The English Language

Discussion in 'Other Topics' started by Elliot George, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. SwiftSpear

    SwiftSpear Active Member

    I understand the value of airing on the side of descriptive linguistic analysis vs prescriptive, but should we never be prescriptive about language? It seems appropriate in some contexts...
  2. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    I think it's a loose thing. People need to remember that language is constantly evolving and if enough people start using a word a certain way, it pretty much means that that becomes the correct way to use that word. With that said, there are established norms and generally speaking it's good to try to adopt them as closely as possible if you're writing something academic or professional. But it's worth looking up "code switching" and how it's totally natural and useful to talk to different groups in different ways to communicate better. Honestly, with language, it's ALL about "what will communicate most effectively".

    With that said, sometimes prescriptive language is the most effective communicator. It's messy, but sometimes it's necessary.
  3. Plumlum

    Plumlum Well-Known Member

    Is it better to clarify troublesome prescriptive definitions when you make your points, or is it better to wait for a misunderstanding? I think it's better to wait for a misunderstanding. Communication is more fluid that way.
  4. SwiftSpear

    SwiftSpear Active Member

    To me, a little bit of both. If you're clearly using a word/phrase/syntax your audience can't reasonably be expected to have encountered before, it's best to just define them within the same work. If you're using reasonably common game design terms here, I wouldn't expect you to define them. If you're using reasonably common medical terms here though, probably you should clarify, it's not sensible to expect your average reader of these forums to be fluent in medical jargon.
  5. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    I think it's good to try to clarify unusual definitions as soon as possible.

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