I’ve been interested in languages for a few years (despite only being able to speak one with any fluency) and consider myself a bit of an amateur linguist. It’s long been a standing question as to how to determine ‘correct’ English. Linguists divide grammar into two competing factions: descriptive (30% people speak like this, 70% people speak like that) and prescriptive (thou shalt speak in this way, as others have since time immemorial). It’s not hard to see that this concept could be - and probably has been - extended to spelling.
I’ve found it hard to have sympathy with the prescriptive camp. Of course there is a place for clear writing, and I strongly believe that well-studied punctuation, spelling, and grammar makes communication clearer at best, and even a good impression at worst. Nevertheless, prescriptive diktat is everywhere, and often with little justification. As an example, despite being British, I’m a big fan of American English - which is often ridiculed and misunderstood by many British people.
As such, I’m going to propose Ferrier’s Rule of Common Language Usage, #1:
Any describable linguistic construction used by a majority of the population should be prescribed where relevant.
(by ‘where relevant’, I’m talking about language education in schools, etc.)
I think this would greatly help language develop - it ain’t static; get over it - and make language richer and more interesting. What do you think?