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This article argues that the essence of lexicography is its capacity to satisfy the potential users' punctual information needs in contrast to their global information needs. Simultaneously it shows that lexicographic theory, which so far has studied only two basic types of social situations where information needs may occur, the communicative and cognitive ones, should also study a third type of basic situations, which are referred to as operational user situations. On this basis, the articledoi:10.7146/hjlcb.v21i40.96785 fatcat:ajx6zn6w3vbn7gucpzvwd3hjqy