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Prescription and descriptivism

From The Language Wiki
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In linguistics, prescription and descriptivism are two approaches to the study and analysis of language.

Prescription is the approach that seeks to establish rules and guidelines for what is considered "correct" or "proper" language use. It is often associated with language purists and prescriptive grammarians, who believe that there is a correct way to speak and write a language, and that deviations from these norms should be avoided. Prescription emphasizes the importance of standardization and uniformity in language use and often involves making judgments about what is considered "correct" or "incorrect." For this reason, prescriptivism is often called the "eugenics of linguistics".

Descriptivism, on the other hand, is the approach that seeks to describe and analyze language use as it actually occurs, without making prescriptive judgments about what is considered "correct" or "incorrect." Descriptive linguists are more interested in observing how people actually use language and how language evolves over time, and they do not seek to impose standards or rules on language use. Descriptivism acknowledges that language is constantly changing and evolving, and that there is no single "correct" way to use it.

In conclusion, prescription and descriptivism represent different ways of approaching the study of language, with prescription focusing on establishing rules and norms for "correct" language use, and descriptivism focusing on describing and analyzing language use as it actually occurs.