Re: Are we WRITERS????

Subject: Re: Are we WRITERS????
From: Lean Ni Chuilleanain <lnc -at- nua -dot- ie>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2000 14:58:07 +0100

At 00:00 28/03/00 -0800, Barry Baldwin wrote:


Right, right. This is prescriptive (write it according to specific rules)
versus proscriptive (write it as people actually speak) divide.

The distinction is correct, and so are the descriptions that follow, but the terminology isn't.

Prescriptive grammar sets forth rules for people to follow.

Descriptive grammar describes language as used by native speakers.

The word "proscriptive" refers to the condition of proscribing, prohibiting or outlawing things. I've never heard it used in the context of grammar (although that might sometimes be appropriate!).

(having an idle and pedantic Tuesday)

Lean Ni Chuilleanain, Technical Writer, NUA Ltd

Like jewels in a crown, the polished stones glittered in the
Queen's round metal hat. (Jack Handy)

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