Recovering the lost English language:

In my last post, I quickly pooh-poohed the idea that, when someone talks about “correct” English, they mean inherently right (as opposed to good for a particular goal):

Because when different people are speaking mutually incomprehensibly, this is as if one were speaking German and the other were speaking Spanish. Nothing inherently wrong with that. If these different people are speaking differently than each other but they can still understand each other, it’s like a German speaker and a Spanish speaker who each understand both German and Spanish — like when my father talks to me in Russian and I answer back in English. Nothing inherently wrong with that either. So the only way I can understand “right,” in matters of language, is in the functional sense — “proper to achieve a particular goal.”

Commenter Obelisk18 suggests that I dismiss the “inherently right” possibility too easily. An excerpt from him (slightly altered):

For instance, it