Love of language is not the same as linguistic arrogance

It happens like this: stumble on the Net on a holivar. The ideological heat of passion, multi-page disassembly - and suddenly someone makes a spelling mistake. And then he appears - Grammar-Nazi, a representative of a militant audience, defying spelling norms and throwing stones at those who had the imprudence to write "it seems" or "Thailand." The conflict is now centered around this error, the "illiteracy" of the enemy is used as the final argument in the dispute. Grammar-Nazi scribbling comment after comment with a voluptuous indignation, the essence of his thoughts comes down to something like: I hate stupid illiterate. Neatly inserts his answers in Word, checks for errors and with a sense of accomplishment of duty sends to public access. Today Grammar-Nazi will sleep peacefully: the debt is fulfilled. He will see a pink pony reading a Dahl dictionary in a green clearing.

Well, yes, you need to write correctly. It is depressing when a chauvinist axiom is made from this statement, giving rise to a linguistic hierarchy: literate versus illiterate. And this hierarchy substitutes in the heads of Grammar-Nazi any other hierarchy: good is az books, lead, and evil — az books are not. An uninformed is evil.

Why it is not necessary to correct people in colloquial speech

Do you often correct people in a conversation, if they pronounce the word incorrectly, put emphasis on the wrong syllable? To do this is completely pointless. Only a small part of people, after correction, are grateful and all their lives later say this word correctly. These are your own little children, well, and some uniquely rare instances of people (you will not even meet them).

You can make as many comments as you like to an adult - they will not take root in his mind, because he exists in an environment where people used to say the way he says. Ninety-year-old grandmother Valya, who did not complete her studies because of the war, her companions on the bench at the entrance are not evaluated in terms of "literacy-illiteracy," strictly speaking, they don’t give a damn what she "lays down", but not "puts" because and themselves "lie". Habit of talking exactly - one of the most persistent. (For me personally, for example, in adolescence for some reason, I was greatly impressed by the fact that Chekhov, in his stories, was inclined to surnames that are not inclined today: "In the evening Belikov ... went to Kovalenko" ("The Man in the Case"). According to the norms of the time it was allowed. And I, understanding that according to modern norms it is wrong, still still sometimes in verbal speech I incline such names.

You are a Muscovite, come to St. Petersburg on vacation. Well, let's say, buying donuts, you can still force yourself to say "donuts" (it’s written on the price tag - it means, like "legalized"), but you can do it with great difficulty and, like a fool, pry with laughter, leave to teach yourself to say "front", "curb" and "shaverma".

One can get rid of the habit of uttering the words “non-literary” only by leaving the familiar environment and plunging into the environment where they say differently, moreover, living in a new environment for a certain time (for each person - different). Constantly hearing the familiar words in the "unusual performance", you will eventually retrain, the unusual will become familiar - and you will involuntarily begin to talk like everyone else. Man is a social being, and seeks not to stand out.

Some correct others in everyday life, usually for two reasons:

  1. “Wrong” really cuts off hearing, and people, as if out of good intentions, suggest, as “right”.
  2. They want to hurt the unpleasant person; they use the “correction” as a decisive argument, when all their other arguments have already been refuted (internally stand in a pose: yes, it turns out you are generally illiterate, what to listen to you!).

Those who are corrected in ordinary life, perceive it, as a rule, painfully: someone gets annoyed, someone will experience humiliation, someone is just ready to take sneakers and nail you. To correct people or not is a matter of your personal tolerance, your level of empathy. Before throwing a stone at another, imagine that it flies at you. Are you absolutely sure that you yourself pronounce all the words correctly?

“Linguistic arrogance is peculiar to many people,” said linguist Maxim Krongauz in an interview with Moscow News. “On the one hand, they complain that others know the standard worse than they do. And on the other hand, they are very happy about it. Therefore that it gives reason to lament and realize that you occupy a higher place in the hierarchy. I must say, these are not necessarily perfect people from the norm’s point of view, because a person who makes 10 mistakes can scold a person who makes 12 errors. endless. "

Without a grammatical error, I do not like Russian speech ...

Grammar-Nazi negatives are mainly caused by public people, authors, and journalists making mistakes in their texts. After all, they must be champions of literary norms, write perfectly competently, because they are an example for others. They need to throw stones for mistakes!

Yes, not to read your text several times, to send a raw article to the editor is unforgivable. But with one caveat: the author himself must not forgive himself for this. If he forgives himself for being lazy, the matter is bad. The author is obliged to edit his own text, not relying on the editor, and look for any opportunity to improve his text. On the other hand, the human brain is so arranged that it is simply impossible not to make a mistake. Even after you have read the text far and wide, you can certainly find at least one yes in it - this is an unspoken slogan of proofreaders.

Style is a man, said Buffon, a naturalist and writer of the eighteenth century. And he meant, of course, not spelling and punctuation perfection. Text is a thing that cannot be evaluated at all by the number of errors. By this criterion, I want to evaluate only bad texts. I think any editor would agree that it is much more pleasant to correct mistakes in a cool article (there is a feeling of gratitude to a good author and a desire to help by improving the text) than in a boring and useless one (irritation arises: because of these missing commas, I’m still I can not have dinner).

In a broad sense (not only in linguistic) one should not be afraid of making mistakes. They are not made only by one who does nothing at all. We made them and our classics:

Leo Tolstoy: "Having settled now in the village, his dream and ideal were to resurrect that form of life that was under his grandfather." Incorrect construction of participial turnover.

Nikolai Gogol: "The mind is asleep, perhaps a sudden spring of great means would be found." Participles are not used in conjunction with the particle, since they are not formed from verbs in the form of the subjunctive mood.

Samples of mixing literary and colloquial speech are found in Pushkin's manuscripts very often. Yes, "our all" made mistakes: fromsclear momandnkihheat keyshnickbutlui istinns.

But, naturally, he carefully treated the proofreading of his texts and asked friends (Pletnev, in particular, generally perceived as his personal corrector) to read and correct "spelling errors, punctuation marks, clerks, nonsense," for which he did not read.

And it is obvious to everyone that mistakes do not detract from the texts of Pushkin, Tolstoy, Gogol and others.

Why everyone has the right to make mistakes

The norms of the Russian language are not codified once and for all. In linguistics there are notions of "casus" and "usus". Uzus reflects the use of linguistic units, common to native speakers, that is, what is recorded in dictionaries. Casus is a kind of special case of use. This includes occasional neoplasms associated with the violation of the norm, individual or dialectal pronunciation of the word, author's neologisms, etc. In other words, an incident records cases of use, not a norm.

Usual use is contrasted to the occasional one, but at the same time the process of replenishing the vocabulary of a language is associated with fixing in the minds of its carriers of casual formations as norms. The language is replenished and develops when what was previously considered a deviation from the norm acquires the status of a usus. If in the linguistic consciousness of the majority, Occasionalism, which has passed a long way from its origin to distribution, has one lexical meaning, if native speakers actively use this education in lively speech, then it enters into an uzus.

These two concepts are central to the development of a language. Without an uzus protecting the very structure of the language, the latter will simply cease to function as a system. Rules that are a necessary logical condition for the existence of a language as such will exist as long as written language exists. And, of course, any intelligent, adequate person seeks not to make mistakes when writing.

But it must be remembered that the language is not just a system, but a self-developing system. Live speech, with its irregularities, neologisms - the main source of language development. Only dead languages ​​are frozen intact, with unbreakable spelling laws. Life, with its variability, its imperfection, is reflected in language and moves it forward.

The phenomenon of linguistic arrogance comes from a lack of understanding of one elementary thing: people are primary, language is secondary. People are the creators of the language. And, paradoxically, it sounds, but only love for the language and understanding of the laws of its development, keep from linguistic arrogance. Mind, like life, is a flexible thing, and any extreme beliefs against the background of inability to reconsider them at the appearance of constructive arguments look ridiculous and narrow-minded.

Watch the video: Why etiquette governs the art of writing: Lolita, Ulysses, and the arrogance of genius (February 2020).


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