Sunday, September 19, 2010

Advice for prescriptivists

Here's a piece advice for grammatical prescriptivists, from Marcus
Aurelius (remembering what he owes his teachers):

"From Alexander the grammarian: not to leap on mistakes, or captiously
interrupt when anyone makes an error of vocabulary, syntax, or
pronunciation, but neatly to introduce the correct form of that
particular expression by way of answer, confirmation, or discussion of
the matter itself rather than its phrasing -- or by some other such
felicitous prompting."
-- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Penguin Kindle edition 2006, 11%
into the book.

Neatly and felicitous are the operative words here. Easier said than done.