Attitudes towards Language Change

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  • Change Attitudes
    • Prescriptivism
      • Crumbling Castle
        • Language was once upon a time perfect, now it needs to be preserved before it gets worse, like a heritage site.
        • Nobody can exactly prove when the language was at its prime
          • People argue that Shakespeare time English was perfect
            • Inkhorn Contrversy
      • Damp Spoon Syndrome
        • Distaste towards the language change. Equal to a person leaving a damp spoon in the sugar bowl.
        • Implies that sloppy language is all due to laziness.
          • Only lazy language is drunk
      • Infectious Disease
        • Assumes that language changes are somehow contagious, that they get transferred via simple contact.
        • Convergence and Divergence are not passive.
      • John Humphrys
        • Believes in the language becoming "obese"
        • "Lost for Words"
        • "Beyond Words"
      • Lynne Truss
        • "zero tolerance" approach to punctuation
        • "Eats Shoots and Leaves"
    • Descriptivism
      • Jean Aitchinson
      • David Crystal
      • "change is evolution"
        • Observing language changes without seeing it as decay or progression
      • "anything goes"
        • We should avoid imposing rules on the language
      • "describe without judgement"
        • Language evolves and adapts during its existence. New forms come in, some drop out
    • Debate
      • Progress
      • Decay

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