TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Unfortunately, most dictionary users react to descriptive
dictionaries as if they were prescriptive. If they find a
word in the dictionary, then it must be OK to use it.
Never mind that it's described as "non-standard" or
"informal" or "slang" or "improper". If it's there, it's OK.
Even Lauren says "I'm starting to lose faith in M-W because
of its acceptance of improper terms," when they are only
reporting what exists in modern usage (describing) rather
than passing any kind of judgment on properness
(prescribing). She's expecting a prescriptive value judgment
from an unashamedly descriptive dictionary.
Gene Kim-Eng wrote:
> True, but a properly researched "descriptive" dictionary
> can be used "prescriptively," so long as one pays attention
> to notations about a word's status.
Discover the new Windows Vista http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=windows+vista&mkt=en-US&form=QBRE
Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more. http://www.DocToHelp.com/TechwrlList
True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity! http://www.helpandmanual.com
You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-