Mark Liberman at the Log quotes a message from a correspondent who, after some high-minded insults (“disingenuous … smug … misrepresentations …”), gets down to brass tacks:
At the end of the day, Descriptivism appears merely to be another form of Nietzsche’s concept of slave morality, which is the dominant morality of our day. Emily Bender’s remarks, as quoted in your post of 10/28/06, offer a typically tedious, humorless, and self-righteous example of this type of morality. Descriptivism, like most such ideologies, merely reflects the values and tendencies of the society it serves. In this case, those tendencies are a frantic race to the intellectual bottom, where language and the Humanities are concerned; a perversion of the concept of democracy; a mutation of the virus neophilia; and a telling instance of that great logical fallacy of modern times: Post hoc, ergo hoc melius.
I continue to be fascinated and baffled by this particular form of mental derangement. It’s harmless, I suppose, but the irrational conflation of grammar and morality is common enough it must serve some basic need (and I note with amusement the accompanying delusion that tossing around italicized Greek and Latin shows one’s own superior nature). At any rate, read Mark’s post for a nice demolishing of both “Kevin”‘s misapplication of Nietzsche’s ideas and Nietzsche’s own mistaken etymologies.
Personal to “Kevin”: if neophilia were a virus name, it would not be italicized according to AMA style, and “Humanities” should not be capitalized
and your Latin is ungrammatical and says the opposite of what you want it to say.