Preview
Preview

Essay about Prescriptive Approach Vs Descriptive Approach to Language

No Works Cited
Length: 723 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Orange      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

French grammarian, Dominique Bonhours, proved on his deathbed that a
grammarians work is never done when he gazed at those around his
deathbed and whispered, "I am about to- or I am going to- die; either
expression is used." Language is in a constant state of flux and there
is always controversy to changes in and attitudes towards language.
This is not something new, as it was the Romans that said the Vikings
speech sounded like the 'cawing of crows' because of their harsh
guttural sounds. The English language has evolved remarkably. The
Great Vowel Shift between 1400 and 1700 shows a great discontinuity in
pronunciation alone. Different attitudes towards language reached a
height during the 17th and 18th Centuries with Prescriptivists such as
Defoe, Swift and Louth. Prescriptivists believe that there is an
approach which sets out rules for what is regarded as correct in
language. Some prescriptivist rules for English include not splitting
infinitives, resulting in sentences such as 'to go boldly where no man
has gone before', rather than 'to boldly go'. The rationale behind
this was because the Latin infinitive is a single word, and so the
equivalent English construction should also be treated as if it were a
single unit. Prescriptivists rules include such things as 'bad'
language as ending a sentence with a preposition, multiple negation,
as two negatives destroy each other and make a positive, and using who
in place of whom.

One famous example of how the result can be if you are forced to
follow a prescriptivist rule is Winston Churchill's quote, "This is
the sort of bloody nonsense up with which I will not put."
Descriptivi...


... middle of paper ...


...es in language may in the end prove
futile, it at least tests changes in the language and, in a sense,
makes them prove their worth.

Language is in a constant state of flux and change. Different
attitudes to language will always continue and be around, whether it
is towards grammar usage, lexis or pronunciation. By creating a
language academy, we would set rules and examples that may not be
followed by the vast majority of people. There is a middle way to
language change, such as dictionaries, which set out a formal system
of spelling that is followed throughout the country. The main problem
with a language academy is the fact that rules to language may be set
up that the vast majority of people do not understand or do not know
about. This is why a language academy would be of little use if placed
in our society.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Essay on A Teacher as a Linguist - In recent years, the topic of language along with its importance and influence on society has gained prominence as a separate area of study. Many have joined the ongoing debate whether English should be properly taught and used, or perhaps there is no such a thing as Standard English in today’s day and age. Since language is an extremely efficient medium of interaction and expression, it is enormously important that educators invest ample amount in Linguistic research and study so they can properly educate their students and grant them the tools that can help them achieve their potential....   [tags: Language ]
:: 5 Works Cited
1656 words
(4.7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Traditional Grammar Method Essay - In the nineteenth century, the golden age of biology, the open evolving system of living organism carries a lot of weight. Hence, the traditional linguists took biology as a model of language as well. Language was considered as a living creature which can be grown and changed - live and dead. The changing lead to the degenerate of language in the present day - the spoken language, so the traditional linguists cling to the purest form’s principle in order to seize the accuracy of the language. The purest form is the written language which founded on the study of Latin and Greek....   [tags: Language] 1518 words
(4.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on A Beautiful Ideal: Advertising as Proscriptive, Not Merely Descriptive - A Beautiful Ideal Contrary to the popular saying, beauty is not in the eye of the beholder. Beauty and beauty ideals are delicate representations of their respective societies’ unique social, political, and economic beliefs. Definitions of beauty change throughout history, and across cultural and geographic lines. As a result of the hegemony of the modern male in society, the standards of beauty are often reflected and observed through the objectification of women. While there is no penultimate standard of beauty, an analysis of the representation of beauty exposes beauty ideals as manifestations of advertising and consumer culture....   [tags: Marketing, Gender Issues, Media] 1093 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
An Examination of the Dogme Method of Language acquisition in English Language Teaching - Initially Dogme is a filmmaking technique established in 1995 by a group of Danish directors when they tried to create more successful films with fewer preparations. Meddings and Thornbury (2009, 104) state that “Dogme demands that no props are introduced to the authentic film location…and the sole use of hand-held camera”. Eventually this technique was obtained as a teaching method since sometimes teachers may face a lack of materials which can be a loss of electricity source that could affect a lesson based on listening or at least affect photocopying materials for students....   [tags: Language ] 1378 words
(3.9 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on Description of English Language Learners - According to the Glossary of Education Reform ("English language learner," 2013), English Language Learners (ELL) are students who are unable to communicate fluently or learn effective in English; who often come from non English speaking homes and backgrounds. And who typically require specialized or modified instruction in both English language and in their academic courses. Immigrants make up 13% of the United States population, and within the 13% many people have children who speak their native language....   [tags: ell student, english language, languages]
:: 3 Works Cited
937 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Descriptive Language and The Lady of Shallot Essay - Descriptive Language and The Lady of Shallot In any piece of lyrical poetry, authors must masterfully use the language of the poem to covey the intended meaning. In order to ensure the meaning is not lost, it is imperative that the author incorporates various aspects of the narrative to escalate the poem past its face value. Alfred Tennyson’s poem “The Lady of Shallot” is no exception to the rule. From lines like “blue unclouded weather” and “the gemmy bridle glitter’d free”, one can draw that descriptive language is Tennyson’s tool to revealing the underlying meaning (Griffith 334)....   [tags: The Lady of Shallot] 1353 words
(3.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Purpose of Learning a Foreign Language Essay - The purpose of learning a foreign language is communication and this can be achieved by communicating in the foreign language (Walia, 2012). Therefore, thorough practise in grammatical exercises or memorizing dialogues and phrases do not provide the required results as actual attempts at spontaneous conversation in the foreign language. The Grammar Translation Method and the Audiolingual Approach were replaced by the Communicative Method as the former two were insufficient in certain ways as primary language teaching methods....   [tags: communicative methods, audiolingual approach]
:: 3 Works Cited
1039 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Descriptive Language in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck Essays - John Steinbeck uses the different type of languages and the different ideas to describe places in the book 'Of Mice and Men'. In this assignment I am going to looking at the start of chapter one paragraph one, which is the valley and countryside. Also, I am going to looking at the start of chapter two first paragraphs, which is the bunkhouse and it is in the ranch. In chapter one opening paragraph describe countryside before the ranch. It is about mountains, river, trees, sun and animals and it is a nice place....   [tags: Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck] 593 words
(1.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Academic Language Essay - Introduction The importance of a content textbook, especially mathematics, is phenomenal. Some teachers often regard the textbook as the sole resource for their class instruction. However, they fail to question or analyze the textbook contents’ bias or perspective, whether linguistic, cultural, or political (Darvin, 2007). By analyzing textbook content, teachers can organize and sort the material by prioritizing the information to be learned and highlighting the most important instruction that will be addressed (Strahan & Herlihy, 1985)....   [tags: Language ]
:: 1 Works Cited
1886 words
(5.4 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Essay about Decision Making Tools And Techniques: The Six Hat's Approach - Introduction "If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you. Not much." (About Quotations.com). Our ability to make well informed and critically analyzed decisions along with the decision-making processes we employ, are key in determining our overall successes and failures. We are faced with daily decisions that can ultimately change the very courses of our lives. Poor decisions will lead to unintended failures while educated, deliberate, and purposefully planned decisions will bring about a desired result with great success....   [tags: The Six Hat's Approach] 1474 words
(4.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]