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data - definition - information - point of view - version
A statement or an account describing something: published a description of the journey; gave a vivid description of the game. A pictorial representation: Monet's ethereal descriptions of haystacks and water lilies. A kind or sort: cars of every size and description.
Data on its own has no meaning, only when interpreted by some kind of data processing system does it take on meaning and become information. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data, May 2004
Description vs prescription
Most work currently done under the name "linguistics" is purely descriptive; the linguists seek to clarify the nature of language without passing value judgments or trying to chart future language directions. Nonetheless, there are many professionals and amateurs who also prescribe rules of language, holding a particular standard out for all to follow.
Whereas prescriptivists might want to stamp out what they perceive as "incorrect usage", descriptivists seek to find the root of such usage; they might describe it simply as "idiosyncratic", or they may discover a regularity that the prescriptivists don't like because it is perhaps too new or from a dialect they don't approve of.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistics#Description_and_prescription [Jul 2004]
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language - American Heritage Dictionaries [Amazon.com][FR] [DE] [UK]
Ever since the furor in the U.S. that greeted Webster's Third New International Dictionary (1961) faded, it has become a given that dictionaries should be descriptive rather than prescriptive, a principle sanctified in Britain in the 1850s in Herbert Coleridge's original plan for the monumental project that eventually produced the Oxford English Dictionary. That dictionaries grow by gradual accretion of new words and new senses characterizes the latest edition of the American Heritage Dictionary... --Booklist via Amazon.com
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