Literal-Minded

Linguistic commentary from a guy who takes things too literally

The Non-Hypocritical Prescriptive Descriptivist

Posted by Neal on January 31, 2005

I’ve been meaning to comment on this series of posts at Language Log, but Glen has saved me the trouble. As Glen sums it up, “Can a self-described linguistic descriptivist still criticize violations of standard English grammar, without being a hypocrite? Geoff Pullum cogently argues that the answer is ‘yes.'” Furthermore, whereas all I’d’ve said would have been, “This is interesting,” Glen gives you added value, generalizing the discussion to “spontaneous orders other than language, such as markets, etiquette, morality, and common law”.

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