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There are two sentences from an LSAT question, whose task is to pick a sentence that is most similar to this model sentence:

"In response to an argument, drawing attention to the arguer's behavior is irrational."

The answer sentence is "one should not dismiss an argument by pointing out the arguer's behavior."

Even though the task is to pick the most similar, but I felt the above two sentences are clearly mismatched: the first one is descriptive, the other prescriptive. Or, is it because the answer sentence can be read as a descriptive?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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This looks correct. As you say the first sentence is descriptive, but if you describe something as negative you imply that you should not do it.

Eating this mushroom will make one sick.

Implies

One should not eat this mushroom.

So a purely descriptive sentence can have a prescriptive implication.

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  • thank you so much! A quick follow-up: does a prescriptive sentence entail a descriptive implication?
    – Lenny
    Mar 26, 2021 at 6:02

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