IS THERE AN HONORABLE POSITION BETWEEN that of the prescriptivists and the descriptivists?
Some of these figures line up in the prescriptivist (or tradition-minded) and others in the descriptivist (or change-accepting) trenches.
And then one wonders why Oxford hired yet another linguist, and not a prescriptivist, to write the new introduction to this most-famous of all prescriptivist tracts.
William Safire, another prudent prescriptivist, also belonged to Fowler's fifth group.
In contrast to the flexible orthography and syntax in many CMC contexts, Crystal rightly points out that word processors and some e-mail clients "must surely influence our intuitions about the nature of our language" through the prescriptivist
grammar and spell-checkers they include (p.
at 245-47 (describing how prescriptivists
like Ronald Dworkin perceive the Supreme Court as the "forum of principle" among American institutions).
Aitchison does tentatively suggest that the 'double negative', once a conventional emphasizer in earlier English, was purged by the efforts of one particularly influential grammarian (6); however, some recent research has suggested that many double negative constructions had already disappeared from the written educated language before prescriptivists
had drawn attention to them.
The plutocratic tone and styptic wit of Safire and Newman and the best of the Prescriptivists
is often modeled after the mandarin-Brit personas of Eric Partridge and H.
But even her mostly prescriptive sources reveal their incompatibility with actual practice and the inconsistency of both prescript and practice: polite practice clearly encompassed both [ae] and [a:]; not all prescriptivists
felt that [a:] was vulgar; some cautiously recommended a 'middle' sound between the two.
In The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Raziel Abelson summarizes what he classifies as three schools of thought in approaching definition: the essentialists, including Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and Husserl; the prescriptivists
, such as Pascal, Hobbes, Russell, and Whitehead; and finally the linguistic theorists, including Mill and G.
Most eighteenth-century British prescriptivists
'described' Scots (and other non-standard varieties of English) in order to suppress it.
This being said, Wallace's subtle understanding of the political issues essential to the very topic of linguistic prescription demonstrates that it is possible to be a prescriptivist
without being prejudiced.