American academic and critic
The prescriptivists warn against splitting infinitives and insist that it's wrong to end sentences with prepositions; the descriptivists say such rules are artificial and old-fashioned, and a linguist should care only about the way real people speak and write. The two sides glower at each other across the pages of scholarly journals and editorial pages: The prescriptivists see themselves as champions of standards of propriety and their opponents as wild-eyed linguistic anarchists; the descriptivists see themselves as realists and their opponents as inflexible linguistic authoritarians.
The Weekly Standard, January 4, 2007
Posted on January 4, 2007 at 8:05 AM