Category: Prescriptivism

October 12, 2009

Not Surprising, This Sounds Awkward

The other day at work I came across a strange construction: an author had used “not surprising” as a sentence adverb, as in “Not surprising, the data show that. . . .” I assumed it was simply an error, so I changed it to “not surprisingly” and went on. But then I saw the same […]

SHARE:
Editing, Prescriptivism, Usage, Words 7 Replies to “Not Surprising, This Sounds Awkward”
June 19, 2009

Linguists and Straw Men

Sorry I haven’t posted in so long (I know I say that a lot)—I’ve been busy with school and things. Anyway, a couple months back I got a comment on an old post of mine, and I wanted to address it. I know it’s a bit lame to respond to two-month-old comments, but it was […]

SHARE:
Descriptivism, Prescriptivism 8 Replies to “Linguists and Straw Men”
March 10, 2009

Reflections on National Grammar Day

I know I’m a week late to the party, but I’ve been thinking a lot about National Grammar Day and want to blog about it anyway. Please forgive me for my untimeliness. First off, I should say for those who don’t know me that I work as a copy editor. I clearly understand the value […]

SHARE:
Prescriptivism, Rants 2 Replies to “Reflections on National Grammar Day”
March 19, 2008

Rules Are Rules

Recently I was involved in an online discussion about the pronunciation of the word the before vowels. Someone wanted to know if it was pronounced /ði/ (“thee”) before vowels only in singing, or if it was a general rule of speech as well. His dad had said it was a rule, but he had never […]

SHARE:
Descriptivism, Language education, Prescriptivism 0 Replies to “Rules Are Rules”
February 4, 2008

How I Became a Descriptivist

Believe it or not, I wasn’t always the grammar free-love hippie that I am now. I actually used to be known as quite a grammar nazi. This was back in my early days as an editor (during my first year or two of college) when I was learning lots of rules about grammar and usage […]

SHARE:
Descriptivism, Editing, Prescriptivism, Usage 7 Replies to “How I Became a Descriptivist”
April 6, 2007

Scriptivists

The dispute between prescriptivism and descriptivism has sometimes been described as “a war that never ends.” Indeed, it often seems that the two sides are locked in an eternal struggle at polar opposites of the debate, neither willing to yield an inch. The prescriptivists are striving to uphold time-honored standards and defend the language from […]

SHARE:
Descriptivism, Prescriptivism 4 Replies to “Scriptivists”
September 3, 2006

Arrant Pedantry

When you study and work with language for a living, a lot of people naturally assume that you’re some sort of scowling, finger-wagging pedant who is secretly keeping a list of all the grammatical and usage errors they make. It’s difficult to make people understand that you only correct errors when you’re on the clock, […]

SHARE:
Descriptivism, Prescriptivism, Rants 16 Replies to “Arrant Pedantry”
You are here: Page 3
%d bloggers like this: