Basic anti-Prescriptivism Text

Gordon, Matthew J. GordonMJ at MISSOURI.EDU
Sun Dec 17 17:24:03 UTC 2006

Depending on how much you need on the subject, you might be satisfied with this online essay by Edward Finegan:

I've assigned it as well as the (much longer and more nuanced) piece by G. Nunberg which is linked thereto.

-Matt Godon

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society on behalf of Geoff Nathan
Sent: Sun 12/17/2006 6:01 AM
Subject:      Basic anti-Prescriptivism Text
Quick question:  can anyone recommend a cheap, elementary, even popular text that explains the prescriptivism/descriptivism issue?  I'm teaching a 'traditional grammar' course, and I'd like to have a cheap supplemental text that covers the basic points (partly because I don't want to spend a whole lot of time on the issue).
I have Bauer and Trudgill's Language Myths, but I was wondering whether there was anything else folks would recommend.  And I've left it a little late (the main text is already ordered).
Many thanks,


Geoffrey S. Nathan
Department of English/Computing and Information Technology
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI, 48202
<geoffnathan at> <mailto:geoffnathan at> 
Phones:  C&IT (313) 577-1259/English (313) 577-8621
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