User:Dan Polansky/Descriptivism

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Lexicographical descriptivism is an approach to building dictionaries that aims to document actual use of language based on evidence rather than prescribe the users of language how they ought to use language based on preferences of the prescribing person or group.[cite]

Some links:

  • "Linguistic norms" vs. "groundless peeves" by Mark Liberman, at Language Log, May 16, 2011 -- a collection of links to other Language Log articles related to descriptivism vs prescriptivism
  • Erin McKean redefines the dictionary | Video on TED.com - TED2007, 16 minutes; "People think that my job is to let the good words make that difficult left hand turn into the dictionary, and keep the bad words out. But the thing is, I don't want to be a traffic cop. [...] The only thing Queen Victoria would not be amused by in modern dictionaries is our inclusion of the F-word, which has happened in American dictionaries since 1965. [...] And the thing is, if we can put in all the words, no longer have that artificial distinction between good and bad, we can really describe the language like scientists."
  • What makes a word "real"? by Anne Curzan, March 2014, ted.com
  • Real Grammar, macmillandictionary.com. "In our Real Grammar series we re-open the debate, this time insisting that the only reliable way of understanding English grammar is to study the evidence of language in use. We analyse corpus data and observe how people use English, around the world and across the whole spectrum of text-types. [...] Editor-in-Chief Michael Rundell introduces 'real grammar' and explains how it's defined."