Do native speakers make mistakes?

asked 2020-03-04 05:28:50 -0400

HGL gravatar image

I've heard this quite a few times - that native speakers don't make mistakes using their language, and I am not sure I agree with this. For example, when someone uses a feminine noun with masculine adjective in a language where nouns and adjectives agree in number, case and gender - that's clearly a mistake. It sounds insane to me to claim that just because someone is a native speaker they can make no mistakes, because they have intuition about their language. How about the intuition of other native speakers? If I hear something in my native language that sounds wrong to me as a native speaker, whose intuition counts? I am not a prescriptivist, but I feel that this "native speakers make no mistakes" thing has gone too far in certain cases and justifies unjustifiable uses of language. What are your thoughts on this?

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