larryfckndavid  asked:

Good for you for being able to explain yourself without getting hostile- it's truly impressive, and I don't think I'd be able to do it to the same extent. The linguistics course I took last semester was an intro course, but after, I decided to learn more about prescriptivism/descriptivism. I am proud to say that I have been able to challenge and re-evaluate my views on language, and I wish that other people would be more willing to do the same. Closed-minded is a very unfortunate thing to be.

Thanks for the compliment! It is something I think I’ve gotten better at over time. Tumblr is such a wild hotbed of clashing ideologies and accusations of injustice that I think I’ve definitely increased the care with which I lay out my arguments over my time here.

The bizarre thing about language descriptivism is it’s not really that radical a concept. You can be completely convinced of it after a single semester of linguistics – maybe even a single lecture. I was a diehard proponent of the standard language all throughout high school, and it didn’t take that long in my first linguistics class in college to realize how wrong I had been. When I argue with people online, I try to channel that intro professor mentality, and lay out the facts for people as clearly as I can. I do my best to remember how my own mind got changed, and instill that same perspective in others.