Good Writing, Bad Writing ?
。 Despite the modern desire to be easy and casual, Americans from time to time give thought to the lang。uage they use, to grammar, vocabulary,and official languages. And, as on other issues, they divide into two parties. The larger, which includes everybody from the plain people to。 the professional writer, takes for granted that there is a right way t。o use words and construct sentences and many。 wrong ways. The right way is believed to be clearer,simpler, more logi。cal, and hence more likely to pr。event error and confusion. Good writing is easier to read; it offers a pleasant combination of sound and sense.
Against this majority view is the doct。rine of an opposin。g minority, who make up f。or their small number by their great learning and their place of authority i。n the school system and the world of scholarship. The。y are the professional linguists,who deny that there is such a thing as correctness. The language, they say, is wh。at anybody and everybody speaks.Hen。ce there must be no interference with what they regard as a product of nature. They denounce all attempt。s at guiding choice.
Within the profession of linguists there are, of course,fighting factions, but, on this conception of language as a natural growth with which it is crimina。l to interfere, they are at one. In their argu。ments one finds appeals to feelings of social equality (all words and forms are equally good) and individual
freedom. These belief。s further suggest that the desire for correctness,。 the very idea of better or worse in speech, is what is left over from noble a。nd times. To the linguists,。 cha。nge is the onl。y rule to be obeyed. They consider it to be equal with life and accuse their critics of being clock-reverses, en。emies of freedom, menaces to"life".
  下一页