Itâ(TM)s a perpetual lament: The purity of the English language is under assault. These days we are told that our ever-texting teenagers canâ(TM)t express themselves in grammatical sentences. The media delight in publicizing ostensibly incorrect usage. A few weeks ago, pundits and columnists lauded a Wikipedia editor in San Jose, Calif., who had rooted out and changed no fewer than 47,000 instances where contributors to the online encyclopedia had written âoecomprised ofâ rather than âoecomposed of.â
Scholarly linguists, Instead of having some rule book of what is âoecorrectâ usage, instead examine the evidence of how native and fluent nonnative speakers do in fact use the language. Whatever is in general use in a language (not any use, but general use) is for that reason grammatically correct.
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