Hello! I was interviewing for an article yesterday and he used the phrase "Description becomes Prescription." I said I was not familiar with that phrase, and he said it was an old saying. He declined to explain what it meant! anyone here familiar with it? thanks!
'Description becomes prescription' could be said of many apparently arbitrary spelling rules in English, but not all. The silent 'b' in "debt" for example was a prescription dreamed up by an interfering busy-body who wanted to show off his Classical learning (L. debitum) and make life difficult for English learners. Centuries before the 'b' appeared there was a perfectly good and b-free word that English had borrowed from French - dette.