Communication on the ‘Net is often tricky when the users
speak English but not the same language. A poster from
the bowels of England might describe; “It was a filthy
night, yet I had to go out for fags.”
He is talking about a downpour of cold rain and needing
With persons from Singapore to St. Lucia, India to
Ireland, Ghana to Guyana, using their versions of
English, one has to be aware of local terms and how
they can be misinterpreted.
Some people use obscenities freely, others retract at
the mildest uncouth remark. If you are intending to
insult someone, fine, if you were asking for information,
or holding up your side of the conversation, not so fine.
Always opt, at least at start, for the more wordy, more
explanative statement. Ask questions when you are unsure.
Try to use the more proper term for an item as you might
be using vernacular which is not understandable.
For example, many Africans refer to South Africa as Sud.
They are not abbreviating Sudan. In most parts of the
world football is what Americans call Soccer.
When someone says; “You licked him for Six,” it is similar
to one saying, “You hit a Home Run.”
Many of the adjectives might convey another meaning. Some
are standard; “This behaviour is unacceptable,” is better
than the kind of exclamation you might make if you were
talking to compatriots.
Spelling differs, depending where you are. Using
British spelling, I have often been attacked with;
“What’s with all those ‘U’s? ColoUr? LaboUr? Can’t
Many persons have a ‘you have to understand me,’
attitude, which is taken as rude. Other persons
feel they should introduce themselves, and gain
introductions with some particulars from others
who are posting.
One of the most embarrassing lessons you might learn
is when you are spouting some ‘position’ and happen
to be communicating with an actual expert.
Other times, someone may pretend to be an expert
and can be unmasked.
The major problem is that many persons who have
English as a second language will try to participate
in discussions held in English.
Before ridiculing them, try to discern what it is
they are saying or trying to say.
Some places have very strong opinions about particular
topics, tread carefully. This isn’t someone from across
the street who is spewing wacky ideas, this may be someone
across the world who is telling you how this is viewed in
Chauvinism is when one person is so certain that his
country is Right and every other country and person
who lives there is wrong.
Don’t be a chauvinist.