Mary Rolf‘s post “Why I Stopped Being a Grammar Snob” did the rounds recently. It certainly received some attention at Gengo, given we’re a language company.
The premise of the article is that:
[…] there are two schools of thought when it comes to how we should use language. One is “prescriptive” and it’s backed by grammar snobs and the kind of people who froth at the mouth over the decline of “the King’s English”. The other is “descriptive” and it’s more about accepting that how people use language is how language works. A prescriptivist believes in the idea of standard English and sees mistakes everywhere. A descriptivist sees many englishes, and none of them are standard.
However when it comes to other people I find that what they have to say is more important and interesting than how they say it.
Sounds very hard to disagree with, right? Of course I am more interested in what you say than your choice of spelling. Hurrah! Throw away the dictionary! Silly snobs!
But sorry, life is not so simple.