English Grammar

To mistake or not to mistake ?

LEADING ARTICLE [Fr. éditorial / Ge. Leitartikel / Sp. editorial]

To miss or not to miss, that’s the whole point these days for GymGlish users in the forum.
First of all let’s say that we have nothing to worry about, for they didn’t miss the boat. [En. to miss the boat / Fr. rater le coche / Ge. das Boot vermissen / Sp. perder el tren] They are all in the same boat, for better or for worse. They didn’t miss the boat but who knows if they didn’t mistake it. For so many mistakes blossom all over lounge and any place here around, like daisies scattered over the lawn in the springtime, challenging the Delavigne’s finest flasks, like so many Horatio wannabes. How does it smell on that carpet of flowering mistakes?

To mistake or not to mistake, that’s eventually the big question.
The GymGlish team stated in a lesson correction "Mistakes are your best teachers." So, mistakes wouldn’t be for better or for worse but only for better (!) because teachers are supposed to be for better.
I read that Gee had added "as long as they get corrected".
The issue is worth debating. It’s with that aim of debating that I put down the present topic. I put it down the grammar column because grammar mistakes seem to overcome vocabulary mistakes in the course for quantity.
I earnestly urge every visitor of this column to give their views about the alleged benefits of making mistakes.

Dear GymGlish users, dear visitors, don’t put off till later the opinion you can supply now.
Come on and say it right away so that we can have made up our mind by the end of October.

From now on, this thread is open for business!
No! Sorry! (They are going to take me for a Bruno Delavigne wannabe!)

From now on, this thread is open for chattiness!


  • Hello dear Guardian Angel,

    "Mistakes are your best teachers" according to the GG team.I can understand what they mean: you fall several times before you can walk but if an adult doesn't help the kid, what will happen? For sure, he/she will eventually walk but isn't a re-assuring hand helpful? In my opinion, it is. That's why I agree with Gee when he added "as long as mistakes get corrected".
    Now I think some members enjoy chatting for the sake of chatting whereas others would like to be corrected. It is difficult to know "who wants what".Of course, we could imagine a sign e.g. C.W = Corrections Welcome for those who want to be corrected but there are so many members on the Forum now, some who come and go, a lot who say "I want to learn English"and that's all. How could that be implemented?
    Besides, we are all students. Consequently, can we trust those who agree to correct?
    There is so much unemployment these days: we could ask the managing director of GG to take on a full-time native speaker to correct the mistakes...
    Can you suggest something? It's up to you to go on with this interesting topic.
  • In my modest opinion, you can’t avoid mistaking. To reach a high command in English you need a so great lot of experience that a lot of mistakes are to happen. According to Henry Ford, experience is the word humans call their mistakes. Who could claim experience be pointless?
    Besides a part of learning ESL (English as a second language) is a learning psychologists call by trial and error. The mistake has the propriety of focusing people attention onto a specific tip. If the mistake hadn’t been made, the subject could have kept being unaware of that specific tip of grammar or idiom or whatnot of the speech. Of course a mistake you don’t get aware of is not a teaching device.
    The big question is dual:
    1. How many mistakes does one need to do to achieve an effective by trial and error learning? Such topic might possibly be faced by someone like Jeeves who showed talent in homeopathic treatment. You guess that, saying this, I rather think not too many mistakes should be scored.
    2. How to implement the corrections needed to focus the failer's attention? Silky made some proposal. Some others could be viewed.

    I thank the Guardian Angel for taking the matter into public.
    Might everyone have the take.
    For my part I don’t miss the take but take the Miss.
  • Two clues:

    a) In another column Bernd Endress wrote: "Its a pleasure for me to use gymlish because on the opposite to a normal teacher you get results at once, and what's important for me,I get explained my mistakes." I underscore AT ONCE and I GET MY MISTAKES EXPLAINED.
    But mind you, Bernd speaks about the lessons, not the forum. I think we should find a way to provide the forum with the same assets.

    b) I vote for the Silky's proposal about the C.W. That's well funny to reverse an abbreviation that's so commun is some Latin countries. I would like it were made official ASAP.

    Lucky Bastard - C.W.
  • Can someone to tell me what are the state verbs?
    Thank you in advance
  • From brighten:
    Can someone to tell me what are the state verbs?
    Thank you in advance


    Hello brighten/Eva,

    You will get a very good explanation, if you go to:


    I think you should have asked: Can...... what state verbs are (it is an indirect question)

  • To Silky

    After Eva's intermezzo that you performed as a master (in passing, thank you for the link) I wonder why you didn't comply with the new device you put on the road, I mean the C.W. tip. Maybe short of time.
    Lucky bastard signed with adding C.W.. I for one totally agree with you on the benefits and the pratical point of C.W.. Yet I decided to use it any time I'll come on round the forum.
    I think there is at least one mistake in Lucky bastard's message. He wrote commun instead of common.

    To everyone wandering here around

    I invite you to endorse Silky's proposal. Every time you aren't sure to be right in any message you set out, add a C.W. stamp!

    To Lucky bastard
    Pointing out the reverse of the abbreviation, you helped me a lot in remembering it, for any time I'm popping to the loo I'm thinking to myself: welcome comrades, have corrections welcome.

    Gee (C.W.)
  • All jokes aside, I actually think that making mistakes is in my best interest, at least within the framework of the GymGlish lessons. Why?
    Because the GymGlish teaching is essentially based on testing what you already twig and what you don't.
    What's the good side of such educational process?
    You don't get bored by plain lessons displaying topics up and down. As far as you are a bit fond of games, the question-system is quite funny, it's like the TV-quizz.

    Let me further explain.
    I get questions about a listened item. When I'm hesitating between two possible choices of answering, I may either give the right answer, or the wrong one.
    If by chance I click on the wrong choice, I'll be provided with a detailed explanation in the correction of the lesson.
    If by chance I click on the right choice, that I'm though dubious about, I'll never get any information and I'll stay left in the lurch.

    After mulling over the headlined question "to mistake or not mistake", I am strongly convinced that mistaking is the shortest way to good command of English, at least on the GG path.

    Sartoz (C.W.)

    Reminder: C.W. Those letters added to your messages mean that you are in favor of making intentional errors but that you welcome or want corrections.
    (Corrections Welcome or Corrections Wanted according to your state of mind, a silky one or a sheriff's rough one.)
  • I am pleased with so many opinions released on the topic. I thank everybody.

    A special answer to Silky:
    I’m honored by your constructive contribution to this awkward issue. You put forward two practical suggestions that sure have to be – and will be - taken into account.
    Though I cannot agree with you saying “It's up to you to go on with this interesting topic.”
    I am here as a ferment to set out the debate and, if need be, play the moderator part. That’s for the sake of everyone.
    I‘ve not been called for setting out any suggestion, even less decision. As things are now going on, I really don’t know if in-house relations between GG users have to be driven by democratic rules or different ones. As I was saying, I hope we collect opinions from the largest possible number of users to make a synthesis when the time comes.
    I thank you for your time, dearest Silky. I thank you for your proposals.

    A special comment to Flo Sartoz:
    I appreciate a lot your today’s message. You clearly point out why mistakes are necessary to make you get accurate information concerning what you are dubious about. I thank you for your irrefutable argumentation.

    A special glimpse to Lucky bastard and AhQ. (not to mention Gee)
    Thanks to you, mistakes are becoming appealing tricks.

    Signing off,

    And from now on, C.W.
  • Dear Guardian Angel,

    I do guess that you are pretty busy up there. It's very kind of you to have a regular look at us, poor earthlings.
    When I wrote "it's up to YOU to go on with this interesting topic" I should have written:"it's up to you, GG forum members, to ..." as my "you" was collective and not individual! I wouldn't dare to overburden you with work. Virgin Mary would scold you if you left "them" too often. Talking of Virgin Mary, I have a joke but I can no longer find where jokes are told on the Forum.Could someone help me?
    Silky. C.W.

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