04 March 2010

Nuance On Useage Rules

This post makes the important observation that even a descriptivist approach to proper useage, i.e. an approach based on actual practice by educated writers in edited work, acknowledges that in practice there are many clear and binding rules of language useage.

While descriptivists acknowledge as valid based on empirical evidedence about how people who know what they are doing use language, many uses that are rejected as incorrect by prescriptivists because they do not not fit certain theoretical rules of grammar, the gray area that separates the two approaches to evaluating the correctness of language useage are fairly modest.

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