prescriptivist

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

prescriptive +‎ -ist

Noun[edit]

prescriptivist (plural prescriptivists)

  1. (linguistics) Someone who lays down rules regarding language usage, or who believes that traditional norms of language usage should be upheld.
    • 2001 April, David Foster Wallace, “Tense Present: Democracy, English, and the Wars over Usage”, in Harper's Magazine:
      The plutocratic tone and styptic wit of Safire and Newman and the best of the Prescriptivists is often modeled after the mandarin-Brit personas of Eric Partridge and H. W. Fowler, the same Twin Towers of scholarly Prescriptivism whom Garner talks about revering as a kid.

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Adjective[edit]

prescriptivist (comparative more prescriptivist, superlative most prescriptivist)

  1. Having a tendency to prescribe.
    • 2012, James Lambert, “Beyond Hobson-Jobson: A new lexicography for Indian English”, in World Englishes[1], page 312:
      In short, they tend to present Indian English as nothing more than "standard" English with a select collection of lexical peculiarities tacked on, as it were, many of which would be regarded as "errors" by prescriptivist language scholars.

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