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: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "Michael West" <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2009 09:57:16 -0500



> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> techwr-l-bounces+kevin -dot- mclauchlan=safenet-inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr
-l.com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+kevin.mclauchlan=safenet->
inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Michael West
> Sent: Friday, February 06, 2009 6:32 AM
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: RE: I had say it because I was afraid no one else would.
>
> > Jerry Kindall ventured:
>
> > > I suppose "fraudster" is
>
> > > a useful enough umbrella term for actual criminals. With
>
> > > half a million uses already recorded on Google, though,
> > > I think the branding ship has sailed.
>
> >
>
> > But maybe 9/10 of the Google hits are discussions like this one.
>
>
>
> It's easy enough to look and see, isn't it?

That was meant as humo[u]r. See way below.

But, come to think of it, no, it's not all that easy to check out half a
million Google hits to see whether they fall into this-or-that category.
As we all know, the first couple of pages of Google (or Yahoo, or other
search engine) hits will be the most relevant, with succeeding ones
being farther and farther from relevance. Unless, of course, you craft
your search in very intricate fashion to show just the ones you want to
see... In which case, you'll no longer get half a million of them. I'd
have to put considerable work into devising a search for "fraudster"
that would exclude occurrences in mailing lists, forums, and other
venues about language, writing, terminology, etc. Other people, of
course, have better search skills and would cobble one together in ten
seconds... :-)

> And the answer is No. "Fraudster" is common usage in
> mainstream news media,
> and is recognized in mainstream dictionaries.
>
> It doesn't mean what "fraud" means, and therefore has a
> useful function in
> the language, describing a particular type of swindler.
>
> I know people who are frauds. As far as I know, none of them
> are swindlers.

I agree. To me, the word does have value, for exactly those reasons.
I'm in the language-maven camp that says any change to the language that
adds value is a good change, but any change that subtracts value (like
perpetuating mistakes of one word for another until the very concept of
one is no longer expressable) is bad.

- Kevin

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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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