ERIC Number: ED033106
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969
Reference Count: N/A
Dictionaries and Usage.
Because the use of "good" grammar is directly related to status in American society, changes in grammatical usage are made slowly and cautiously. Current American linguistic attitudes are derived from two aspects of the early New England school tradition: the development of lexicography initiated in this country by Noah Webster, and the widespread, partial literacy fostered by the public school system. Lexicographers and linguists, whose grammar delineations are based on the actual usage of reputable speakers and writers, conflict with teachers whose classroom grammar taboos are based on arbitrary appeals to such extralinguistic factors as analogy, logic, and the historical development of the language. The efforts of distinguished linguists and the publication of enlightened dictionaries during the past generation have had little effect upon the educated public, who follows the prescriptive grammar learned in school and resists any usage changes. Perhaps in the next generation a grammar based on linguistic studies will be accepted. (JM)
Descriptors: Dictionaries, English Instruction, Grammar, Language Usage, Lexicography, Linguistics, North American English, Regional Dialects, Social Dialects, Standard Spoken Usage, Traditional Grammar, Verbal Communication
Basic Books, Inc., 404 Park Ave., So., New York, N.Y. 10016 ($6.95)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: A chapter in "Linguistics Today," ed. Archibald A. Hill (New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1969), pp. 127-36.