A sociolinguist's first reaction to Lewis’ critique of Labov's thirty-five-year-old principle of error correction (PEC) would likely be defensive or dismissive. While never formulated as the full-fledged ‘theory of social change’ Lewis portrays it to be, the PEC has indeed offered a valuable ‘theoretical starting place for diverse social-change efforts’ (Lewis, this issue, p. 326) by (socio)linguists over the years, repeatedly allowing us to use our technical training to provide more accurate diagnoses of language-related social issues than nonlinguists could, and thereby paving the way for their successful (re)solution. An early example is the 1985 trial of Paul Prinzivalli (see Labov 1988), who was rightfully found not guilty of making telephone bomb threats against Pan Am Airlines on the basis of Labov's careful phonetic evidence that his speech did not match the caller's recorded Boston accent. A more recent example is that of Voigt et al. (2017), whose computational analysis of police body-camera footage from 981 stops of Black and White drivers in Oakland, CA revealed that officers showed significantly more verbal respect to White than to Black drivers. This research is now being used to improve police training and police-community interactions in Oakland. In both cases, we could argue that, as in medicine, without an accurate diagnosis, a successful solution would elude us. And we might add that community beneficiaries of the (socio)linguist's on-the-ground ‘error correction and knowledge dissemination’ (Lewis, this issue, p. 339) might value this more than the critical race theorist's lofty theorizing.