Just out of curiosity, I went through Helsingin Sanomat discussion board and picked a news item about how much the fight against the climate change is expected to cost per person. Of course, the discussion board was flooded with discussion on whether climate change is real, and how it's actually a green conspiracy rivaling nazism, aiming to create a new world order.
So I spent an hour and I went through each comment, and noted how many typos or grammatical errors they had, and put them in three bins: Sceptics, Defenders and Others. Factual errors or hard-to-understand sentences were not counted - only real grammar errors. Quotations were also not examined, because the errors in them would be the fault of someone else.
"Sceptics" are the people who don't believe there is anthropogenic climate change. "Defenders" were people who believed it is true. "Others" were people who were mostly just complaining about the price, saying things like "we should really make sure our war veterans are taken care of first" (neither confirming nor denying), or just so unclear it was impossible to say whether they were for or against.
As you can see, the sceptics had over 3 grammar errors/typos per comment, whereas the defenders only had an average of 1.13. Others were in the middle with 1.71 errors/comment.
While the sampling is a bit small to draw any real conclusions, the result does not exactly weaken the image of climate sceptics as uneducated people who spew thousands of comments online with their mouths foaming.
(However, it was interesting to note that the same error patterns seemed to occur even in posts by different aliases. So I suspect that some people are using multiple aliases to create the appearance that there is bigger consensus. Which would be quite normal online, and is one of the reasons why feedback should be always taken with a grain of salt. Also, thanks to Muprhy's law, it's almost certain this particular blog entry is teeming with grammar errors. Then again, English is not my native language. So there. Besides, I think my brain is bleeding internally after reading through all those comments.)
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|"Main_blogentry_261109_1" last changed on 26-Nov-2009 23:18:56 EET by JanneJalkanen.|