Winner from the class of 2022

Mohala Kaliebe, “Strength or Weakness: When to Break the (Grammatical) Rules”

Taking the contexts of both formal and informal writing under consideration, Kaliebe examines the prescriptivist—descriptivist language debate from multiple perspectives. She analyzes the prescriptivist valuing of “propriety in language usage” and the descriptivist valuing of communication over adherence to standard usage.  Kaliebe concludes that a “strength” of “written language” is that it can communicate “despite the violation of grammatical conventions.”