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Seeking to lay down rules and instructions. Prescriptive criticism formulates the norms according to which literary works ought to be written, whereas descriptive criticism tries to account for the ways in which they actually have been written. In discussions of language, prescriptivism is the attitude that tries to impose an unchanging standard of ‘correct’ usage in language, especially in grammar; it is rejected as a misconceived dogma by most modern linguists.

Subjects: Literature.

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