Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 10:21:18 EST From: Larry Horn Subject: Re: double negatives and other prescriptions Jeutonne Brewer writes, >On Sun, 16 Nov 1997, Kusujiro Miyoshi wrote: >> The discussion on double negatives is quite interesting for me in >> that it reminds me the arguments in England in the eighteenth >> century. This discussion seems to be the one being had between >> Priestley and Lowth. > >Thanks for mentioning Priestley. He provides a good 18th century >contrast to Lowth later prescriptive popularizing grammarians like >Lindley Murray. Unfortunately, the Lowthian ideas are the ones ?that still appear in school grammars. > >18th century grammarians like Lowth proclaimed a whole series >of prescriptive statements about English. I remember that Albert >Baugh's history of the language book has/had an interesting list >of these. Offhand, I remember different than/different from in >the list. The 18th century grammarians were also prescriptively >important in imposing generic "he" as "correct." Baugh is a fine reference, but let's not omit the valuable work of our own Dennis Baron, viz. _Language and Good Taste: Reforming the American Language_ (Yale U. P., 1982), with several chapters on the 18th, 19th, and 20th century prescriptivists and language mavens. Larry