This may resemble a question now under a close vote, in which the inquirer asked for names of specific people, but this is not the same.

I am looking for a single word for "one who is against linguistic purity," preferably one with a negative connotation.

Example of how it would be used: "That Josh favors the use of emoji and the obsoletion of the word 'whom.' He is such a(n) ____."


  • 1
    So presumably you disagree with "Josh" (interesting choice of example name), and the word you want should be disapproving or pejorative rather than adulatory? [That needs to be made clear]
    – Andrew Leach
    May 10, 2017 at 12:56
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    @Evan - My exact thoughts, although it doesn't carry the "negative connotation" OP wants. Unless you're a prescriptivist anyway, in which case you probably would think it had a negative connotation!
    – AndyT
    May 10, 2017 at 13:15
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    What in the world does the obsoletion of the word 'whom' mean? Is this a causative construction, where one forbids its use successfully? Are there any more examples of obsoletion besides 'whom'? May 10, 2017 at 13:37
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    Is your idea of a 'linguistic purist' someone who uses the language exactly as 90% of Oxbridge graduates did in 1950? Someone who uses it 75% of the way that 80% of all UK graduates did in 1930? Someone who uses it the way you think 70% of Anglophones did in 1756? The way you prefer? May 10, 2017 at 20:53
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    If we're into coining, 'The obsoletion of a word is the making of that word obsolete. I made it up on the spot, but according to M-W, it seems to be a real word [though very rare and not with that meaning]' might suggest that 'Scrooble' is a fair candidate for 'one who does not value linguistic purism'. May 10, 2017 at 21:15

1 Answer 1


A "descriptivist." From a blog post here a while ago:

The idea behind descriptive linguistics is that a language is defined by what people do with it.

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