic with him; our resulting discovery gave a lot more understanding when we learned of his issues - and although the caps remained, as I recall, he was able to start adding a few stops.

Illustration You probably speak better English that these people on a Spanish quayside. Doesn't make you in any way superior to them!
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Contact details

These pages are written by Graham Ellis of Melksham, Wiltshire. Overlapping a life in IT and IT training, with running a hotel and campaigning for improved public transport, Graham has never been quiet - though he's starting to wind down gently now. He no longer takes overnight guests and has stepped doen from the "Community Rail Officer" role which he accidentally aquired. So he now has more time to write pages such as these and to travel in the UK. He'll be delighted to speak with your group or take a look through your case or camapaign, but be alerted that his time is not limitless even now, and he still has to keep the wolf from the door.

Postal: 48, Spa Road, Melksham, Wiltshire, SN12 7NY
Phonal: 01225 708225
Emailal: graham -at-
Or reach me on the Coffee Shop Forum (User Grahame) facilities

What a difference a campaign makes!

It probably wouldn't have happened without a strong community campaign with which I have been involved. Most days through 2019 I'll be sharing a thought, an idea, a way of working or an experience. Come back here for the links. Discussions via the Coffee Shop Forum - Graham Ellis, 31st December 2018

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