Stat Description spot

On the AM5 character sheet there is a spot for "Description" next to each listed stat. We have always played that, for example, you could put "Soak" next to Stamina and that would increase the characters soak total by one (just like a specialization for an ability).

Is this what everyone does? For abilities, there are listed specializations in the book but no listed "descriptions" for the stats.

As far as I remember (serf's parma) the RAW state that the description do not add like specialization of an ability does but is to describe why you are good/bad in it.
However, in HoH:TL there is a minor virtue which allows you exactly what you mentioned when playing a heroic character.

It seems more of a carry over from the WW days where, if i remember correctly, if you had 3? in a stat you could pick a specialty and it would raise it 1 in that situation.

AFAK, Agnar is correct on this.

Anyway, I like to use it to describe in which way your caracterictic manifests, even if it has no game effect.

Me too. It just rounds out the character by describing him/her a little more. Not that many people get to see or take notice of them, but I know they're there.