There is much uncertainty and confusion as to the real differences between prescrip-tive and descriptive dictionaries. In general, the majority of existing accounts can be summed up to this: Descriptive relates to the empirical basis; accordance between the empirical data and the dictionary is required. Prescriptive relates to the genuine pur-pose of the dictionary; the dictionary is meant to help with problems concerning text production and will thus affect usage. This asymmetrical understanding would imply prescrip-tive and descriptive in practise being false contrasts. Here, we suggest a more consistent terminology which allows for both the function of the dictionary and the relation of the dictionary to the empirical basis.
Lexiconordica, 2002, Vol 9, p. 79-108
norm; deskription; deskriptiv; Dansk Sprognævn; proskription; præskription; præskriptiv; retskrivning; proskriptiv