Bailey, I've questioned your propensity for that label before. The Nazis tortured and killed those outside of unreasonable and inhuman standards, and it minimizes the horror of their actions to apply that term cavalierly to other people who challenge (or defend) any random position peacefully. When used in contemporary communication, the intent is to cow an opponent into silence. hmmmm.Well, we have had, from time to time our share of Grammar Nazi's.
The alphaAgora has had members who brought real expertise to the table, and provided information based on sound scholarship. Some were more interested in encouraging language discussion than in a joke board, but none were killjoys, and their jokes were excellent.
dsteve, the active members like it as well. Interesting post, and I'm going to ask, in good humor, for amplification on your definition of "linguistically".Also, as opposed to some websites where people are just about ready to kill each other over some fine grammatical point, this particular website seems to approach things linguistically. It simply seems to be more of an observational bent, rather than a prescriptive bent. And I happen to like that.
We've had past discussions on whether language has any -[for lack of a better term, let's call them 'rules']- for 'correct' usage or whether it's a free-for-all with Humpty Dumpty rules.* In that regard, I have noted, to much private amusement, that those most eager for a 'first, let's kill all the prescriptivists' approach are quick to denounce deviations from the standard arising in subcultures other than their own.
I liked your observation on the difference between formal and informal language. I suspect, however, that there are a few who conform to some set of language rules, regardless of the setting, just as some conform to social, legal, or religious rules, regardless of circumstances.
This made me smile, but I've been through Kansas, dsteve. The parts I saw were certainly desolate enough to inspire madness (similar to parts of my native state in that regard!) but the populations were 'teeming' in neither. Sounds like you belong to the teaming mongrel hordes here, regardless...If need be, I will be a proud representative of the teeming mongol hordes from the bowels of Kansas.
* "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."