I have not opened any thread ever to criticize anyone's grammar.
It isn't within the realm of Descriptivism to criticise other people's grammar. There is a group dedicated to that and they are called Prescriptivists.
Descriptivists do, of course, criticize other people's takes on grammar when they feel that the language is being misrepresented.
You don't get to have your cake an eat it, either it's criticism or it isn't. Just saying that you don't criticize their grammar but you criticize their take on grammar misses the point. It's quibbling over the nature of the criticism and one of my big qualms with the high horse that some descriptivists get on is that their very criticism of prescriptivists is prescriptive in nature.
You're going to have to do more thinking on this. You don't understand the nature of descriptivism or it seems, prescriptivism.
So, I don't criticise individual's use of grammar. You've never heard me say that one must do this or you should do that to speak properly.
I do criticise when I believe that a person is not representing the rules of language accurately.
And what I'm saying is that there's no material difference outside of a theoretical argument about linguistics. In either case it's criticism, and you are disputing what the correct description is.
That you aren't also specifically saying that others should use the language a particular way doesn't make a significant difference except in that you get to proclaim your adherence to the descriptivism camp, which is a meaningless distinction to your interlocutors.
In either case you are criticizing their grammar, one way is to criticize how they use the language and the other is to criticize how they describe how they use the language. In effect it's not materially different except in that you get to label yourself this way.
But linguistics is all about language. The exception here is that it's not a criticism of anyone's personal use of language.
It's only a meaningless distinction to those who don't grasp the differences between P & D. For someone who holds onto a rule that was never a rule, say the proscription against using 'can' for permission, when the facts so clearly tell us this is not so, telling them they're wrong is not a prescription.
I'm afraid that you don't understand, Robert. When I criticise a prescription, it isn't their grammar. It's simply a memorized rule, one that even the most avid prescriptivists don't follow.
But I'm still at a loss to understand your position when you've sat back for all these years while various people have taken completely unwarranted pot shots at other people's grammar. Where were you when the New Jersey gentleman was knocking a poster's language use? Where were you when Set did it, numerous times? [He not the only one but he's right up there]
I don't think that is a distinction that matters as much to anyone else. Whether you are criticizing their use of the language or their understanding of grammar is roughly the same in effect.
It is a criticism of their grammar. Criticizing someone's stated grammar rules is to criticize their grammar. Grammar doesn't just encompass someone's use of the language but also encompasses the study thereof and the rules that govern it.
Just because you aren't picking out a live example doesn't mean it isn't part of their grammar. A claim about a grammar rule is someone's grammar.
I have no idea who the New Jersey guy you refer to is, but quite frankly these arguments remind me of the children who protest "but she did it tooo!"
Maybe I wasn't around, maybe I didn't find it obnoxious. I can imagine there are plenty of reasons and the notion that someone must uniformly criticize everything similar to have a point doesn't really make sense.
No, Robert, they are vastly different.
To you, but that's what we are going in circles about. You think this is a huge distinction just because it lets you say you aren't a prescriptivist, but I've never met anyone cares about that as much as you do.
So we'll have to agree to disagree.
Were you "taught" that 'could' is the past tense of 'can', 'might' the past of 'may', 'should the past of 'shall', 'would' the past of 'will'?