101 dy3 - INDV 101 Day 3 August 28, 2009 Administrivia...

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INDV 101 Day 3 August 28, 2009
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Administrivia Syllabus now available. D2L site under construction: http://d2l.arizona.edu I have access; you will too by Monday.
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Prescriptive vs. Descriptive In most or all of your ‘language studies’ classes in school, you have been exposed to a ‘prescriptive’ approach to language. Just as a doctor prescribes medicine to fix your ailments, A prescriptive approach to language attempts to ‘fix’ your supposedly bad grammar, Instructing you in how to speak and/or write “correctly”.
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Examples of prescriptive approaches to grammar Two famous examples of this: (1) Never end a sentence with a preposition. (2) Never split an infinitive.
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P-final: The ending of sentences with prepositions is something up with which I will not put !” cf. “…which I will not put up with.” Here, following the prescriptive rule produces gibberish! Other cases where the only grammatical option is to end a sentence with a preposition: As we saw on day 1, “Turn it on.” (*turn on it) “He was wearing his pants on his head, but I don’t know what the hell for . (*. . for what the hell )
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We are told to never split an infinitive. (the title of this slide contains a split infinitive). Here’s another, rather well-known example: “… to boldly go where no man has gone before.” (or the later, more PC version: where no one …) Oh no! Gene Roddenberry didn’t study in school, and now whole generations of speakers are ruining English! The decline of Shakespeare’s English into ignorant grunting is well on its way…
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Nonsense! The idea that speakers must be taught how
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101 dy3 - INDV 101 Day 3 August 28, 2009 Administrivia...

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