Yudan Taiteki wrote:Indeed, you can even see this on the thread -- "most favorite" gets responses ranging from "fine with me" to "illiterate" (which I don't quite understand; what does it mean for an expression to be "illiterate"? I'm pretty sure I'm not illiterate, and I use that expression).
unable to read and write: an illiterate group.
having or demonstrating very little or no education.
showing lack of culture, esp. in language and literature.
displaying a marked lack of knowledge in a particular field: He is musically illiterate.
an illiterate person.
My point was that it sounds
like a word/phrase an uneducated person would use much like "irregardless" simply because they heard someone else say it and thought it sounded neat. This could easily devolve into a descriptivist versus prescriptivist argument...
I tend to be a prescriptivist, and a bit of a snooty one at times unfortunately... and I think that might actually be a bad thing on my part... kind of like an old man grumbling about the newfangled gadgets and slang of youth, but as we know, the inexorable march of time evolves both cultures and languages, otherwise we'd all still be wearing clothes vastly differently than today and speaking something probably unintelligible to us today.
I think the best route is a sound anchor in prescriptivism, with a healthy dash of descriptivism sprinkled in to allow the growth of the language. Too liberal a dose of descriptivism and the structure of the language breaks down and you're left having to learn everything by rote as there is no definite logical structure left. When you can just start saying whatever you want and expecting people to have to learn what you mean to understand you because you're breaking the "conventional rules", then the purpose of language itself is defeated... namely that of transmitting information between people as effectively and accurately as possible. The more you arbitrarily alter that structure, the narrower your target audience becomes, and the less effective and accurate the language becomes.
(is this hijacking the thread a bit?)