Letters to the Editor SpecGram Vol CLXXXIII, No 1 Contents Linguistics Nerd Camp—Bethany Carlson and Keith Slater

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Not a wire news service but still more reliable than most newspapers.

Millennials Are Killing an Amount of Grammatical Things

Millennials are regularly accused of “killing” things by simply choosing not to spend their time or money on themnapkins, bar soap, fabric softener, golf, the NFL, sitcoms, beer, cereal, Applebee’s, Hooters, Home Depot, Sears, Macy’s, oil, diamonds, marriage, democracy, the American dream, etc. Anthropological researchconducted largely by linguists who couldn’t find more relevant workhas shown that most of those things are mere cultural byproducts whose popularity one could expect to wax and wane over the generations.

However, serially monogamous life partners Les A. Mount & F. Ewer have been documenting the damage done by 20-somethings to language. Millennials have completed the grammaticalization of dude into a full-fledged pronoun without any sociolinguistic constraints. And while it probably isn’t actually their fault, they’ve also cemented the alleged “acceptability” of positive anymore. But their greatest act of murder most foul, according to Gen-Xers Mount and Ewer, has been to kill the mass/count distinction.

An amount of peopleparticularly among radical descriptivistshave argued that less grammar rules in language will benefit so much people that several times more losses in subtle distinctions would be a small price to pay. Of course, not only do prescriptivists and native speakers disagree, but so does anyoneeven linguistswith any sense of decency.

Letters to the Editor
Linguistics Nerd CampBethany Carlson and Keith Slater
SpecGram Vol CLXXXIII, No 1 Contents