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From:  James Womack
Date:  Fri May 15, 1998  3:39 am
Subject:  Re: linguists

On Thu, 14 May 1998 15:47:15 -0700 Joe Martin

>I feel maligned;

Are you a cancer?

>On Thursday, May 14th, James Womack wrote;
>Oh, we have it, but sort of unofficially. It is usually confined to
>the linguists and higher education centers. It's that way because even
they know
>that trying to impose this on the masses is a waste of time.

Ah, well, basically it's you people who tell us what the rules are
supposed to be, what's right and not right. The language texts
are based on your expertise. Doesn't mean you're evil people.

>This is in regard to what is known as prescriptivism: the promotion of
>one variety of language as "correct." A basic tenet of linguistics is
>that there is no such thing as correct or incorrect language, only
>different. No linguist would say otherwise. The task of
>linguistics is to desribe language as it exists, not as some people
>think it should be. For example, they were the people who defined ASL
as a
>true language in the first place; without them people would still
>negate it as "poor English," or "no Language," and so on.
>:-) Remember, "linguists are our friends." :-)

Never said they weren't. The basic premise is that languages
don't follow textbook rules, they're too darn volatile.

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