Literate Language Usage

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Dec 1, 2019 19:12
I would like to describe my stances on what proper and literate usage of a native language is. It is hard to compress my thoughts into one entry so this is part 1. While reading corrections made by other Russian speakers, I often came across corrections, especially those that come from academic Russian, which I do not approve of. I can recall one example: a Russian-speaker suggested "собаки размножаются от кобеля" as a translation of the phrase "female dogs mate with this male". As biologists, my Russian-speaking colleagues and I would definitely consider both these phrases in Russian as grammatically incorrect. I would change it to something like "собаки размножаются с кобелём". However still, I am not quite happy with this formulation of mine because it sounds a bit odd albeit grammatically correct. My translation implies the active role of females in mating, which could sound natural in Russian if only the academic word "размножаются" is substituted by some swear words. The initial text was written in everyday language, so I would continue changing this phrase into "суки несут от кобеля" or "суки вяжутся с кобелём". The first phrase is more literate but focuses on a result of mating; the second phrase is also natural but lose the active role of animals and imply their masters who have initiated breeding for their own purposes.
The point of this text is that even among native speakers different opinions on what is proper exist. I can bring up two strategies that could be utilized by compilers of grammar references and dictionaries. On these strategies, I will fill you in next.