Importance Of Literature In Literature

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and linguistic history. The heterogeneous and conflicting nature of this criteria, and pronouncements of grammarians to win acceptance not only from the public but even from their colleagues and successors, ought to have put an end to vain notions of ‘fixing’ English once and for all.
Undesirable conservatism in matters of language is sometimes reinforced by an excessive emphasis on literature as the realization of linguistic excellence. Obviously, over and above its unquestionable humanistic value, literature is a most valuable exponent of the art of writing. But language activity is more than an art., and more than writing and reading. It includes the practical business of speaking and of understanding speech. To stress the primacy of the oral skills—as linguistics does – is not to claim for them a superior absolute value, but to recognize that they have their own special importance. Speech comes first in the processes of personal and cultural growth. Furthermore, whereas writing is awholly linguistic activity, speaking includes extra-linguistic elements that includes—voice, gesture, presence etc. which help to give it a more nearly total expressiveness. Ordinary speech is the basis of all language, including the prestige-bearing language of literature.
The prestige which literature properly enjoys, while intrinsically unobjectionable, can be harmful if it leads—as it sometimes does—todepreciation of other language uses. The descriptive emphasis in modern linguistics is

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