"If I was you" seems a bit odd to me. I guess that makes me a prescriptivist. :wink:
I think Tdol was referring to the use of 'if I was' in a conditional sentence. Prescriptivists would probably say that the correct use is 'if I were': If I were you, I wouldn't do that.
Descriptivists would accept the use of 'if I was' in that context.
I was referring to the second conditional use, where prescriptivists often favout the use of the past subjunctive:Originally Posted by Will
If I were you, I'd take it back to the library.
Ah, so I see. And with that definition, I guess that'd make me a prescriptivist because I think the rules are there for reason - to be followed.
I do believe that descriptionists consider the language used by the American slaves to be a form of English, as too the street English used by US gan'sters and rappers. I believe the argument is that the isn't one acceptable form of English, but many.Originally Posted by RonBee
It is. The argument gets heated when it concerns teaching these forms. I favour description, as far as possible, as a source of rules, but favour teaching fairly standard English.
In regard to the language used by gangstas and rappers, I think what you're looking for is ebonics. It's completely incomprehnesaible, yet I hear it all the time. I don't think that ebonics, even with descriptivists, can be taken seriously. I know I don't take anyone who speaks ebonics seriously, though I don't really talk to those people at all most of the time. I've got to work on this rambling thing.
Originally Posted by WillEvidence that linguists, whatever the flavour, do indeed take Ebonics, or AAVE seriously. 8)Originally Posted by Center for Applied Linguistics
I could care less what linguists say about ebonics, because, if you had to listen to that trite dribble for any length of time, you'd see that all it is is laziness. You're basically saying, "well, this whole proper grammar thing is stupid." I don't take it, ebonics, seriously one bit. The operative word there is "I." So, let's keep in mind, this is all opinion. But, seriously, about ebonics, I really don't care if linguists take it seriously. It's, like I said before, trite dribble. But, God forbid if someone gets offended in this country because they're too darn lazy to remember something useful. Sorry, rambling again.
While I recognise variations of English as acceptable, when something becomes incomprehensible to the wider speech community, it is not going to help its speakers greatly.