Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Calling Out

Here's a succinct contribution from Geoffrey K. Pullum of Language Log. In it, he argues for the understanding of the varieties of use for language and grammar and how these things evolve to suit our needs. His opposition is to be the benighted, pedantic Oliver Moody, writing for London's The Times

I don't like to call people wrong in their opinions, and I hate to feed the trolls, but I do feel that it's important to have a liberal view toward grammar. Language won't stop evolving. We need to understand the language we use and how we use it. There's no language crisis facing us because people write u instead of you and LOL instead of—well, there wasn't really much of a reason to write laughing out loud before the internet catalyzed linguistic shift, was there?

The fact of the matter is that conservative grammarians don't have anyone to preach their inconsiderate worries to except for themselves and other uninformed (and hopefully uninfluential) people. The rest of us will go on learning, being accepting, and not playing Chicken Little. Here's a comforting presentation from John McWhorter, in which he points out that people have been fretting about grammar being misused for literally millennia.