On Language and the Possibility of Prescriptivism

I consider blogging part of my job now. When you want to become a professional writer, you have to take every opportunity you can to write and to learn… and to have your grammar ripped apart. I admit, I haven’t been a saint when it comes to pleasing the grammar gods, but I haven’t been intentionally naughty, either.

I consider myself a writer with the best intentions; I’m just not always sure how to use them.

That is why I use every resource I can to learn about what’s considered “proper.”

I think human beings should take speaking as seriously as they take walking or listening to music. If someone was bad at walking, wouldn’t they do what they could to improve? Wouldn’t they have a natural inclination to want to walk like everyone else? As people, we’ve been given the gift of walking and we expect to be able to use it. If someone was poor regarding their use of grammar (and speaking in my humble opinion) wouldn’t they want to improve their English so that they could speak properly and be able to converse with the majority of society?

These days, there are so many different vernaculars, which are a close off-shoot of English, that deeming one particular version as “correct” is impossible these days, even for the experts. When writing professionally, you must decide between using the MLA, AP, or Chicago style.

Using abbreviations such as “IMO” or “lol” is typical of Internet-Speak, or geek-speak if you prefer. People who frequent online communities like Facebook, and especially online games like World of Warcraft and Fortnight, use their own language filled with internet slang like the above examples.

I believe that there exists, floating somewhere out in the fibers of space and our minds, THE manual for correct grammar, even if we’ll never know it. Call me a prescriptivist about language, but having to decide amongst three different styles in which to write seems to defeat the purpose of having a “style guide.” How can it be called a “guide!” They should simply be called “suggestions, that are usually wrong.”

Granted, I’ll only be using one style per article or paper, so it’s not as though I’m balancing multiple style guides in my head while I write. The point is just that the linguistic prescriptivist in me believes there is only one correct language, that’s used universally. To elaborate a bit more: it’s kind of like math equations, where language is an equation. But, it’s all Wishful Thinking. Too many classes in The Philosophy of Language!

~

I found some comics from my favorite site, along with an interesting debate on prescriptivism with Harry Potter as the example!

Link: Prescriptivism vs Descriptivism: A Very English Affair

The Secret Life of Julie: Catz Bop

(Originally written November 10, 2011. Since then, both Valentine and Ender have passed away. I miss them so much; it’s been a little over a year. This post is in memory of them. Here are pics of each of them:

My baby kitty

Ender ❤️

Valentine ❤️


You know how people have quirks they usually only do when they’re alone? By the way, I’m not talking about vulgar things, just so we get that sorted. I’m talking about things like singing in the shower or dancing around like a fool — innocent stuff like that.

I know that a few people know about this, as they’ve seen it in action. For the rest of you, I’ll be admitting this for the first time. One of my quirks — I have many, as I am a quirky individual — is that I sing to my cats. Now, I don’t just sing any ole’ song to them; it’s not like I sing “Rockabye Baby” to them while they trying to sleep. Instead, I take a song and add my own *twist* to it. I had a friend once tell me that my singing was somewhat disturbing, in both a good and bad way. Eh, I’ll take it; that’s fair.

As a note: I have a horrid singing voice, just so that’s been established.

Lately, I’ve been singing to Valentine (one of two sister kittens we got back about 5 months ago). The song of choice has been “Joey,” by Concrete Blonde. Instead of the usual lyrics, I add my own, singing to her, “Vaaally, Kiiitty. You’re soooooo pretty.” Sometimes I’ll go off on a tangent from there, depending of the song’s lyrics and will ad-lib my own kitty tunes.

[By the way, here is your lesson of the day: The phrase “ad-lib” comes from the Latin phrase “Ad libitum,” which means “at one’s pleasure.” If there is ever something I don’t know or understand, I make a point to look it up. So, I’ll share the things I find while writing my posts. How’s that? Cool? Good deal.]

I have a variety of kitty tunes; enough to even make a CD… or do they not make those anymore? One of the songs I enjoy singing to Ender goes: “Hey kitty, you’re so pretty, can’t you understand? You take me by the paw when I take you by my hand… it’s cats like you, Ender. Oh how you mew Ender, mew Ender, be a good kitty Ender. Ender!” If you didn’t figure it out, that little diddy was my version of “Mickey” by Toni Basil.

So, that is one of my weird quirks.

Grief Therapy

This topic strikes a chord with me as my mother passed away December of 2016.

Here’s an article on how to cope with losing a loved one.

According to the counseling website Better Help, grief is considered a normal reaction to a loss. The loss can be either someone or something you loved and cared about deeply. For example, pet owners often suffer the same amount of grief over losing their pet as they would losing a loved one. Grief can impact a person in a variety of ways. Along with emotional problems, the patient can experience physical, social and behavioral complications.

Grief therapy recognizes that each person experiences a loss differently and therefore, there is no exact guideline for treatment. Therapists use their training and own judgment of the situation to decide what kind of treatment would be the most effective. Proper therapy occurs when the patient and the counselor come together to identify, reinforce and utilize the patient’s strengths to effectively learn to cope with the loss. The goal of grief therapy isn’t to help the person move on from a loss, but instead aims to get patients to the point where they can replace their negative emotions with positive memories.

Psychologist, Mark Tyrrell, states that, while it is widely accepted that there are five stages of grief (i.e., denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance), different people deal with the grief in various ways and may not experience all five of the stages. In other words, there is nothing that says that a person has to feel a certain set of emotions, nor do they have to feel them in a certain order.

Moreover, he claims that there are several crucial techniques that comprise proper grief therapy, with each being equally important.. The first is allowing the patient to talk about the deceased. They may feel as though they can’t properly express themselves, lest they upset or burden those close to them. Therapists should encourage their patients to talk about their lost loved one and ask them to consider how the deceased would have wanted them to be living now.

Tyrrell considers the second step to be the most challenging in proper grief therapy, which is to help the patient distinguish grief from trauma. If the patient continues to experience flashbacks and horrific memories, such as finding their deceased loved one, the counselor should seek to help them by finding a method to detraumatize these memories and intrusive thoughts so that the patient can begin a healthy grieving process.

In addition to the first two techniques, the last deals with the guilt patients in grief therapy struggle with. They might feel like they aren’t grieving enough or may interpret the fact that their grief is abating means that they no longer care about their deceased loved one as much as they once did. The best remedy for this is to encourage the patient to rest, allowing them to take breaks from grieving. This will ultimately help the person function despite their loss, allowing him or her to move forward and focus on the happy memories.

It is important to remember that the grieving process is different for each person and that what works for one patient might not work for another. Should the severity of grief not lessen within a few months or if the person denies the possibility that he or she can lead a happy and fulfilling life without their loved one, grief therapy should definitely be sought out. If you are experiencing grief after the loss of a loved one, contact us so that we can help you deal with these difficult emotions.