>>7659534 descriptive unless there's good reason to be prescriptive so, for example, it would be confusing if we just accepted the incorrect use of "literally" to mean basically its opposite, so we should be prescriptivists on that point
>>7659534 prescriptivism is largely untenable. any given rule or definition is rooted in older rules or definitions, such as english being a mix of latin and germanic languages. latin was also a mix of rules and vocabulary from other languages, and changed over time. the languages that latin drew on were also themselves a mix of languages that changed over time, so on until we pass the point of having written words. if rules were obeyed strictly, language would be prevented from keeping pace with the changes in the world's reality. not to mention a great deal of poetry and prose would be impossible.
if you understand and accept this about the nature of language, i suppose prescriptivism is a nice thing for initiating someone into a language, and good for polish when polish is required. for example writing a cover letter or an article for a newspaper.
condescending to others for their use of 'literally' or correcting others for their fumbling of grammar in casual conversation are not an instances of applying appropriate polish. its an instance of revealing pettiness, hypocrisy, lack of critical reflection, narcissism, and/or social ineptitude.
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