The Language Battle

In today’s society there are two philosophical views that have become enemies and are constantly battling it out. These two views are from the prescriptivists and the descriptivists. The prescriptivists believe that there is a certain way that language should be written, and that language follows a certain set of rules believed to be prestigious. The descriptivists believe that language is described with the use of certain use of words and syntax. Since, today’s society has had many technological advances many tend to lean more towards the descriptivists way of thinking.

Many people believe that if a person has a higher educational level that they would most likely have a higher prestige in the way that they talked or presented themselves. In a survey that was recently taken on dialect 100% of the people said that the sentence “The land was given to Susan and me.” Is correct. The prescriptivist’s way of thinking prevailed in this form of dialect. One sentence that made most people think was “ This is the play in which he preformed in.” The prescriptivist’s point of view was put into play in this situation. Only 40% of the people picked up on the fact that this sentence ended with a preposition and 60% said that there was nothing wrong and that is how they would say it. The other speech form that was most diverse was the plural of you. The prescriptivists say that the correct answer is you all. Only 30% of the people got this question right. The most common was the answer “ya’ll” by 40% of the people. 20% of the people said “you guys” and 10% said “your.” Again with educational level the descriptivists way seems to prevail.

Since the times have changed so much with all the technological advances language has changed in time too. As people started to age the answers started to be very different. On the question that asked “what is the name of the object that a baby is brought home in from the hospital if it had wheels and could be taken for a walk.” I found that the age groups from 15-20, 21-30, and 31-40 100% called it a “stroller.” In the 41-50 age group 50% said “buggy” and 50% called it a “pram.” The older people in the 60+ group 100% called it a “carriage.” The term carriage is one that is a lot older and not used very often. When asked, “what utensil is used to fry food in?” The older 60+ age group 100% said it was called a skillet, but the other age groups referr

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