Linguistic prescriptivist

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Linguistic prescriptivists are people who have a tendency to lays down rules regarding how language should be used or words should be defined. Thereby, prescriptivists often ignore how words are actually used. They commonly use phrases such as "that's not what that means". This is in contrast to descriptivists which is in line with lexicography and academic research.


Linguistic prescriptivists are referred to in many pejorative ways including:

  • grammar nazis
  • grammar police
  • spelling nazis
  • grammar ninjas
  • language nazis
  • language reactionary
  • language fascist


There are some people who add multiple supplemental qualifiers to the term "incel" which gives it a much more narrow definition than den Boon or Antoine Banier. Such a significant divergence from den Boon's definition has created a sort of "den Boon vs supplemental" clash in defining the term incel. The primary cause for this discrepancy is that those in the supplemental camp use a different defining technique called prescriptivism. Den Boon (like almost all other lexicographers) on the other hand uses the descriptivist method in defining the term.

All academic research in linguistics utilizes descriptivism rather than prescriptivism.

See also