Re: Changing our Language

Subject: Re: Changing our Language
From: "Guy K. Haas" <ghaas -at- NETSCAPE -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 07:57:14 -0800

David Fisher said (in part):

> It is our professional obligation to follow these rules in order to make our
> communication clear. If language needs to change, leave it to the academics
> who have changed language in the past to do so. Our job is to hold the line
> against the constant onslaught of improper grammar and word usage. As
> professional writers, we must follow the standards.

So, David -- how did language change before the academics came along?

If change were left to the academics, it would never happen. Change comes
from usage. Our task involves adopting useful changes. Lexicographers
do not make change, they report it. Read the front matter to any good

Our job is not "to hold the line against the constant onslaught", but to
communicate effectively--not to write to be understood, but to write so as
not to be misunderstood. Anything that gets in the way of understanding is
Bad Practice.

Yes, David, you are a curmudgeon, but surely there is hope for others
in our profession.

Guy K. Haas, Software Exegete ghaas -at- netscape -dot- com
Netscape Communications 415-528-3773
501 Middlefield My opinions are mine,
Mountain View, CA 94043 Netscape's are their own.

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