New technologies may ultimately evolve far beyond machines “automating” the recognizably human task of driving. Hypotheses about “driverless” cars still presume there will be such a thing as drivers and passengers, trapping us within the current incarnation of our transportation system. Frequently applied terms like “automated” and “driverless” are inadequate in that they continue to posit manually piloted vehicles as the norm from which the new technologies deviate.
Voice recognition tools such as Apple’s Siri still struggle to understand regional quirks and accents, and users are adapting the way they speak to compensate.
The problem with calling [descriptivism and prescriptivism] part of a continuum is that I don’t believe they’re on the same line. Putting them on a continuum, in my mind, implies that they share a common trait that is expressed to greater or lesser degrees, but the only real trait they share is that they are both approaches to language. But even this is a little deceptive, because one is an approach to studying language, while the other is an approach to using it.
Though the rules and constraints have become invisible, because we’re so practiced in using them, they’re there, and their presence makes any piece of writing a collaboration between writer and language. This is just more obvious in such a thing as let me tell you.