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Are these definitions of prescriptivism and descriptivism a good place to start for someone who wishes to know the differences in the two ways of thinking?

"Prescriptivism is based on the view that one variety of language is inherently superior to others and that this more highly valued variety should be imposed on the whole of a particular speech community."

"Descriptivism is based on the view that the assignment of a superior status to one variety of language is often arbitrary and is more likely to be the result of socio-economic factors than of intrinic linguistic factors."

From Keywords in Language and Literacy. By Ronald Carter
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Comments  (Page 5) 
I've never come across anyone who thought that such comments as unacceptable, when made by descriptivists, were the personal opinion of the descriptivist.
If not his personal opinion, then whose? If someone else's, then why is there no credit given for whose opinion it is? If it is based on a statistical sample, where is the data?

I've seen numerous books in the descriptive vein. They all use asterisks to indicate the unacceptability of certain structures -- without any additional data or citations. They never say in whose opinion the structure is unacceptable. So why wouldn't it be their own personal opinion?

CJ
<A proscriptivist is like a botanist who has decided that poppies are red and when he see one of a different colour wants to root it up.

Proscriptivism and descriptivism are not necessarily opposites.>

Why did you write "proscriptivist" and not "prescriptivist?

prescriptive

adjective: giving directives or rules (Example: "Prescriptive grammar is concerned with norms of or rules for correct usage")

proscriptive

noun: rejection by means of an act of banishing or proscribing someone
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
<Most people are, to a greater or less degree, bidialectal. >

Indeed they are. You wouldn't believe how many forumers all over the internet deny that fact. So many foruming natives who want us to believe that they only use Standard English/"proper" English.
<Would a good teacher tell the pupil that saying "we was" may put him at a disadvantage in certain situations?>

And v.v., right? Using "we was" may give him/her the advantage in many situations. Or don't you believe that? Do you believe that a good teacher should tell a student that it may be a good idea using "we was" in certain situations?
<If not his personal opinion, then whose? If someone else's, then why is there no credit given for whose opinion it is? If it is based on a statistical sample, where is the data?>

So you want all descriptivists to write something such as this every time they comment on usage, right?

"It is widely stated by speakers of x dialect/variant that the form XVXZZ is not acceptable in said dialect/variant."

The rest of us will just have to trust that most descriptivists are giving reasonably objective advice.
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MilkyWhy did you write "proscriptivist" and not "prescriptivist?

It was late.Emotion: embarrassed
MrPedanticWould a good teacher tell the pupil that saying "we was" may put him at a disadvantage in certain situations?
I think it has to depend on the age of the pupil. A seven-year-old is not going to be addressing the board of a plc. Besides, I think children work these thing out for themselves.
MrPedanticAlso, what will he tell the ESL student who says "we was"?
"That's wrong." I think he has to. He will be teaching standard English.
CalifJimI've seen numerous books in the descriptive vein. They all use asterisks to indicate the unacceptability of certain structures -- without any additional data or citations. They never say in whose opinion the structure is unacceptable. So why wouldn't it be their own personal opinion?
I fear the citations would be something like "Fred in the pub" and "Vera in the launderette".

Wouldn't a descriptivist say something like "not found" rather than "unacceptable"?
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Milky<Would a good teacher tell the pupil that saying "we was" may put him at a disadvantage in certain situations?>

And v.v., right? Using "we was" may give him/her the advantage in many situations. Or don't you believe that? Do you believe that a good teacher should tell a student that it may be a good idea using "we was" in certain situations?

If the pupil is (or might be taken for) a native speaker, there may be occasions when "we was" confers an advantage – for instance, where the speaker wants not to be conspicuous among other we-was-ers; this can be included in the explanation. It can also be explained that for most of the time, it's neither an advantage nor a disadvantage.

If the pupil couldn't be taken for a native speaker, on the other hand, "we was" is unlikely to be advantageous in any situation; it will create an impression of "poor English", even among listeners who wouldn't notice it in e.g. a strong east London accent.

MrP
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