Hiya! It's day II of XL-ish.
First, let's look over my stats from yesterday (I haven't yet done anything today, as I was playing Magic: the Gathering with friends):
That means that today, I've got to:
In a bit less than an hour and a half (from 3:25pm CST), I'm going to my brother's house until 9pm CST, so I have to squeeze in that writing right after I publish this blog post. Now, onto today's topic.
Prescriptivism vs Descriptivism
Linguists and language nerds typically fall on one of two halves of a spectrum, that being the prescriptivist-descriptivist spectrum. Usually, you're pretty extreme on one side, as I am.
Descriptivists (which I am) basically just say, "If there is a large number of people who use language x like y, then y is an appropriate way to use language x.
Prescriptivists basically say, "There is/are one (or a few) correct way(s) to use a language, and if you don't do it that way then you're wrong."
Prescriptivists are, understandably, in the minority, but they do exist. And in some cases, they exist on a very high level, such as...
The Spanish Royal Academy
The SRA is an institution created by the monarchy of Spain which attempts to standardize the Spanish language. As someone who is Hispanic and also a descriptivist, this really annoys me.
Yes, some standardization is good; it gets on my nerves too when someone uses bad spelling or weird grammar. However, most dictionary, thesaurus, and grammar companies (such as Oxford English Dictionary, Dictionary.com/Thesaurus.com, and Merriam-Webster) are descriptivist, and change what they say is right based on descriptivist ideology.
But it can be taken way too far, and that is what the SRA does. For example, in Mexico, Texas, and California, the word for the flu is la gripa. My mother, who is 100% Hispanic and grew up speaking the language, told me that she had only ever heard it be called la gripa. However, in Spain and most of Latin America, the word is la gripe, and that is what the SRA says is correct. They don't list la gripe and la gripa as both being correct but la gripe being more prevalent; no, they simply say that la gripa is incorrect and la gripe is correct. And their word is taken extremely seriously!
It's like saying that African American Vernacular English (AAVE) or Australian English or American English speakers say a word wrong and that's that, no wiggle room, because it's not how it's said in England - which is clearly insane.
Anyway, I just had to get that off my chest. Seeya tomorrow, and have fun!