GrammarCraft

Yes, i saw your comments about the grammar in my last post. Let’s learn some grammar in StarCraft.

I know the last article is not grammar error free, and I want to address your comments here. Some are on reddit (read the replies), and one is in the comment section of that post. I can take the criticism, and I want to polish my writing.

The root of grammar mistakes can be generally categorised into two types: (1) Carelessness, and (2) lack of knowledge. Most of my mistakes belong to the former, and this implies the lack of proofreading. I proofread an article once (sometime twice) after I’m done with the final draft. Many, but not all, mistakes are corrected in the process. In comparison to reading others’ work, it is relatively hard to spot your own mistakes. Can I further reduce the number of errors? Sure, but any extra effort is going to suck the joy out of writing, and that is definitely not the path I (and probably you) want to take. If I must point out one factor that contributes to the longevity of this site, it is my ability to balance the trade off between the joy I receive and the effort I exert. Of course, it does not mean that I’m apathetic, as I care about the quality.

So, taking the feedback on board, I will simply say that I’m going to take extra precaution with grammar. I usually focus more on the flow and expression of ideas than the correction of grammar when I proofread. If you notice I make a specific error repeatedly, let me know as it is likely a lack of knowledge. I will edit the previous article next week (if I don’t forget), so you Masters of Grammar can have some fun till then.

There are several things particularly interesting about words in Starcraft (I know this should be StarCraft). First, what do we do when addressing a unit as a plural? For example, what is the plural of Colossus? Is it Colossi? Although colossi is the plural of colossus outside of Starcraft, Colossus is technically a unit name in the context of Starcraft. There is no official plural name for the unit, to the best of my knowledge. I normally use the official unit names, which are singular by default, for both singular and plural. I did some research on this by looking at how Blizzard they themselves write. Blizzard were inconsistent with this issue, as I believe different people were involved in different publications throughout the years. It appears that their current approach is to simply add “s” or “es” at the end of the unit names for plural. Interestingly enough, they seem to avoid using Colossus as a plural recent writings. Maybe that is intentional. Anyway, I will copy Blizzard in this case.

Second, how do we address a unit as a specific unit type? I use the unit name by itself. For example, I simply use “Raven” when I discuss about the unit design in a recent article. This was brought up in another reddit post. The recent publications from Blizzard use “the insert unit” (e.g., the Raven), and it seems that the general public see that as the norm. I will align myself with this norm in the future.

Third, how do we use race (e.g., Terran) in different contexts? I doubt there is any debate as to how we address the races when we simply refer them as their races. For example, Protoss is Blizzard’s favorite race. You don’t add “the” and it is a singular. What about addressing players who play that race? Blizzard are inconsistent for this. They use the plural term of the race (e.g., Terrans) and the race plus the word “players” (e.g., Terran players) interchangeably. I usually refer the players as either the race without the “s” (e.g., Terran) or the race plus the word “players”. I also have a tendency to name the two sides in a game using the race but as a plural. For example, Zerg are ahead after this exchange. I recall copying this style from Blizzard many years ago, but Blizzard now tend to use “Zerg is ahead” instead. I shall follow this style in the future.

I’m going to end this post by sharing this paper. Evidence suggests those who have low agreeableness are more sensitive to others’ grammar.

P.S. I didn’t proofread this post.


If you enjoyed this article, I’d love you to share it with one friend. You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook. If you really like my work, you can help to sustain the site by contributing via PayPal and Patreon. You can also support me and enjoy quality tea with a 15% discount at AFKTea by using the “TERRAN” code. See you in the next article!

6 thoughts on “GrammarCraft

    1. I’m open to the critics. Just that some of the points brought up are worth discussing. I learn something along the way when I was researching about them.

  1. Don´t waste time with „pea counters“, Max. So we call people in Bavaria, which one focus in unimportant things. Dont´t taking it personally and ignore it. I love your articles and analytical writing. And I forgot „Seven Years of TerranCraft“, sorry. Thank you Max für your effort and great job!

    1. I’m really okay with the criticism. I thought how we say/write a unit in different contexts is interesting, so I did some research and share it. Thanks for the support!

  2. Fair retort regarding the grammar complaints. If it is a labor of love to put out these articles, and no one else is stepping up to provide this kind of content, then the people complaining about it should run their own terrancraft website.

  3. You watch the GSL and tastetosis can be the general guide to proper starcraft language. They literally have spoken in starcraft terms for a decade and have refined their speech properly. I have never heard them incorrectly or misuse the terms. Both are expert users of the language, and when you begin to speak about grammar in the sense of indentification, you can bet each person has learned English differently.

    It is rare the common American be an expert of grammar, even the nerds. This type of grammar is academic and it is usually the realm of professors. Generally the terms are correct as I see any type of connection as okay i.e terran and marine. The issues that are being pointed out are not spelling or punctuation errors but rather language structure which is why you’re not catching them with the eye. Like I said reddit and forums these users are not proffessors. When you begin to introduce unit, unit types and races then you enter the realm of grammar and some uses are not appropriate of course. Plural is clossosi yes like the ford focus is foci. Generally people use the inccorect term to avoid the improper grammar i.e my company ordered 100 new focuses

    With unit types depending on usage i.e “ghost is chosen as counter here” so normal English here. For the races it is a little different because you are naming groups and races. So zerg players is accepted. The zerg as the player spawns on the map and general race. Zergs as all in the gsl bracket, Normally I will address the player as zerg.

    The real issue people have is possive pronouns such as reffering to the “ghosts(general) cloaking ability” “ghosts'(unit type) cloaking ability” his “ghost’s(singular) cloak” some of the terms are used but only in story line and lore, not many people will even bother noticing these beucase as a previous post read it is just not common knowledge. Sentence structure, past present tense, and placement of proper terms are important as is spelling and plot. This is a learning resource and should be read as such. It is generally the audience which will retain the critical information. I’m sure Blizzard would be happy with the content and the writing.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s