Many users from India are now using the Stack Exchange sites and I see a common set of errors:

  • Spaces before punctuation: *where is this going ?
  • No space at all around punctuation *This is one sentence.Here is another.
  • Lack of capitalization in sentences, especially the word "I" is often not capitalized.

I'm aware that non-native speakers often have trouble with the English language, but these particular traits seem to be unique to users from India. Is this a reflection of how English is taught in India, a similarity to Hindi, or something else entirely?

  • 2
    Erm... might it not simply be that India has a lot of people for whom English isn't the mother tongue, but nevertheless they often find themselves having to resort to it as a kind of lingua franca (that they use for basic communication, despite having little knowledge or interest in the finer points of English grammar). Also, India probably has a higher proportion of poorly-educated people than "true" Anglophone countries, for economic, cultural, and other reasons. Nov 1, 2013 at 17:04
  • 7
    This is a go-nowhere question with no possible answer; is based upon a specious assertion that a lack of basic typing skill or care is unique to the Indian population of users; and has not provided any data to support the proposed errors nor a breakdown of the error-prone. In plain terms, this is a made up BS question about nothing that cannot be answered.
    – horatio
    Nov 1, 2013 at 17:35
  • 1
    Related Meta question, which is more generally addressed and less likely to offend.
    – Andrew Leach
    Nov 1, 2013 at 17:51
  • 3
    No idea about 2 and 3 — and 3 in particular is laughing at me everywhere I go in the world —, but 1 is in point of fact an actual thing, just like with the French, albeit for different reasons. The best it has been addressed on this site so far is this comment, from a user who's sadly no longer around. So that third of this question is a-okay with me.
    – RegDwigнt
    Nov 1, 2013 at 18:01
  • 2
    @StephenOstermiller: Do American's generally conclude to facts without evidence? The linked comment is just a statement without any evidence to support the claim. Before you arrive to any conclusion, I suggest that you grab a copy of the infamous Wren&Martin and ascertain, if the claim is true to its words.
    – Abhijit
    Nov 2, 2013 at 4:35

1 Answer 1


The question is both interesting and offending, but ignoring the racist connotation and focusing on the theme might require an in-dept study and analysis. Without any such references as I do not have a linguistic background, I would try to answer your question based on my experience.

First before I proceed, certain factual errors needs to be corrected.

Many users from India: If you perform an informal census of the Stack Exchange members, it would be a revealing encounter for you that the next most populous nation participating in Stack Exchange after the native English speaking nations is India.

Is this a reflection of how English is taught in India, a similarity to Hindi: India has a diverse education system and languages. Considering this fact, you cannot blame the education system in India for sloppy English usage. There are some notable Indian writers, educationist and scholars who had their basic English education from India.

What could be the reason for sloppy English?

  1. English is not the mother tongue of most of the Indian population.
  2. Not all the educational boards and schools teach English as the primary language, neither English is the teaching medium.

Now, safely assuming the fact that, the majority of English speakers from India do have to learn English as a foreign language to establish communication with the international population, it becomes important to learn English to the extent that s/he can communicate rather than appreciate the intricacies and nuances important for grammatically correct verbal or written text.

Moreover, learning a grammar would seldom hone one's English language skills, but equally important is reading good literary works. I do fear, that most of the English speaking non-native speakers do not appreciate the language to the extent that they would take the pain to read literary works in English.

So to summarize, the problem you highlighted is predominantly among the non-native English speakers who learn the language enough to communicate but not to the extent which enables him/her to write a grammatically correct sentence.

  • 6
    I see nothing racist here.
    – tchrist
    Nov 1, 2013 at 21:14
  • 2
    @tchrist: I was careful in choosing my words in saying the question had racist connotation. The theme of the question implies that Indians have sloppy English skills, even though it is understood that, like most European and oriental countries, India is not an English speaking nation, yet uses the best of its ability to communicate with the international community. Moreover, SE is a community moderated forum uses English as communication medium, and after referring the help section and FAQ, I could not find any hint whatsoever that would enforce correct English usage among the members.
    – Abhijit
    Nov 2, 2013 at 4:20
  • What does horn ones English language skills mean?
    – user93353
    May 21, 2015 at 18:05

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