Blog Archives

A prescriptivism with moral and political ends: The linguistic shalts and shalt nots I can get behind

In the field of linguistics, we tend to make a distinction between two ways of thinking about language and grammar: prescriptivism and descriptivism.

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Posted in Ideology and social change, Prescriptivism and language prejudice

English speaker, ‘oppressed’ by the presence of Spanish, sues Pima Community College

Higher education in the United States has been struggling to deal with issues of linguistic diversity for many years. On the one hand, the majority of US citizens are English speakers, and most of this majority are monolingual (having forgotten

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Posted in Human migration, Linguistic diversity

Language privilege: What it is and why it matters

Privilege. It’s a controversial word, one many of us don’t like to talk about. Some people associate it with guilt or with being accused of being racist, sexist, or homophobic. Many people have become tired of hearing all of the

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Posted in Human migration, Ideology and social change, Prescriptivism and language prejudice

Is it racist to call “no homo” homophobic?

After I wrote in my last post that “no homo” propagates a homophobic ideology, I encountered a number of people claiming that resistance to “no homo” stemmed from racism masquerading as a concern for gay rights. In particular Hakeem Muhammed writes, “While

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Posted in Ideology and social change, Language and race, Linguistic diversity, Prescriptivism and language prejudice

On table manners and spelling errors: How we use grammar to discriminate

Recently, I’ve come across a number of articles by self-proclaimed language experts trying to sell business leaders on the idea that being aware of their current and potential employees’ grammar and spelling is important.  This article calls written language problems

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Posted in Prescriptivism and language prejudice

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