Duane Whitty duane at nofroth.com
Fri Oct 13 16:30:42 CEST 2017

Hash: SHA256

On 17-10-13 11:05 AM, Mario Castelán Castro wrote:
> On 12/10/17 17:50, Robert J. Hansen wrote:
>>> 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.  Unlike, say, French or Icelandic,
>> where there's an actual institution charged with the development
>> of the language, the *only* definition of correctness in English
>> is found in whether it conforms to everyday usage in the
>> community in question.
> Your argument is unsound, because the inference is unjustified.
> The possibilities that a language is regulated by an official body
> or defined by majority usage are not exhaustive.
I'd be interested to know what the other possibilities are.

> Since you are talking about the definition of the English language,
> and noticed that there is no official definition, then I contend
> that there is no _definition_ of the English language at all.
> However, from this does not follow that one individual or a
> majority are allowed to dispense of any rules and do as they please
> while claiming that they are speaking English.

I think that if one individual tried they would initially meet with
resistance.  But over time language rules, both grammar and
vocabulary, change.  Even in a time as short as 30 years many changes
have occurred in the English language.  It is a dynamic language.
"Resistance is futile" :-)

 Instead, one must apply the well-known rules of
> English and use common sense in determining which words one will
> regard as legitimate. Leaving this judgment to majority amounts to
> the ad populum fallacy and to such blatant absurdities as regarding
> the words “u”, “gotta” and “wanna” as valid synonyms of “you”, “got
> to” and “want to”.
What about the role of media and its influence on popular culture?  If
I say "C'mon, you gotta be kiddin me" everybody knows what I'm saying
and its acceptability depends on the audience.
> In short: Your argument "_many_ people use “Linux” to refer to any 
> Linux-based operating system, therefore it is correct English” is a
> big mistake.
I think it depends on the audience :-)
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Best Regards,

- -- 
Duane Whitty
duane at nofroth.com


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