Language as beautiful anarchy

This is another reason I love Lingq because it is totally anarchic and encourages the burning of grammar rules. Language is not controlled by some state agency, a centralized group of busy body hags but entirely generated, and floated into the market place of words by each individual with each individual singing his own tune.

I believe language has nothing to do with what you say but only with what is heard. Sadly, many human beings have left over stockholm syndrome form parent-child, teacher- pupil, priest - disciple relationships etc that they have endured for most of their lives, with much of them being abusive. This is why you see so much of what seem to be petty grammar and spelling corrections on forums but are in actual fact passive aggressive attempts to control others through imaginary rules.

Humans have a propensity to be mini dictators which is not natural but a learned behavior, and try to control what they can and then worship those that can control them. But language cannot be controlled or shackled into the controlling fantasies of others, and thus, language is beautiful! Screw the rules!

What’s this? New-Age has met language learning? lol

The very real reality is that both perspectives are correct. Everyone sings their own tune but those who live in the same area, tend to hear the same tunes and a musical tradition develops. There are then certain styles of music which tend to be found amount certain groups in certain places. They affect other groups too. That’s a very beautiful thing. But, I don’t think the rules are imaginary. Perhaps you need to read a little about the sociology of language, the purpose of descriptive grammar and a think a little about language acquisition vs language learning.

Using grammar to help to learn languages has somehow become dictatorial behaviour? Man, critical thought is just lost on some people…

I experienced your post as an attempt to demean me in some way. Was that your intention? If so why what did you get out of it?


I’d agree that LingQ represents an anarchy of sorts, but, mcattack, you’re saying that grammar is only used by language dictators. Understandably IYH is annoyed at this presumption. The enemy is the dictator, not the tool that the dictator tends to use. Some people like grammar. You are saying LingQ is a refuge from grammar (which it can be if that’s what you want it to be). But more broadly it’s a language refuge. It’s a place where you the learner chooses what and how to learn.

Very well said, kcb.

This place should celebrate that there are many different ways. It’s all about freedom of choice, at the end of the day. It’s really quite annoying that those who want to be freed from grammar try to enforce their own distaste for grammar on everybody. Enough of the snotty comments about people who like to use grammar and find it helpful. I, and many others, would hate it if there was only one way to learn: LingQ. I do like the site but that would be a terrible prison to be stuck in too. A mental prison is defined by not being open to other alternatives, not truly trying them, condemning evidence of other people succeeding with other ways, etc. You see what you want to see.

Perhaps this is all just part of people’s reactionary motions. They are lead by those with influence and just support what is popular. The fact is that people learn languages successfully with all of the methods. There’s a reason they call it ‘revolution’…it just keeps going around and around and around…hehehe

I agree KCB, if you read my post again you will see that I didn’t say :

"Using grammar to help to learn languages has somehow become dictatorial behaviour? " - as IYH put it.

But instead said:

“Humans have a propensity to be mini dictators This is why you see so much of what seem to be petty grammar and spelling corrections on forums but are in actual fact passive aggressive attempts to control others through imaginary rules.”

And then IYH demonstrated my point perfectly about trying to control others with language by posting two loaded questions claiming I was a “New Ager” and I that I am unable to think, which, is just passive aggression lashing out.

I say what I mean and mean what I say, unless I’m joking (can you tell when I am?)

I found mcattack’s first post very interesting, very interesting indeed. It is certainly true the language has a much much longer and richer history than grammar rules and grammar explanations.


elpolaco, I really don’t hear this phrase very much. However, if it were to become common, then it would be the norm. It may well be acceptable in some languages.

There are all kinds of illogical structures in languages. The negative answer to a negative question in some languages is “no” and in some languages it is “yes”. Some languages do not allow double negatives and some do. I could go on.

I don’t think so much that it’s illogical but instead it isn’t a matter of 1 + 1 = 2. Language doesn’t always have a clear sort of logic. Often, when people don’t understand the reason for something, they claim it to be ‘illogical’. Sometimes it just a load of the shoulder to ignore such things and focus on more productive things. A Linguist could tell you the logic of these things though.

Thought I’d mention, that there are some language which require a double negative. :slight_smile:


I often think of language as being like a swarm of fish or a flock of birds. You watch them flying/swimming in all directions and there is never a leader but they all know to follow. If you’re not following, you’re part of another flock/swarm. For language, we can describe how that process flows and try to align ourselves with that. Grammar is one means of achieving that.


Making vague statements in order to worm your way out of being seen criticising people, isn’t working on me. Just say what you mean.

No, I was just making a metaphor. Obviously language is a very complex phenomenon and the ‘language vs dialect’ debate is an example of this and is closely related to what we are talking about, as I see it.

Your analysis is correct. However I haven’t completely stated what I mean by it and of course there will be a breakdown of metaphor as is inherent in using them.

Many times I’ve said to people that there are 2 types of grammar. The structure vs description of it.

I ‘study’ grammar in both passive and active ways. (both are of course conscious methods)


I spent 6 thousand hours watching and listening to Dutch and I found that it did have an effect but nothing noticeable in regards to the acquisition of grammar. I think that learning a language by living in the environment isn’t recreated by watching and listening where you yourself have no involvement. Words and phrases are learned, and listening ability increases, that’s something I’m certain of. I once tried to simply watch and listen to a language (Polish) without doing anything else and the results were poor. To this day, the handful things I know of the language stem from the Michel Thomas course I sampled afterwards.

Without explicit grammar study, I do know of any other way to get into a second language successfully.