by Mark Israel
     [This is a fast-access FAQ excerpt.]
alt.usage.english is a newsgroup where we discuss the English
language (and also occasionally other languages).  We discuss
how particular words, phrases, and syntactic forms are used; how
they originated; and where in the English-speaking world they're
prevalent.  (All this is called "description".)  We also discuss
how we think they *should* be used ("prescription").
     [Read more about "prescriptivism".]
   alt.usage.english is for everyone, *not* only for linguists,
native speakers, or descriptivists.