Basically this question is asking if your a
prescriptivist: English shouldn't change, when people speak improperly it bastardizes the language
descriptivist: English is a living organism and as long as you're understood then communication is successful
I believe language evolves, and soon enough it won't matter how bastardized it becomes because our world may mostly be graphical in representation due to the rise of capture anywhere video cameras and voice recordings.
But that might just be a little too far flung, yet.
AS long as you are understood does it matter.. I spend a lot of time with people who speak English as a second language here in saudi, it is hardly worth picking them up on each error they make!! The language will always evolve and change after all ye would be talking very differently if language did not change over time! Shakespear's English is not that long ago!!
Both. English should not change - the primary purpose of most such change is to polarize and isolate groups of people and the the primary result of such change is to make communication difficult.
It also MUST change as knowledge is not static. As knowledge changes so must language change in order to describe new knowledge, actions and things.
I am a descriptivist. People have Shakespeare as someone who had a great command of the English language, but if anyone talked like them we'd see them as strange.
Who picked the 1900s as the standard for English? Why is that one correct?
Shakespeare didn't write in the same English that was spoken in his time for one, not the English of "regular folks." For another, he is not "picked" for his authority over English diction, style or grammar. He is picked for alacrity with diction, his metrical skill, his incredibly insightful and deeply profound story telling skill, the creation of memorable and unique characters, his tantalizing wit, the scope of his imagination (and what he borrowed lol), and his service to the populace as a historian of sorts (he being something of the Elizabethan History Channel in a way)... among other things.
He was not "picked" as the freeze point of English grammar or usage or anying remotely like that at all, as is evidenced by the massive evolution of the language since his time. If you want to demonize someone, go after The Elements of Style (Strunk & White), that's the book that people grabbed onto like it's some sort of Biblical mandate, stuffing stuffy rules into English arbitrarily as if someone had assigned the authors authorial authority over everyone.
Oh my goodness.
I really, totally agree with that statement.
All I'm saying is that people need to stop correcting people. Especially if you're understood!
I actually graduated with a Linguistics degree and a minor in teaching English.
I cannot tell you how much I can't stand when people tell me: "It's actually this way, and not the way you said" Who cares? Communication was successful if you were successful at decoding the symbol.
Whichever English was chosen as a standard will not be so 100 years from now.
I am English and I am Fine.... I am certainly not barstardised! My parents were married when I was born! *gee!*
Can language be fixed?
I don't think so, but it can always be improved upon.
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