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A new book “The Lexicographer’s Dilemma” discusses the rage bad grammar can cause and calls on staunch advocates to chill out.

Jack Lynch’s new book “The Lexicographer’s Dilemma” would like all the “grammar cops” out there to take a chill pill, according to The Salon’s Laura Miller. She says: “Lynch would like us all to calm down, please, and recognize that ‘proper’ English is a recent and changeable institution…According to Lynch, the very notion of correct English is only 300 years old; in the days of Chaucer and Shakespeare, the idea that native English speakers could be accused of using their own language improperly would have seemed absurd. The advent of printing — and, especially, the growth of general literacy — led to efforts to establish authoritative standards of spelling and usage in the 18th century.” He says the “correctness” of language is determined by those wealthy populists of a generation or two ago, who would of course heap criticism on the colloquial style of “those ‘inferior’ and upstart groups supposedly most prone to transgression: women, young people, racial and ethnic minorities and, of course, Americans.”


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