Originally Posted by redpepper
Okay. So could someone share what this prescriptive and descriptive labelling is for me and others who are confused? There seems to be a theme for me today on the confusing thing. It came up several times on other threads and I don't really get it. Thanks
I'll try, since I used it....
Descriptive means that a term describes someone. Prescriptive means that it dictates how someone should act.
So let's take a non-relationship example - if you are a vegetarian and suddenly for some reason get a craving to eat a juicy steak once a week, you have two choices. You can say to yourself "I know that eating a steak would violate my being vegetarian, but I really want to eat this steak regularly so I will stop calling myself a vegetarian". That is using the term descriptively - it describes your actions.
If, however, you were to say "I am a vegetarian. Vegetarians don't eat meat, so therefore I shall not eat meat." That is using it prescriptively.
Hope that makes sense - maybe someone else can come up with a better example.
Found this example, too - http://www.existenceiswonderful.com/...scriptive.html
(the latter section)