Trudgill in Vocabula

Robert Hartwell Fiske Vocabula at AOL.COM
Mon Jun 16 11:52:31 UTC 2003

dInIs wrote:

Then one ought to reexamine the basis for prescriptivism; it is, as
several of us have pointed out in print over the years (me most
recently in the Watts and Trudgill Alternative Histories of English
volume; arnold most recently in his commentary and research on the
flap over reference to possessives), cut from exactly the same cloth.


"One ought to"? I suppose you mean "I ought to."

I understand how you can think that a prescriptivist attitude toward language
is incompatible with liberal social and political views (in fact, Trudgill
speaks to this in his June Vocabula article), but I don't necessarily agree.
Many people's thoughts and beliefs are richer, more nuanced, than you seem to
allow for. What's more, "one is" no fan of idiocy, no votery of gibberish.

Do you excuse Bush's inability to speak a clear sentence (without a script
before him) as you condemn his politics? If so, then you should know of what I
speak. Or could it be that you applaud his policies?

Still, I find this topic interesting, and I invite you to submit an article
about the relationship between politics and prescriptivism to The Vocabula

Robert Hartwell Fiske
Editor and Publisher
The Vocabula Review

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