A 'purist', aka a 'prescriptivist is not someone that anyone would want to rely on for accurate descriptions of language.
Despite apparent opposition, prescription and description can inform each other.
Those wishing to learn a language would be prudent to note the pronouncements of the purists
Who is the sniveling coward that added the tag Contrex Learns English?
Quote:Those wishing to learn a language would be prudent to note the pronouncements of the purists
By the way, you just used a word -- namely, "transpondial" -- that's not in my unabridged. Of course, my unabridged also happens to be a Yankee.
Because even bad examples (that are not imitated!) can be instructive.
Otto Von Bismarck: “Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. I prefer to learn from the mistakes of others”.
A widely roving and impartial eye is a useful thing.
That's like saying we should follow study the creationists to learn about evolution.
But it would be folly for a student (e.g.) of the sociology of religion to treat the sayings of Creationists as somehow evil/taboo/ritually polluting and put their hands over their ears and say "la la la I can't hear them".
But while it is understandable that speakers of a language with a literary tradition would tend to be pessimistic about its course, there is no more hard evidence for a general linguistic degeneration than there is reason to believe that Aaron and Rose are inferior to Ruth and Gehrig.
Most of my fellow linguists, in fact, would say that it is absurd even to talk about a language changing for the better or the worse. [Yet you still persist in this "purist" nonsense.] When you have the historical picture before you, and can see how Indo-European gradually slipped into Germanic, Germanic into Anglo-Saxon, and Anglo-Saxon into the English of Chaucer, then Shakespeare, and then Henry James, the process of linguistic change seems as ineluctable and impersonal as continental drift. From this Olympian point of view, not even the Norman invasion had much of an effect on the structure of the language, and all the tirades of all the grammarians since the Renaissance sound like the prattlings of landscape gardeners who hope by frantic efforts to keep Alaska from bumping into Asia.