Re: I had say it because I was afraid no one else would.

Subject: Re: I had say it because I was afraid no one else would.
From: Geoff Lane <geoff -at- gjctech -dot- co -dot- uk>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2009 12:15:57 +0000

On Friday, February 6, 2009, Michael West wrote;

> And the answer is No. "Fraudster" is common usage in mainstream news media,
> and is recognized in mainstream dictionaries.

Not on this side of the pond. "Fraudster", like many "-ster" words, is
an Americanism. For info it's not listed in either of my Oxford Press
references (Concise Oxford Dictionary - Eighth Edition, and Pocket
Oxford Dictionary - 1994 electronic version). Although my references
are old, the Oxford Reference Online (which I hope contains everything
from the current Oxford English Dictionaries) also has no definition
for "fraudster".

As an aside: although "-ster" (which is a suffix that means one who
engages in the related activity) is an Old English construction, it
has fewer uses in England than in North America. I guess that the
puritans took it over with them when they sailed from three miles up
the road!

> It doesn't mean what "fraud" means, and therefore has a useful function in
> the language, describing a particular type of swindler.

That might be the case only in North America. Here's the definition of
"fraud" from my copy of POD:
fraud n. 1 criminal deception. 2 dishonest artifice or trick.
3 person or thing that is not what it claims to be.

So, as in Oz, "fraud" can either mean the act or the person carrying
out the act. Certainly, someone who claims to be a businessman for the
purposes of fraudulently obtaining money is a "fraud" over here.
Perhaps we'd be better finding a term (like confidence trickster)
that's valid everywhere.

That said, most of us on the right side of the pond understand what
Americans mean when they refer to "fraudsters". Language evolves. We
have to adapt and live with it. <fe>If you think that a bunch of
marketeers intent of bastardizing your language is bad, consider that
we have a whole continent on the other side of the great pond intent
on doing the same with ours! </fe>

It wouldn't surprise me if the next edition of the Oxford English
Dictionary defines "fraudster", but in the meantime it's not strictly
correct English (as opposed to American).

--
Geoff

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References:
RE: I had say it because I was afraid no one else would.: From: Michael West

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