Re: descriptive vs. prescriptive

Subject: Re: descriptive vs. prescriptive
From: MBMaher <bladnman -at- NETDOOR -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 1995 03:15:18 GMT

Connie wrote:

>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?
Hmm. Isn't the whole point of our job to "communicate"? Are we hired
to make the language of one group consumable by another?

It's sad when we get stuck on what WAS, instead of realizing the world
will move on. Words are lost, oh well -- but communication lives on.

Matt Maher

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