Language is political because the power structure of society is embedded in it. The message is the most important aim of language. If the ruling class don’t like the message they try to shut you down by being critical about how you say things.
Suppose you were reading and came to the following line:
“She kept her head and kicked her shoes off, as everybody ought to do who falls into deep water in their clothes.”
Would you …
(a) continue reading, because that’s a perfectly acceptable sentence, or
(b) throw a tantrum and insist that the author is an imbecile speeding the wholesale destruction of the English language?
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’re probably answering (a). If you’re answering (b), I regret to inform you that you hate the writing of C. S. Lewis.
And if you’re the sort to answer (b), the sort of person who rages at the alleged grammatical buffoonery of your fellows, I’m sure it’s because you think you’re doing us all a favor, and that your condescending tone is justified because: first, you’re being helpful regardless of the tone you’re using; second, people…
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