A solecism is a phrase that transgresses the rules of grammar. The term is associated with linguistic prescriptivism.
==Etymology== The word originally was used by the Greeks for what they perceived as grammatical mistakes in their language. Ancient Athenians considered the dialect of the inhabitants of their colony, Soli, in Cilicia, to be a corrupted form of their own pure Attic dialect, and labelled the errors in the form as "solecisms" (Greek: σολοικισμοί, soloikismoí; sing.: σολοικισμός, soloikismós). Therefore, when referring to similar grammatical mistakes heard in the speech of Athenians, they described them as "solecisms" and that term has been adopted as a label for grammatical mistakes in any language; in Greek there is often a distinction in the relevant terms in that a mistake in semantics (i.e., a use of words with other-than-appropriate meaning or a neologism constructed through application of generative rules by an outsider) is called a barbarism ( barbarismos), whereas solecism refers to mistakes in syntax, in the construction of sentences.
== See also == * Catachresis * Disputed English grammar * Fowler's Modern English Usage * Malapropism * Zeugma, a rhetorical use of solecism for effect * Prescription and description * English as She is Spoke
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