Lest you think that the anti-prescriptivist movement is composed of a bunch of ill-educated know-nothings who oppose the very idea of grammar, I want to supply a few quotes from well-educated, similar-minded fellows who write a hell of a lot more clearly than I do. I’ll update this intermittently.
“Lexicographer, n. – A pestilent fellow who, under the pretense of recording some particular stage in the development of a language, does what he can to arrest its growth, stiffen its flexibility and mechanize its methods. For your lexicographer, having written his dictionary, comes to be considered ‘as one having authority,’ whereas his function is only to make a record, not to give a law. The natural servility of the human understanding having invested him with judicial power, surrenders its right of reason and submits itself to a chronicle as if it were a statue.” – Ambrose Bierce, in The Devil’s Dictionary
“Everyone just assumes that whenever a stern grey-haired male professional says somebody’s grammar is wrong, the charge must automatically be correct and the accused guilty, and no facts need to be checked. Well, it’s not so.” –Geoffrey Pullum on Language Log
[By the way, some would claim that quote is strictly a verb, never a noun, and so the title of this post ought properly to be “Quotations from Compatriots”. Among the proponents of the quote-is-a-verb-only philosophy are Grammar Girl and SparkNotes. However, Paul Brians uses quote as a noun in his list of errors, and Mark Liberman on Language Log quite nicely establishes that quote has been in dictionaries as a noun since at least 1891, and shows an instance of its usage in a poem from 1600. So I think we safely that 400 years of common usage ought to justify taking quote to be a noun.]