Usus or trend towards illiteracy

Everything will fall into place when we look for the word “hiring” in the same place. It is in this form that it is in all modern (and not only) dictionaries of the Russian language.

It turns out that both sentences given at the beginning of the article contain an error? And here and there: the first is written with an error, and the second – without. Oddly enough, the word of interest to us in the nominative and accusative cases is written through “e” – “hiring”, and in all the rest through “y” – “hiring”.

That’s how bows down this word is singular:

  • nominative – hire;

  • genitive – hiring;

  • dative – hire;

  • accusative – hiring;

  • creative – by hiring;

  • prepositional – hire.

It turns out that the word “hiring”, according to dictionaries, simply does not exist in the Russian language. However, we see this form most often – in articles, in advertisements, even in books. For example, I once came across a book called “Selection and Hiring. Testing and Evaluation Technologies”.

It seems that the word “hiring” definitely holds the palm and is not going to give in. Google confirms this: 3 million results for the query “hiring” versus 375 thousand results for the query “hiring”. Yes and in Google Trends query statistics a similar picture is visible to the naked eye.

On the other hand, searching for Russian National Corpus gives these results:

  • hiring – 25 documents, 55 occurrences;

  • hiring – 363 documents, 534 occurrences.

Why such a difference? Apparently, this is due to the fact that the corpus of the language mainly contains “official” sources: documents, books and articles that are checked by professional editors. In Google – mostly “unofficial”: forums, blogs, announcements.

It turns out that in the “folk speech” the form “hiring” has long won. It can be assumed that this word has firmly entered into “usus» – the use of language units generally accepted by native speakers: words, fixed expressions, forms, constructions.

The question of the interaction of vocabulary norms and usage is perhaps eternal. This is one of the hot topics in which many copies have been broken. Let us recall at least the notorious “coffee” of the middle gender.

At what point do we consider the norm to have changed? When does the usage change, that is, more people start speaking or writing like that? But maybe this is just an illiterate pronunciation or spelling, a common mistake, and not the new normal? As a rule, codifiers, authors of dictionaries and reference books, are guided not by the usage, but by the opinion of the “expert community”, which can include educated, literate people who know what dictionaries and reference books say about this, but who are able to critically evaluate the relevant recommendations. .

Elena ShmelevaDoctor of Philology

The language is constantly changing. At some point, certain established forms of words pass from the usus to dictionaries, but this does not always happen. And here the question arises: how can we speak and write as long as some commonly used form of the word has not yet appeared in dictionaries? Where is the line between usus and elementary illiteracy? If I write “hiring”, is this a common mistake or a new normal, not yet recorded in dictionaries? What if I say, say, “drushlak” or “grapefruit”? And if I declare that “the phone is ringing”? You can continue this list endlessly, you can “sharpen” and “deepen” it.

In his article linguist and Doctor of Philology Aleksey Shmelev talks about the report of V. A. Uspensky “Can a norm be wrong?”:

In his report, V. A. Uspensky suggested abandoning the focus on dictionaries and reference books and considering that the concept of the norm is based on statistics: the norm is how the majority of native speakers speak or understand language expressions. With this approach, the word “norm” denotes what linguists usually call usage, and the concept of “correctness” is used as a replacement for the term “norm”. However, the essence of the matter does not change, and the same question remains: how to determine what is “correct” (or, in the language of linguists, “norm”) and what is not.

In our speech, there are many widespread forms of words and stresses that do not correspond to the dictionary norm. Some of them will end up in dictionaries over time, others will remain errors. It seems to me that it is almost impossible to unambiguously predict what fate awaits them. Perhaps the point is, indeed, in statistics – in the prevalence of a variant of the word. Like, for example, with the “hiring” form – it is so common that it has every chance of getting into dictionaries.

Aleksey Shmelev also points out that the process of forming a new norm can be gradual: “Estimations of experts often do not come down to a straightforward opposition of “correct” and “wrong”, they can characterize one or another way of expression as “acceptable”, “undesirable”, “obsolete”, etc. At the same time, together these assessments give a three-dimensional picture of the language norm. Maybe the form “hiring” at some point will receive the label “acceptable” in the dictionaries.

By the way, I myself wrote and said “hiring” for many years, until in some text my eyes caught on the word “hiring”. I got into the dictionaries and made sure that, it turns out, this is exactly the correct form. Then I almost began to write “yo” in all cases: “hiring, hiring, hiring …”. But he caught himself in time.

Now I write this word everywhere as it is written in dictionaries. Am I doing the right thing? Do I need to relearn how to “not show off” and write this word the way most people write? Or maybe it is necessary to clearly distinguish between official and unofficial texts: write “hiring” in articles, books and documents, and “hiring” on the Internet? It seems to me that it is not (although there are certainly other opinions on this matter). If I once learned how to write or pronounce this or that word correctly, I will continue to try not to make mistakes in it. Do not start, after all, a special additional dictionary of usage.

In our language, there are many words that one is drawn to write out of the dictionary. Here are some examples from my collection:

  • The word “hiring” has a twin word – “loan“. Similar problems arise with him in our speech. In advertising of any microcredit organizations, the form “loan” that does not correspond to the dictionary norm is often used now.

  • Instead of “perturbation” often write and say “peretubation”. It’s tempting to add the prefix “re” and associate this word with some “pipes”.

  • Prioritization‘ is often replaced with ‘prioritization’. Actually, this is such a classic example. Everyone is starting to remember the test word “priority”.

  • The authors of many texts write that the fee is “charged”. Probably, by analogy with “recovery”. I myself am often drawn to write the obsolete “take” instead of “charge“.

  • Another great wordvicissitudes“. It periodically turns into “trips” or “repetitions”. It’s easy to check yourself here, remembering in time that “overdrinking” is when someone greatly overestimated something.

  • Instead of “scrupulously” in texts and speech, the option “meticulously” is often found. Apparently, the pronunciation of the Latin word scrupulus is very unusual for us – “sharp pebble, anxiety”.

  • Nuances” are transformed into “nuances”. To be honest, the hand reaches out to put a soft sign there – there are too many English words new in our life. You can mentally ask yourself: “What is so new in your“ nuances ””?

There was a time when I myself was mistaken in these words. Now I try to write them correctly. But like most people, I keep making mistakes. It’s just that I don’t know about it yet and am in the scope of that same uzus. While I try to move towards the vocabulary norm, it’s more convenient and interesting for me. Sometimes, leafing through dictionaries, you can make very unexpected discoveries. Knowledge is never redundant.

At the same time, I fully understand the opposite point of view – it doesn’t matter how you speak or write, the main thing is that your thought reaches the interlocutor without distortion. Here we are not talking about gross errors that distort the meaning of the statement, but about that blurry fuzzy area in which the words “hiring” and “loan” are located. The use of these forms cannot lead to misinterpretation – they cannot be misunderstood.

So the question remains open. Or not?

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