Robert J. Hansen rjh at sixdemonbag.org
Fri Oct 13 04:54:45 CEST 2017

>>> The observation that one, some, many, or all people use a
>>> linguistic construct in an incorrect way do not change the fact
>>> that it is incorrect.
>> It quite definitely does.
> This is silly. I am flabbergasted at this assertion.

Great: you learned something today!  Read up on linguistic
prescriptivism and descriptivism; you'll find it rewarding.

Style guides, dictionaries, and grammatical references are useful tools
in that they write down the tacit and informal agreements the world has
made about how to use language.  However, they're always behind the
times because the language is in constant flux.  To understand English,
one must look at how it is actually spoken.

> For someone who touts himself as a "languages geek extraordinaire," I
> am shocked that you'd claim this.

What, that I'm a linguistic descriptivist?  Dude, I also use words like
"cromulent"[1], enjoy a good split infinitive[2], use "they" as a
singular epicene[3], and when I'm really feeling naughty I'll drink wine
straight from the bottle and read James Joyce[4].

... And why, yes, my mother *is* an English teacher, and I *do* have a
liberal arts degree.  :)

[1] Recently added to dictionaries, despite it being an utterly made-up
word, due to how often it was being used in language
[2] "To boldly go where no one has gone before!"
[3] ... along with the Brontë sisters, Thackeray, and Shakespeare
[4] "I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair
like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he
kissed me under the Moorish Wall and I thought well as well him as
another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he
asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my
arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts
all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I
will Yes."

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