Is prescriptivism a topic among the general public, one of the target groups of our research? I would say: yes. For reading David Lodge‘s Deaf Sentence (Penguin 2008), I came across this:
… he [son-in-law] thinks you must be silently criticising his English all the time because you’re a Professor of Linguistics.” I laughed at that, because modern linguistics is almost excessively non-prescriptive, but I suppose there might be some truth in it. Peter is from a working-class background, speaks with a perceptible local accent and uses the occasional dialect word … I tried to put him at ease next time I saw him by attacking Lynne Truss’s bestselling book on the apostrophe, but only succeeded in upsetting him – it turned out he is a devout believer in Truss and uses her book as a kind of bible (p. 82).
I would say that there is nothing wrong with being a “devout believer in Truss” (or is there?), but it is interesting to begin with that David Lodge raises the issue to begin with.
Any other examples, references to Truss or Fowler or the like?