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Thread: Rules

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    What person or group decided and compiled the rules that are taught concerning grammer and proper english? I would also like to know who decides if a word is recognized as being a "real" word.

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    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by EMAIL REMOVED - Send PM to This User Instead
    What person or group decided and compiled the rules that are taught concerning grammer and proper english? I would also like to know who decides if a word is recognized as being a "real" word.
    There is no official body governing grammar in English. French and Spanish have such a body and there may be others. Traditionally, stand English grammar rules have but promulgated in books by grammarians. There was never 100% agreement on all issues, but there was general agreement on most issues. Most of the traditional rules were codified in the latter part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century. Many of these "rules" have changed over time. Now there are so many different views that some newspapers and other publications produce their own style guides - grammar rules for individual publications. Some of these style guides serve as "rule books" for other organizations and publications. I hasten to add that these style guides have some areas of disagreement. So, for now, we have more disagreement than agreement among teachers, writers, and textbook publishers.

    People will also disagree about what a "real" word is. Well-respected dictionaries lend some credibility to new words by listing them in the dictionaries. Dictionaries, however, lag behind the world in this matter. Some would say that a word is real if it conveys a meaning to a reader or listener. Others would say that word must be widely accepted before it is real. It is up to individual users to make the final assessment. If one is involved in serious writing or speaking, one should probably confine themselves to words listed in good, standard dictionaries. There are plenty to choose from.

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    The authority of dictionaries is built upover time, so that a number emerge as greater in authority, which means that when there is a dispute, some carry greater weight than others. That doesn't mean that there's always agreement. In British English, the dictionaries that carries most weight is the OED (Oxford English Dictionary).

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