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41,725 reputation

sumelic top 0.13% this year

American English speaker who grew up in California.

Please let me know if you see anything incorrect in my posts!


“A degree of versatility seems involved in the very nature of language, and is one of those evils left by Providence for man to correct : a love of order, and the utility of regularity, will always incline him to confine this versatility within as narrow bounds as possible.”
John Walker

“Variability is not some pesky defect of languages, but a central feature of them (along with, at least, opposition, compositionality, redundancy, ambiguity, synonymy/paraphrase, and hierarchical structure—plus, of course, shared norms). Language (both spoken and written) varies from person to person, from social group to social group, from occasion to occasion, and even for a single person on a single occasion, from moment to moment. And this is a very good thing. It would be insane to try to enforce a single choice between variants, on all occasions, for everyone.”
Arnold Zwicky

“Your lexicographer, having written his dictionary, comes to be considered as ‘one having authority,’ whereas his function is only to make a record, not to give a law. The natural servility of the human understanding having invested him with judicial power, surrenders its right of reason and submits itself to a chronicle as if it were a statute.”
–Ambrose Bierce

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