Blog Archives

Trump fans aren’t spelling bee champions, but why do we care?

Grammarly is the worst. Seriously, it is. I don’t mean their silly little grammar and spelling checker thing. I’m sure that’s a perfectly adequate proofreading tool, doing its best to reinforce people’s deep-seated insecurities about writing every time they touch a keyboard.

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Posted in Language and education, Language and politics, Language and social class, Prescriptivism and language prejudice

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

“It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it”: Delusions of grandeur among language elitists

How close would we come to the apocalypse without grammar snobs’ friendly reminders that we don’t use language “properly”? My never-ending fascination with the minds of grammar snobs has led me to an interesting finding. At least in the minds

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Posted in Prescriptivism and language prejudice

On the logics of language (yes, logics with an s)

In a couple of previous posts, I talked about how powerful people’s pet peeves about others’ language were being used to justify prejudices.  As I pointed out, some educators and some business leaders are utilizing arbitrary ideas about language to draw unwarranted

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Posted in Prescriptivism and language prejudice

The blurry line between linguistic pet peeves and prejudice

Lingua Franca is a blog at the Chronicle of Higher Education that I enjoy reading especially for Anne Curzan‘s and Geoffrey Pullum‘s excellent posts, but all of the contributors write about language, and so I’m a regular reader. Today, there was

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Posted in 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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