descriptive vs. prescriptive

Subject: descriptive vs. prescriptive
From: Connie Winch <CEW -at- MACOLA -dot- USA -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 1995 13:42:42 LCL

When I was a Professional Writing student (only a few years ago),
my professor made a point that PREscriptive dictionaries, including
the one my parents had given me as a gift - American Heritage
(2nd College Edition), were better than DEscriptive dictionaries.
Which is really another way of saying that a dictionary
should be a determiner of correct language, not that current
usage should be the determiner of dictionary content.

Your thoughts?

Connie Winch
cew -at- macola -dot- usa -dot- com

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