Schlagwort-Archive: Purismus

Krautspeak Day

To most Ger­mans, today is just an ordi­nary Sam­stag (or Sonnabend, depend­ing on where they live). But to Ger­man lan­guage pre­scrip­tivists, it is a qua­si-nation­al hol­i­day, a lin­guis­tic Fourth of July and Fifth of Novem­ber rolled into one: the Tag der Deutschen Sprache (“Day of the Ger­man Lan­guage”), a sort of pre­scient com­mem­o­ra­tion day for the Ger­man lan­guage as it will have been when it no longer is.

In the Eng­lish-speak­ing world, pre­scrip­tivists are con­cerned main­ly with a small set of words and gram­mat­i­cal struc­tures that they call “bad gram­mar” – phe­nom­e­na like the “split” infini­tive or the pas­sive (struc­tures which they would like to remove from the lan­guage com­plete­ly), the rel­a­tive mark­ers that and which (which they would like to see used for restric­tive and non-restric­tive rel­a­tive claus­es respec­tive­ly), and cer­tain sen­ten­tial adverbs like hope­ful­ly (which they seem to think should nev­er be used to express the speaker’s atti­tude towards the con­tents of a sen­tence). They typ­i­cal­ly jus­ti­fy their pro­scrip­tions and pre­scrip­tions by appeals to log­ic (although they nev­er spell out what that log­ic actu­al­ly is). Weit­er­lesen