You have to look at the evidence
For prescriptivists, the difficult thing is determining whether there is an actual basis for one’s preferences in language. Take deteriorate.
I have no difficulty with the verb in the intransitive sense. English has not deteriorated over the past century. That is what I take from my reading to be the normal usage. Whenever I encounter it in the transitive sense—Peevers like to sneer that the Internet has deteriorated the English language—it just looks off, sounds off, seems off.*
But the OED has citations of the transitive sense going back to the sixteenth century, with later examples from Cowper, the Duke of Wellington, and Matthew Arnold. And a check of a handful of usage manuals, including Garner, MWDEU, Fowler, Bernstein, Follett, and Bremner, finds that all are silent on the subject.
So I am left with a strong preference but no warrant for it.
Well, not entirely. A quick look at the Corpus of Contemporary American English, not a systematic analysis of the 971 entries for deteriorate, but a scan of several pages of examples, suggests that the intransitive sense has become dominant, by a substantial margin. Perhaps there is something to my perceptions.
But even if the transitive sense is slowly losing out to the intransitive, it’s still there. I may not prefer it myself, but I’m not in a position to forbid it to anyone. Not even a reporter. Damn.
*I most often encounter the transitive in reporters’ writing, which reinforces my intuition that anything that turns up mainly in newspaper writing is likely to be wrong.