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(Redirected from Prescriptive grammar)

Prescriptivism (/prəˈskrɪptɪvɪzm/) is an approach to linguistics in which a language authority decides what language is acceptable and hence subject to prescription and what language is erroneous and therefore subject to proscription. Prescriptivism mostly covers grammar, but it can also cover semantics, punctuation, etc.

Formal registers are often more prescriptivist than informal registers.

Nearly all modern linguists follow the opposite approach, i.e. descriptivism. However, there is somewhat of a middle approach which notes prescriptions and proscriptions but does not endorse them per se.

Many prescriptive linguists cannot agree on "the rules".

One advantage of prescriptivism is that although the rules given may not be accurate, they can be clear. Sometimes, that clarity may be more useful to language learners than accuracy.