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In an abstract sense virtually any dialect of English can be said to be correct. Yet virtually all of us accept that our colloquial dialects are sometimes wrong, and we accept that there is a "correct" way to say it even if we don't speak that way.

Why? Because educated people are taught to speak "correctly". So speaking that way makes you sound more educated and intelligent. Which makes people respond better to you. (For instance they are more likely to give you a good job.)

Admittedly there are actually multiple dialects associated with education. However as far as most of the world is concerned, only two really count. Those two are standard American English (as spoken on most American TV), and the Queen's English (as spoken on the BBC). Those have an undue impact on the speech at the top English speaking universities (who have taught more than their share of world leaders), news organizations and markets. Therefore those are the dialects of international affairs and business.

Therefore it is reasonable to call something incorrect if it is incorrect according to both of those dialects. Because worldwide people will agree that it makes you sound uneducated. This is true no matter how common or well-established that speech pattern may be somewhere in the world.

So in an international forum like this, using "doubt" where you mean "question" will cause people to think that you don't know English very well. Perhaps you live in India and everyone you know speaks that way. You still created a suboptimal impression. And this is not just true for this forum. This is going to be true in general.

That said, I personally respect the fact that we have people here from all over the world, including people for whom English is a second or third language. If I believe effort was put out and I can understand what is meant, I will respond. We're here to talk about Perl, not English. However I still notice it. And I guarantee that others do as well.

In reply to Re^2: "Question" vs "Doubt" by tilly
in thread Regular Expression Doubt by Anonymous Monk

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