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