Monday, November 17, 2014

In language, no.

A claim made in a Facebook comment stream (a discussion of a complaint about the indicative being used where the mandative subjunctive is supposed to be the only correct choice, if you must know):

The number of people, who are doing something incorrectly, is not a determinant of the correctness of the act.

My response: in math, yes. In language, no.

(Is it rude to point out that the above claim contains commas that would best be omitted? Yes, it probably is ...) 

1 comment:

Andrew Shields said...

I just came across this from Michael Watts:

You learn words by being exposed to other people using them, so if you see an eggcorn often enough you'll "learn" that it's correct.

That captures what correctness is pretty well, I think.

It appears in a comment on this post on Language Log: