When you think of it, what a lot of copywriters and ‘unofficial’ grammar nazis do is basically enforce consensus.
They are the police for what is the currently accepted ‘correct’ way to write.
The laws of language are not a ‘real’, natural law. They’re a kind of consensus law, an agreement.
Unlike the law of gravity, which exists whether we believe in it or not, the laws of grammar are an abstraction that exist because we adhere to them.
Consider – for some reason, at some point, and for one reason or another, we decided that we would use commas, hyphens, capital letters (etc) in a certain way.
This was all written down somewhere (usually in dictionaries and accepted style guides). From then on, this was seen as the ‘correct’ way of communicating in the written format.
…and certain people, for one reason or another, were appointed as/appointed themselves the experts of this medium.
Language (as a part of culture) is a fluid and adaptive thing that evolves as people use it.
We have laws to enforce certain consistency and ‘best practice’ in how we write and speak…
But no one person or organisation can hope to control how that works.
Much of the slang that ’the kids’ are using will later be added to the dictionary – a sign of validation if ever there was one. Still, you could think of the OED as a late adopter in this case – these words were already alive, in use and evolving, long before the dictionary gave them its stamp of approval.
So, in a way, you could think of us writers, copywriters, editors (etc) as ‘shepherds’ of the words – guiding, but not entirely controlling, how words are used, and how they progress.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.” – LEWIS CARROLL (Charles L. Dodgson), Through the Looking-Glass, chapter 6, p. 205 (1934)
Photo by Georgie Pauwels